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Barrow Community Trust supporters hit savings milestone

Barrow Community Trust has topped the £100,000 mark for deposits into its charity accounts with Furness Building Society which generate a big annual payment to the Trust.

The account enables supporters to raise cash for the Community Trust without spending a penny of their own money.  They simply save in one of the easy access Barrow Community Trust Charity Savings accounts with the Furness, receive interest on their savings, and the Society makes a payment from its own funds – not the savers’ money – based on the average annual total in all of the accounts.

The news comes hard on the heels of the Trust’s announcement that its donations to community groups within Barrow-in-Furness have passed the £1 million mark.  The community groups assisted include Four Groves Community Association, Project John, Drop Zone Youth Project, Barrow & District Disability Association as well as many others.

Rob Cairns, Chairman of Barrow Community Trust, stated: “The milestone for savings in the special Barrow Community Trust Charity Savings account is great news because it shows supporters are really getting behind the idea.  The Furness payment is calculated as the equivalent of 1% of the total balance in all of the accounts, so the more our supporters save, the more the Furness gives to the Trust, and the more support we can give to local community groups.  But the best news is it does not cost our supporters a penny of their savings – and they are getting a good rate of interest for an easy access account.”

“Barrow is extremely fortunate because it is the only place in Cumbria to have its own Community Trust.  But it only exists because of the outstanding support by local people – and I would urge any of our supporters who have not already opened one of these accounts to do so as soon as possible so they can be instrumental in Barrow Community Trust receiving an even bigger cheque from the Society each year.”

“As we have been set up purely with the aim of helping local community groups, including many of the smaller groups who need financial support, I would urge supporters of such local groups to also open a Barrow Community Trust Charity Savings account as the more that is invested, the higher our bonus payment will be, resulting us in being able to help even more community groups.”

Ian Quayle, Partnerships and Affinities Manager at the Furness explained: “A Barrow Community Trust account can be opened at any of our branches or agencies, but we also have an e-savings facility so that the accounts can be opened and operated on line – making it even easier to save and at the same time support the Trust.”

For more information about a Barrow Community Trust Charity Savings Account, read the leaflet or visit a local Furness Building Society branch or agency, call 0800 834312 or go to

The NSG Psyclopaths – The Journey Restarts

Happy New Year Dear readers! Are you still with me? Being the hardy bunch I know you are, I’m sure you are still out there hanging onto every precious word. I’ve missed you so much!

So what have you been up to over the dark, wet and windy winter months? Have those sneaky pounds slipped back into the now even tighter lycra leggings? Well my fellow peddlers, the time is nigh to restart those rigid training regimes and the good news is that the Psyclopaths original line up has reformed, much like those hairy prog rockers of the 70’s (showing my age now) are apt to do from time to time!

Commitment is such to the Rivers ride that one of the Psyclos will even be cutting a Spanish siesta short to get to the start line. Even the baby Psyclo has finally come out of email hibernation to inform us of his training rides.

But what of the author I hear you all crying? What have I been upto.

After a full service on the bike I couldn’t wait to get back on the refreshed and newly gleaming two wheels. Enthusiasm was soon replaced with winter gloom as we were battered day after day by the great British winter weather. I don’t mind a little trickle down the back of the neck every now and again but I draw the line when ones face is being constantly wet blasted by horizontal rain. It does wonders for the complexion though, I appear to have lost 10 years off my face!!!

20 miles around the Anglezarke and Rivington moors proved that sitting around eating Christmas pud does little for the knees and calf muscles, as both were screaming for relief during the hill climbs. A 22 speedy mile round trip to the throbbing metropolis that is Bolton and back to the serene calmness of Chorley along the once glorious thoroughfare that is the A6 proved a lot easier.

So we are back with a vengeance, all we need now is a spot of crisp spring weather to get us back in the proverbial saddle, gliding up the slopes and gulping in the fresh country air. I’m knackered even writing it!!

Onwards and upwards dear readers and I’ll leave you with this simple thought “A bike runs on fat and saves you money, a car runs on money and makes you fat!” – Get out there!

170 Big Sleepers Survived the Cold

Rain showers, chilly winds and a muddy field didn’t dampen the spirits of the people who took part in Saturday’s Big Sleep in aid of Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal.

Eleanor Parry and Ian Tomlinson

Aged between seven and 70, there were 170 people who spent the night in sleeping bags and tents beside the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere.

And so far the total amount of money to help keep older Cumbrians warm this winter is almost £74,000.

The youngest sleeper was 7-year-old Eleanor Parry, from Brampton, who camped out in a tent with her dad Richard and the oldest was 70-year-old Ian Tomlinson, from Kendal, who camped with his wife Chris. One girl wont forget her transformation into a teenager, Nina Brendling from Ambleside went to bed aged 12 and woke up on her 13th birthday!

High Sheriff of Cumbria, Diana Matthews

There were tents of all shapes and sizes, others took on the full challenge of sleeping in a bivi bag and the High Sheriff, Diana Matthews, brought a camp bed and fashioned a shelter out of two big umbrellas.

Last minute glitches were overcome in true British style with everyone pulling together to make things happen in spite of the challenges. Nevil Jeffery, Manager of the Low Wood Bay Hotel, had already agreed to support the event by providing hot soup and bacon rolls – but when the burger van pulled out at the eleventh hour he set about making huge pots of stew for the campers. For some, his Cowboy Stew was a real highlight.

Stuart Hyde, CEO Andy Beeforth and Trustee John Whittle

Andrew Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “I was woken by an almost full moon shining down on me, the view of the lake was stunning, a really magical experience. There was a great atmosphere at the Big Sleep, a real sense of pulling together for a good cause. Everyone I spoke to said the experience really hit home how difficult it is for older people across Cumbria to keep warm in the winter. Hopefully, when the sponsorship all comes in we’ll be closer to that £100,000 target.”

Stuart Hyde, former Chief Constable, said: “I thought it was a well organised event, good fun, cold in places, warmed up by the warmth of the people that were there.”

Trustee Tom Foster and son Mick

Tom Foster, from Sellafield, completed the challenge with his son Mick, a serving soldier, he said: “Mick said it was the best night’s sleep he has had in weeks. Usually he gets woken up for a training mission to wade through a swamp in the dark. I found it much more difficult. I was a bit cold and uncomfortable and it gave me first hand experience of what he does and also it drove home that there are people who are that cold on a regular basis. We’ve raised almost £300.”

Ben Berry, from the Low Wood Bay Hotel, said: “It was good fun. I was a bit better prepared for it this year after nearly dying on Stickle Tarn last year. I had better equipment, I knew how cold it was last time. And I am glad Nevil came through with the supper.”

The reason Cumbria Community Foundation runs this annual appeal is simple – every winter around 300 elderly people in Cumbria die because of the effects of the cold weather. They have to choose between heating their homes and eating a meal. The Winter Warmth Fund keeps older Cumbrians safe and warm.

Calling all Young Aspiring Leaders

The first Aspiring Leaders Programme (ALP) for Cumbria and North Lancashire began in 2011 and is due to conclude this July with 12 ‘pioneers’ due to graduate with a Foundation Degree and 3 years of leadership training and mentoring under their belts.

It is the ambition of Francis C Scott Charitable Trust to continue providing a transformative programme for young adults who would not otherwise access mainstream higher education or development opportunities.  The key objectives of the programme remain as follows:

a) To uncover, nurture and launch talented young adults from within the more deprived communities in Cumbria/North Lancs in order to better serve those communities’ needs.

b) In doing so, to provide role models for others to aspire, attain and contribute.

c) To address the most common deficiency we see in local charity leadership – namely the ability to run charitable organisations in a business-like and enterprising manner.

d) To create a self-supporting network of community leadership across our beneficial area.

Francis C Scott Charitable Trust is the main funder of ALP with Brathay Trust leading a delivery partnership alongside the University of Cumbria and Common Purpose.  After a thorough review and retendering process, the decision was made to begin another cohort in 2014 (known as ALP2) and we are now calling for nominations to enrol on this unique programme.

We are looking for Young Adults:
– Who are aged 20-32 (exceptional candidates outside this age range may be considered)
– Resident in Cumbria or North Lancashire
– Working or volunteering for a local charity or social enterprise
– With a minimum of 4 GCSE passes (including English) and an ability to undertake level 4 study, evidenced by obtaining further qualifications or completing certified training courses
– Who would not otherwise have the opportunity
– With an ambition to become a community leader

What can participants gain over the 3 years (2014-17)?
– Residential leadership training
– A personal mentor
– Diverse work experience
– A unique network within the local voluntary sector
– A chance to make a real difference
All of which will lead to a B.Sc.(Hons) degree in Social Enterprise Leadership

Next steps:
– All candidates must be nominated by the charitable organisation they are working/volunteering for
– Fill in the  application form which must be endorsed by a line manager or project leader (deadline 9 May 2014)
– Attend an initial 1:1 interview with the FCSCT Director before June 2014
– Attend an assessment weekend at Brathay on 8-10 August 2014

If successful in being chosen to begin ALP2, the first university module and residential training event will be from 1-5 September 2014 at Brathay.  All education, training and travel costs are covered by FCSCT.

Somerset Flood Relief Fund

Communities in Somerset have reached a crisis point as they cope with extensive and long-term flooding. For many it is the second time in two years they have been affected, and whole communities have been cut off for weeks.

The response within the communities themselves has been magnificent but there is only so much they can do for themselves.

As part of their Surviving Winter campaign Somerset Community Foundation is urgently appealing for donations to relieve the immediate hardship people are facing and support their recovery over the coming weeks and months. With your help, they will help families and communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

You can donate:
By calling: on 01749 344949

By sending a cheque made payable to Somerset Community Foundation and write Flood Relief on the back of the cheque. Please send it to us at Yeoman House, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 6QN.

100 Signed Up for the Big Sleep – including MP Jamie Reed

Over one hundred brave souls have signed up to spend a night sleeping beneath the stars to raise money for cold, older people this winter.

Cumbria Community Foundation has organised “The Big Sleep,” a mass sleep-out challenge in a field beside the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere for Saturday 15 February 2014.

The volunteers are being sponsored to take part and it’s hoped their fund-raising efforts will bring the total raised for the Winter Warmth Fund to £100,000. So far it stands at £62,000.

Copeland MP Jamie Reed is taking part, he said: “I am quite looking forward it, it’s a great initiative and there are few places better to do it than on the shore of Lake Windermere. It’s a great challenge and I’ll be taking my one man tent and enjoying watching The Goonies and getting cold for a good cause.”

Joining him will be Tom Foster, Executive Director Waste and Effluent Disposition, Sellafield, and his 22-year-old son Mick, a serving soldier with the Duke of Lancaster Regiment.

Tom said: “I recognise that we, the people working at Sellafield, have the comfort of heat and a roof over our heads. I want to do my small part and help raise awareness and money for people less fortunate during the winter months. The challenge will be a walk in the park for my son as he has been on a training exercise and has had to camp out for the past two weeks. I’m hoping he will use his knowledge and expertise to look after me!”

Several teams have also signed up to sleep out including: Cockermouth Round Table, Allerdale Borough Council, Cumbrian Newspaper Events, Bond Dickinson, Robinson and Co and David Allen.

Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, Andy Beeforth said: “We want to raise a total of £100,000 for older people facing the choice of heating they homes or eating a meal. We’ve already raised £62,000 for our Winter Warmth Appeal. So, this is a final call for anyone who thinks they can raise £100 in sponsorship to join me for The Big Sleep next week. We’ve kindly been lent a field near the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere, we’ve sorted out a screening of The Goonies and we’re going to brave the elements to raise awareness of the problems older people face in the winter and raise the rest of the money.”

The Big Sleep is an outdoor adventure in aid of Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal. The challenge is to sling on your pyjamas and snuggle down under the stars in front of a fabulous film.

If you could brace yourself to sleep in a field overlooking Lake Windermere, where temperatures may dip as low as minus 11 degrees celsius, and raise £100 – please visit

The reason the charity runs this annual appeal is simple – every winter around 300 elderly people in Cumbria die because of the effects of the cold weather. They have to choose between heating their homes and eating a meal. The Winter Warmth Fund keeps older Cumbrians safe and warm.
How to donate

The Winter Warmth Fund is open to voluntary donations of Winter Fuel Payments, plus donations from other individuals and local businesses.
You can donate to the Winter Warmth Fund in many ways:

Donate online at

Write a cheque payable to: ‘Cumbria Community Foundation’ and write ‘Winter Warmth’ on the back. Send it to: Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Dovenby, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN.

Use your mobile phone. Simply send a text message to 70070 including our code WINT37. You can donate £2, £5 or £10. e.g. WINT37 £5 to 70070.

For more help or information, Tel: 01900 825 760 Fax: 01900 826527

What happens to the money

All of the money raised will be used to provide support to elderly people who are suffering because of fuel poverty. It will be directed to those most in need through voluntary and community groups in Cumbria who are supporting vulnerable older people. Please watch this video:

It will help older people afford to stay warm, eat well and remain mobile. It will ensure they  are getting all the benefits they are entitled to, help them to access grants to improve home insulation or replace old heating systems and show them how to shop around for the best fuel rate. It will also help provide information on how to stay healthy, like getting the flu jab and staying active. And where to get extra support in local communities, such as through lunch clubs and befriending schemes.