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Cumbria Housing Partners £100K Fund

A charitable fund offering financial support to social housing communities across Cumbria has been launched.

The £100,000 fund, set up by Cumbria Housing Partners, will provide grants of up to £10,000 to community and voluntary organisations running projects aimed at improving people’s employability or education. Activities which provide advice and guidance, support and engage people in their local community, and improve community facilities will also be considered.

Grants of up to £500 are also available to individuals aged 16 or over who wish to undertake work-based education or training to improve their employability.

John Clasper, Chairman of Cumbria Housing Partners, said: “Cumbria Housing Partners has been successful in supporting apprenticeships and community projects in our neighbourhoods, over the last 10 years. Working with a recognised Cumbria based grant making body, such as Cumbria Community Foundation, will mean that our funds can go further and we can do more of this.”

The fund is administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, which connects businesses and individuals with people that need it most. Projects are often able to secure additional funding from other funds managed by the Foundation.

Andy Beeforth, CEO of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “The Cumbria Housing Partners Fund aims to bring real, positive change and bring local communities in Cumbria closer together.”

“We are passionate about matching fundholders with the most deserving projects in Cumbria. This fund is particularly important because it will directly improve skills of some of the most disadvantaged people in our community.”

Community projects and individuals can apply for funding from the Cumbria Housing Partners Fund by clicking here or calling 01900 825760.

Flood action group prepared for future floods

An innovative flood control centre will help a rural parish become better prepared for future flooding.

Above Derwent Flood Action Group was established following the floods in 2009. They work in partnership with other agencies to influence local flood risk management. The group received a grant of £7,330 from the Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal to fit out a mobile box trailer with emergency equipment, so they can better respond in an emergency.

The Above Derwent parish includes Braithwaite, which was left devastated by Storm Desmond in December 2015. The village was divided in two for nearly three weeks after a bridge was damaged and a quarter of all properties flooded.

Brian Rutland, Chair of the group, said: “During the flooding in December 2015 it quickly became apparent that to function efficiently as a flood group we would need to equip our volunteers with waterproof clothing, radios, torches, etc. Due to the number of holiday homes in our village, fundraising is very difficult and therefore without this support we would not be able to function at the level we do. The grant has enabled us to purchase all the equipment and a box trailer, which is kept in a secure store.”

Volunteer flood wardens have been recruited and an emergency plan has been developed. The trailer has already been used to promote the work of the flood action group to the wider community.

Jenny Benson, Flood Fund Manager at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “The flooding in 2015 was absolutely devastating for local communities. This grant has helped put emergency planning measures in place. Thanks to the dedication of local volunteers, the homes in this community will be better prepared and protected from future disasters.”

The Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal was set up by Cumbria Community Foundation in response to the disaster caused by Storm Desmond. Community organisations are still being encouraged to apply, particularly if they would like to make their communities more resilient.