One of the things that CCF is proud of is its knowledge of the communities and people of Cumbria. This is a bold statement to make but if you are an individual or business wanting to help people in Cumbria this is exactly the sort of information you need. So how do we know?
Last week I took a call from RWE nPower Renewables who are in the process of setting up a fund to benefit a community close to some new wind turbines.
Already working with us in the south of the county their officer picked up the phone to find out about the community that could benefit from their new fund.
Like others we use Cumbria Observatory Statistics and Parish Profiles to find out numbers of people, their age, income, health, etc. However, at the Foundation we are able to enhance this with information drawn from the grants that we have made. We know that in this particular area the village halls are very active: Age UK advice sessions, Strickly dancing, pilates, painting, local history, mums and toddlers. But the nearest thing to a youth club on offer is the local junior football team, unless someone is going to drive the 7 miles to the nearest town.
In addition the Foundation has recently held a workshop with community workers in West Cumbria where we asked them the question “Which communities do you work in which have real needs but never get any special support from statutory agencies?” This rural community was one of the first to be mentioned – it has a higher level of child poverty than some urban wards who have received special government funding to tackle such issues.
With this sort of information at our finger tips it did not take long for CCF to provide an understanding of the local community and what type of projects would need supporting.