£55,000 awarded to West Cumbrian causes

7th April 2017

Cumbria Community Foundation has awarded more than £55,000 to individuals and community projects across West Cumbria at their latest Grants Committee.

The West Cumbria Grants Panel approved 21 applications covering a wide range of activities, including an international Lego competition and a project helping to tackle social isolation in older people.

The ‘Ennerdale Engineers’

Friends of Ennerdale and Kinniside Primary School received £4,250 from the Live the Dream Fund to take their school Lego team to the Lego League International Open.

The First Lego League is a science and technology challenge aimed at 9-16 year olds who are tasked to solve real life problems with the help of a Lego robot.

The ‘Ennerdale Engineers’ were placed as runners up in the Regional Finals for North and West Cumbria on the 1st of February. This meant the team qualified for the National Finals in Bristol as only one of 40 schools in the UK and Ireland.

The National Finals took place on the 26th of February, where pupils fought off competition from secondary schools across the UK to win the second place trophy in the Robot Performance Award.

The small village school of Kinniside and Ennerdale will now have the opportunity to go even further, to the International Finals, which will be held in the UK for the first time.

David Moore, Head Teacher of the school, said: “As an extremely small, rurally isolated primary school, children have little exposure to cultural opportunities.

“This International Final will give them the chance to meet a huge variety of children from other countries throughout the world. Such an opportunity is unlikely to offer itself again in these children’s school life.”

Healthy Hopes group in Allerdale

Healthy Hopes Cumbria received £5,000 from the Older People’s Fund to start a weekly two-hour group for older adults to alleviate social isolation. The sessions will cover topics such as confidence and building self-esteem, mental health issues in later life and coping with bereavement.

Healthy Hopes offer free holistic workshops and support services across West Cumbria to promote improved emotional wellbeing and resilience. Older people who attended some of the organisation’s other workshops had expressed an interest in having a group for older adults who have similar issues and needs.

The sessions will be held in conjunction with Age UK at one of their premises in Copeland and will be held by a qualified Mental Health Nurse who specialises in dementia studies and a trained therapist.

Vivien Nicol, Director of Healthy Hopes Cumbria, said: “Older people with limited social contact are at an increased risk of death due to the emotional effects of social isolation.

“We are aware that for many older adults, their children have settled into other parts of the UK or abroad due to limited local employment opportunities, which brings about a lack of family support.

“Our health and wellbeing activities will help older people in the community to form friendships and improve both their physical and mental health.”

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “By supporting projects which help address the specific needs of communities, we can begin to bridge that gap, and ensure people have the best access to services.”

Applications for the next round of funding need to be submitted by Friday 12th May 2017 to be reviewed by the grants panel on Wednesday 7th June 2017. For more information or to apply for a grant, click here or contact the grants team on 01900 825760.