More than £177,000 awarded to help make a difference to Cumbrian communities

27th June 2019

Community projects across the county have received a share of £177,000 to tackle issues such as rural isolation, unemployment and health and wellbeing.

37 charitable organisations received a share of the funds at Cumbria Community Foundation’s recent grants panel. The funding will support a wide range of projects across the county, including a music group for those with dementia in Appleby, children’s creative workshops in Kendal, meals on wheels for the residents of Brampton and a business support programme for young people who want to start a farming related business.

8 people have also received a share of £6,085 towards horticulture training fees and university related costs.

The money came from 25 grant making funds, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, including those set up by EDF Energy Renewable, Castle Green Hotel, Out of Eden, Westmorland Arts Trust and the William Milburn Charitable Trust.

The Farmer Network received £45,000 over three years from the Barker Fund, the Brian & Ann Clark Fund and the Evening Hill Grassroots Fund to encourage young people into the farming industry. The Business Support for Young People programme is offered to 18- 30 year olds who have a farm-related business idea but are limited by the resources or opportunities available to them. It comprises a short course on the basics of business planning, one-to-one support from an experienced farm business adviser and the chance to apply for a low interest loan and training grant, plus ongoing support from a volunteer business mentor.

Farmer Network Project Manager, Kate Gascoyne, said: “The first group will be starting this October 2019 and we want to hear from young people who are keen to develop a business idea related to farming.  We are delighted to receive this grant which, in these uncertain times, we will use to guide and support these young people to enable them to become the future of farming in Cumbria.”

In Brampton, Meals on Wheels (Cumbria) received £2,497 from the William Milburn Charitable Trust Fund to help run the service. Around 45 hot meals are delivered weekly by volunteers, along with cold meals for the weekend, and the grant will support the project coordinators salary.

People accessing the Meals on Wheels service are mostly older, housebound and either unable to shop or cook for themselves. The provision of regular, hot, nutritious food not only benefits their health, the service also improves their mental wellbeing by providing a regular visit from a friendly face who can enhance, what for some people are very long lonely days.

David Price, from Meals on Wheels (Cumbria) said: “We started providing meals for Brampton earlier this year, expanding the existing service already in Carlisle. We hope to increase awareness of the service to the elderly and infirmed in the town and help recruit local volunteers to deliver meals. The support is also very practical in providing consumables like foil containers to deliver the meals in. Since the closure of the county service in 2013, many people don’t know that a daily meals service exists. Although our aim is to encourage people to cook for themselves, we recognise that with age, this can become difficult. In receiving a hot lunchtime meal and a visit from a friendly volunteer, our hope is many can retain their independence for as long as possible.”

Kendal Windows on Art’s (KWoA) Moving On Up project received £1,150 from the Castle Green Grassroots Fund to offer a range of creative workshops for youngsters in the Heron Hill community.

Children will collaborate with their younger and older peers, explore their creativity and develop their individual creative skills through a range of mediums such as drawing and painting, theatre set and costume design, drama and dance. These activities will then lead to a community event for the children’s families.

The Appleby Hub, run by The Oaklea Trust, can continue to offer a range of community activities thanks to a grant of £7,190 from the Westmorland Family Community Fund and the Out of Eden Fund.

People affected with mental health issues, those with dementia, and young people will benefit as the funding contributed to three community projects: A Safe Place support group for those who are struggling with their mental health, My Smart Music for those with dementia and their carers, and a youth group for young people aged 11-18 years.

Susan Green, Director, said: “Oaklea’s vision is of a society where individuals are enabled to be effective citizens irrespective of age, disability or disadvantage. The issues faced by the beneficiaries include challenges associated with rural isolation and progressive mental health conditions.”

Ellen Clements, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “There are many worthy organisations around the county that continue to provide help to the local communities. We are ever grateful to the generosity of our fund holders to enable us to support these vital services.”

The closing date for Cumbria Community Foundation’s next main grants panel is 27th September 2019. For more information, visit or call a member of the grants team on 01900 825760.