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Bad weather postpones Big Sleep

The recent severe weather and further forecasted gales has postponed an outdoor charity fundraiser.

Cumbria Community Foundation’s ‘Big Sleep’ was being held this Saturday to help raise money for the charity’s Winter Warmth Appeal.

More than 200 people have already signed up to sleep in a field behind the Low Wood Bay Resort Hotel in Windermere but severe weather warnings have forced the charity to make the difficult decision and postpone the event until Saturday 27th February.

All previous entries have been automatically transferred to the new date and there is still room to accommodate more campers. Online entries will remain open until Thursday 25th February.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of the Foundation said: “We did not take the decision lightly to postpone the event due to high winds and heavy rain. We knew that some people will be disappointed but safety is paramount. I would like to thank all participants for their positive feedback and we look forward to seeing everyone next month.”

The Big Sleep will see hundreds of people being sponsored to camp out for the night in a field in January where temperatures will drop below zero. Last year, it went down to minus six and the tents were frosted up on the inside.

Cumbria Community Foundation tries to take people’s mind off the cold during the event by providing live music, lantern making, food and drink and a movie before everyone has an early night under the stars.

Sport Relief community cash available

Once again we are distributing a £10,000 Sport Relief Community Cash fund to support communities across Cumbria.

Sport Relief Community Cash grants of £500-£1,000 are available to small organisations in the Cumbria that are doing great work to help local people living tough lives. If this sounds like you, make sure you apply for a Sport Relief Community Cash grant now by completing the online application form before Thursday 25th February.

“We’re very pleased to be teaming up with Comic Relief, BBC North East and our colleagues at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wearat Cumbria Community Foundation for the second year to work on Sport Relief Community Cash,” said Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation.

Don’t forget to do your bit and make your face funny for money – and keep raising cash to help change lives. For more details visit

As one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to raise cash and change lives on Friday 18th March.

The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.

Supporting social enterprise and investment in voluntary organisations in Cumbria

A fund formed to help the future development of charities, support groups and voluntary organisations in Cumbria has been given funding for a further two years.

Since 2011, the Northern Rock Foundation has supported the sustainability of the voluntary and community sector through the Fresh Ideas Fund, helping a number of organisations in Cumbria explore new ideas and opportunities for income generation and new services.

Now, as part of its last legacy grant awards, Northern Rock Foundation has announced it will provide a further £500,000 to continue the successful Fresh Ideas Fund programme in Cumbria in 2016 and 2017.

The Fresh Ideas Fund will be run by the Newcastle-based Northstar Foundation, which will be working closely with Cumbria Community Foundation.

The fund will provide successful applicants with up to £50,000 to fund a feasibility study, apply for expert, specialist advice and cover start-up costs. A mentor from Northstar Ventures will also be on hand to support them at each step of the way.

At the same time, Northern Rock Foundation has transferred its £500,000 shareholding in Charity Bank, to Cumbria Community Foundation. Charity Bank is an ethical bank that uses its savers’ money to make loans solely to charities and social enterprises. This will strengthen existing links between Charity Bank and Cumbria and support the development of social investment in the region.

Alastair Balls, Chairman of Northern Rock Foundation, said: “Trustees are pleased to be able to continue to provide much needed grant funding for charities in Cumbria for the next two years through the Fresh Ideas Fund.

“We also hope that Cumbria Community Foundation’s new relationship with Charity Bank will create social investment opportunities for the voluntary sector that will have long lasting benefits.”

Gurkhas raise money for storm-affected Cumbrians

More than 200 people attended a Christmas and New Year fundraiser to raise money for flood victims across Cumbria.

Capt (Retd) Kabitman Rai
Captain (Retired) Kabitman Rai

The event raised more than £300 and was organised by the British Gurkhas and Nepalese Community (BGNC) and Gurkha Coy Catterick (serving Gurkhas). It was held at Catterick Golf Club in Yorkshire on Saturday 19th December 2015.

Ram Malla, Chairperson of BGNC, said: “The Gurkhas have been in the Crown Service (British Forces) for the last 200 years since 1815 and have been enormously supported by the people of this country on many occasions. We thought it would be good to give back and following the recent storm damage, we wanted to help Cumbria flood victims.”

It’s over a month since Storm Desmond flooded the county, leaving many towns and villages completely devastated.

The Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal has so far raised a total of £4.35m since its launch on Saturday 5th December 2015. See this page for various ways to donate to the Appeal.