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Community fund awards first grants

Wigton-based CCL secure, the global expert in polymer banknote substrate, has awarded its first grants from its new charitable fund that benefits people and communities in Allerdale and Copeland.

Managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, the CCL Secure Fund has supported five community groups across West Cumbria.

Times and StarThe gym at the Oval Centre in Workington, which is run by social enterprise, Fit 4 Life, received £1,000 towards new equipment. Fit 4 Life offers a safe and friendly environment for people with chronic health conditions and is a low-cost alternative to mainstream fitness centres. (Image – Times and Star)

Dougie Pomfret, Manager at Fit 4 Life said: “We have been able to purchase two new exercise bikes with the grant, which will make our clients experience with us even better than it was before.

“We have lots of sessions on offer including cardiac, stroke and pulmonary rehabilitation, over 50’s sessions and sessions for general public. People with a range of health conditions such as high blood pressure, weight problems, diabetes, heart disease and more can join, and our team of specialist instructors are there to guide people back to fitness.”

Wigton Youth Station received £1,273, which contributed to keeping the centre open for the next year. It has been established for 21 years and provides a safe, social space for local youngsters in the area twice a week. Angela Bicknell, Centre Manager, said: “We’ve been very lucky to receive such support and I’m happy to say the Foundation has been a long-term supporter of the work we do.

“On average, we have 25-30 young people through the doors on any one night, with over 70 members in total. Wigton Youth Station is well equipped and experienced in addressing and working alongside our young people, their families and their communities. We work on prevention and early intervention to provide information and support, to change negative attitudes and their long-term prospects.”

Other organisations to benefit include Wigton Baths Trust and 3rd Wigton Sea Scout Group, both receiving £1,000 each and North Allerdale Development Trust received £2,000.

Mark Lancaster, HR Manager-EMEAC, said: “The community is essential to the success of the CCL Secure plant and we are delighted to have confirmed our first grants from the CCL Secure Community fund. The whole team at CCL Secure are looking forward to making a sustainable impact across Cumbria over the months and years to come.”

Annalee Holliday, Grants Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation said: “This is an exciting time for us to be working with Mark and the CCL Team, who like many Cumbrian businesses are committed to finding ways to help their community. These organisations play a big part in holding communities together especially during times when local services are under pressure and struggling to meet local needs.”

For more information about the fund or to apply, visit www.cumbriafoundation.org/fund/ccl-secure-fund or call the grants team at Cumbria Community Foundation on 01900 825760.

It’s time to talk in West Cumbria

People struggling with mental health issues on the west coast now have somewhere to go for support following the closure of Mind in West Cumbria last year.

Together We CIC, a not for profit organisation, which provides mental and physical health support for people of all ages, has received £100,000 from United Utilities, Sellafield Ltd and Cumbria Community Foundation towards the Together We Talk project, which will provide one-to-one and group counselling as well as family support services.

The announcement coincides with the national Time to Talk day, held on 6th February, which encourages people to talk about mental health.

The funding, which was distributed via Cumbria Community Foundation, has come at a critical time when demand for support in this area continues to grow as statutory mental health services are affected by cuts and are stretched to capacity.

Mental health is not the taboo subject it once was, but the number of people diagnosed with a mental health condition continues to rise. 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health problem in their lifetime, with 1 in 6 adults being diagnosed with a mental health problem each year. West Cumbria also has a higher number of people admitted to hospital following intentional self-harm than the national average. The problems are particularly acute in Copeland, which has the highest suicide rate and the second highest number of A&E admissions for mental health conditions in the county.

Janine Ward, Director, said: “We pride ourselves on delivering evidence-based interventions with qualified, insured and supervised staff. We have good connections across the region and will have a base in both Workington and Whitehaven. Our aim is to empower people to take control over their mental and physical health and wellbeing.

“The team will be made up of counselling, CBT, mental health practitioners and support workers to enable a full service with a range of interventions available. Access to our service can be via self or professional referral by emailing referral@togetherwe.co.uk or by telephone 01900 66375.”

Louise Beardmore, Customer Services and People Director at United Utilities, said: “Mental Health provision is such an important area that we’ve been working hard over recent years to break down barriers and to make it easier for our own employees to access the help and support they might need one day.

“We are committed to supporting the wider communities where we work and that’s why I’m so pleased to help fund this new scheme. With our call centre at Whitehaven and our new water supplies project, we are very much a part of the fabric of life in West Cumbria.”

Gary McKeating, Head of Community and Development at Sellafield Ltd, said: “The importance of the Together We Talk project cannot be understated. I am delighted that the project has been formed from the ashes of its predecessor and that Sellafield Ltd, along with United Utilities and the Cumbria Community Foundation are able to support it. The scheme will provide much needed mental health support and guidance to those in our area who need it most.

“Whilst mental health is a topic people are now more willing to talk about, it is important that they can do so with trained workers, who can help people in times of difficulty. Our funding makes this a reality.”

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer for Cumbria Community Foundation, added: “Mental health issues can affect people from all walks of life. The Foundation supports local projects that provide a lifeline for people with nowhere else to turn, whether they are recovering from trauma, addiction or mental breakdown, or coping daily with stress, depression, anxiety or loneliness.

“Each year, we receive hundreds of grant applications from charities and groups across Cumbria, but it has become noticeable that the number of mental health projects requiring support has been increasing. Following the closure of Mind in West Cumbria, we have had long discussions with other providers in the county and made the decision to set up the mental health fundraising appeal, which will provide grants to projects across West Cumbria: https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/westcumbriamentalhealth

A referral form with more information about Together We services is available at www.togetherwe.co.uk.

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