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Last call for social action project applications

Community organisations working with young people in Cumbria are being encouraged to apply for funding to get youngsters involved in activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, and make a positive difference to their communities.

Grants of £1,000 and £5,000 are available from the #iwill Fund, a UK-wide campaign with the aim of getting 6 out of 10 young people involved in social action by 2020. Projects must benefit those aged between 10 and 20, or up to 25 for disabled young people.

Last year, more than £80,000 was shared between 19 social action projects, benefiting 1,500 young people all over across Cumbria.

Chestnut Events in Kendal received £5,000 for its Youth Grows Project. Youngsters aged 15 to 18 have taken part in social action projects with a horticultural and healthy eating theme, developing skills and attributes to build self-confidence and understand the world around them. Many of them have continued to volunteer on an ongoing basis and will eventually create their own marketing campaigns to promote their projects.

Youngsters in Allerdale, worried about mental health issues within their community have been getting valuable support thanks to £5,000 awarded to Ewanrigg Local Trust’s ‘We Will’ project. 8 young people, some with mental health issues themselves and some concerned about their friends, identified that there was a lack of mental health resources available to them. The youth led ‘We Will’ project aims to train 250 people in Youth Mental Health First Aid and has arranged two workshops to bring people together to discuss the issues and opportunities and make campaign plans.

Around 60 local youngsters are being active in improving their local community thanks to £5,000 awarded to Mirehouse Residents Group for its Mirehouse Young Voices project. Members of the local youth group worked alongside the adults to set up a social media presence for young people on the estate to establish a youth voice and start challenging the poor opinions that the older generation often have of young people. It looks at how youngsters can develop their local environment by highlighting areas of concern or improvement from a young person’s perspective. They host inter-generational sessions to share progress, and have cookery sessions to share skills and knowledge that often isn’t passed on.

25 junior school pupils in Barrow have been building their confidence and believing in themselves through learning how to develop and run a social awareness campaign. Furness Future Leaders’ Academy received £5,000 for its Saturday Club project, designed to build the essential skills that local young people, for varying reasons, often fail to learn at school. The students used the 2.5 hour weekly sessions to choose, design, and deliver a campaign in their community with a set budget. They developed skills in leadership, citizenship, resilience, self-management and awareness; teamwork, innovation and creativity.

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation said: “We want to fund enjoyable projects that build and share skills and demonstrate positive impact on the wider community including simple, basic things like making new friends, trying out new activities and improving life skills.”

The closing date for the next round of applications is Friday 3rd August. For more information or to apply visit the grants page or contact the grants team on 01900 825760.

Rebike project grant supports job mentoring

Award winning social enterprise, Rebike Cumbria Ltd received £9,825 from the Cumbria Housing Partners Fund, managed by the Foundation, to expand its successful job mentoring project which supports long-term unemployed into work.

Rebike volunteers Am and Jacob

Based in Carlisle, Rebike refurbishes and repairs donated bicycles for sale, providing a work based training environment for trainees and volunteers.  Geoffrey Tunstall, Director of Rebike said: “Trainees often come to us with issues which makes it difficult for them to compete in the job market. For some a lack of confidence and social skills is a barrier; for others disrupted schooling means they don’t have the formal qualifications employers ask for.

“Whatever their issue, our only criteria to accepting to is that the trainee wants to participate and improve their employability skills so they can go on into voluntary or paid employment.”

“The grant will enable us to double the number of work placements we currently support and is a great boost to the project.”

Training includes bicycle maintenance, health and safety, and customer service. Additionally trainees learn how to work alongside others in the work place, meaning the step from Rebike into another working environment is less daunting. By offering supported work placements Rebike can help them get the work experience they need, so they can show an employer just what they are capable of contributing and achieving.

Jacob and Am (photo) are two of the recent trainees.  Jacob has been a volunteer with Rebike for six years; he has just secured his first paid job and is continuing to volunteering .

Am is from Laos and has been volunteering with Rebike since early this year, he is planning to set up his own furniture workshop and is learning essential skills for running a business.

John Clasper, Chair of Cumbria Housing Partners said: “Our community fund is aimed at supporting projects which offer opportunities for people to improve their employability skills.  As an established social enterprise, Rebike already has a proven track record of success with volunteer training, re-skilling as it recycles. By adding the work mentoring project as an extension of that training they are now able to give extra support and confidence to trainees as they take their first step into employment, we are pleased to be able to support them.”

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer ,Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “The charity sector works closely with people facing disadvantage across the county in many ways and so is ideally positioned to

help people back into employment. Rebike has achieved tremendous success over the years and this project aims to get more than 40 people into employment.  As a local business, Cumbria Housing Partners is pro-active in funding projects in the county that really make a difference to people’s lives.”

Cumbria Housing Partners is the only local procurement group for social housing landlords in Cumbria. We help our member landlords save time and money by buying materials and contractors for repair and maintenance work on their homes. By working together and using our combined buying power, we make savings for our members that can be reinvested to improve the lives and futures of people living in our communities.

Over the past year Cumbria Housing Partners Fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, has provided grants to individuals, community and voluntary organisations for training and projects aimed at improving people’s employability or education. The £100,000 fund has also supported projects which provide advice and guidance, support and engage people in their local community, and improve community facilities.

For  more information on the fund, visit the grants page.




Community projects encouraged to apply for wind farm money

Charitable and community groups in the Tallentire area are being called on to apply for funding to make a difference in their area.

Established by RES, and managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, the Tallentire Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund awards grants of up to £10,000 and support projects in the parishes of Bridekirk, Blindcrake, Gilcrux and Plumbland.

The fund accepts applications from community projects, giving priority to activities that are environmental, educational, sporting, or community related.

Gary Higgs, Grants and Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to open the latest round of funding and provide financial support to make sure that the needs of the community are met.

“To date, 23 projects have received a share of £280,000 and the money has made improvements in village halls, provided activities for youngsters, updated playground equipment, purchased catering equipment for a lunch club and provided life-saving equipment for the first responders group.

Plumbland Community Group received £4,132 to set up a local breakfast club and purchase outdoor play equipment for the youth club. Secretary, Sharon Stephenson, said: “We wanted to encourage youngsters to meet up with their friends outdoors rather than just communicate via computers. The grant has brought our community together.”

The fund is open for applications until 24th August 2018. For more information, visit the grants page or call Gary Higgs on 01900 825760.

Cumbrian causes awarded a share of £300,000

Community projects across the county have received a share of almost £300,000 to tackle issues such as rural isolation, anti-social behaviour, homelessness and poverty.

More than 50 charitable organisations and 30 individuals received a share of the funds at Cumbria Community Foundation’s recent grants panel. The funding will support a wide range of activities including youth work, music sessions for adults with profound learning difficulties and elderly people with dementia, summer respite for young carers, a community outdoor gym, school trips and funding for further education.

Whitehaven Community Trust received £2,975 from the Cumbria Young People’s Fund to run a counselling service for youngsters over the next two years. The charity provides accommodation for 16-24 years olds in Copeland and many youngsters who find themselves homeless face issues associated with domestic abuse, exclusion from school and poor mental health.

Chief Executive, Kerry Maxwell OBE, said: “The majority of Copeland’s homeless youngsters come from some of the most deprived areas in our region. They lead chaotic lives and frequently come from broken homes, suffering from abuse and domestic violence. The Trust is really grateful for the funding which will enable us to provide a counselling service for our vulnerable young people, this will be a really beneficial to them and their personal wellbeing.”

Carlisle Carers provides support to young and unpaid adult carers in the local area. Some young carers are rurally isolated, particularly those living in the villages around Brampton and often have no time for themselves, lack confidence and find it difficult to interact with other people. The charity received £800 from the William Milburn Charitable Trust to provide respite to a group of young carers by taking them on a summer trip.

Kay McGregor, Operations Manager, said: “Carlisle Carers is extremely grateful for this grant, our young carers get so much out of these day trips. The day away takes them out of their caring role and allows them to relax and enjoy the company of others who have a similar role. The focus of these days is to address issues like low self-confidence and esteem and have fun at the same time. We very much appreciate the support from the Foundation and all the donors it works with who enable us to provide such supportive activities that make a real difference.”

Blackwell Sailing, based in Bowness-on-Windermere, runs sailing activities for people with disabilities, giving them the chance to try something they may not have been able to do before. The charity works in partnership with Sight Advice South Lakes, and a grant of £3,459 from the Brian & Ann Clark Fund, Holehird Trust and Roselands Trust contributed to sailing sessions and transport costs for people with visual impairments.

David Hall, Manager and Instructor, said: “We are very grateful for this funding from Cumbria Community Foundation, who have supported us many times throughout our 25 year history. Our clients get so much out of the sailing session – keeping in touch with friends, learning skills and feeling better for having been out on the water. On their behalf I wish to say a very big thank you for this very generous support.”

Ellen Clements, Grants and Donor Services at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “The grants administered on behalf of our fundholders provide an opportunity for people across the county to receive a helping hand as they address a need in their community.”

The closing date for the next round of applications is Friday 27th July.

For more information or to apply visit the grants page or contact the team on 01900 825760.