Charities benefit from a quarter of a million pounds

2nd March 2020

Charitable projects across West Cumbria have received a share of more than £266,000 to break down the barriers that inequality can create and increase opportunities for improved health and wellbeing and learning opportunities.

Almost 80 charitable organisations and 40 people received a share of the funds at Cumbria Community Foundation’s recent grants panel.

The money came from grant making funds, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, including those set up by CCL Secure, Lamont Pridmore, Shepley Engineers, Thomas Graham & Sons and United Utilities.

Cumbria Wheelchair Sports Club (CWSC) received £1,625 from the Shepley Group Fund and £850 from Thomas Graham & Sons Fund to deliver high quality professional coach-led wheelchair basketball in Whitehaven. Chairman of CWSC, Ray McBride, said: “The grant is hugely important to us at CWSC and is one more example of the Foundation helping small grassroot charities like ours to survive. We understand that many people in Whitehaven and its surrounding areas struggle to make ends meet for even the most basic of needs such as food, heat and clothing. That is why we keep our fees for basketball sessions as low as possible. Without the generous support of Cumbria Community Foundation, we wouldn’t be able to provide disabled people with the opportunity to take part in fun but challenging wheelchair sports. Our Whitehaven operation would have simply had to close down.”

CWSC runs its weekly inclusive wheelchair basketball sessions every Thursday from 3.30pm-4.30 pm at Mayfield School in Whitehaven. Those of all ages and abilities are welcome.

Rosehill Youth Theatre, which runs the Solway Hall in Whitehaven received £1,000 from the Shepley Group Fund to support its volunteers. Anne Kelly, Trustee said: “We have many charities, organisations, community projects and the general public that use our facilities every day of the week, it wouldn’t be possible to do this if we didn’t have an amazing bunch of volunteers who all play an important role from cleaning, dressing the main hall, running the bar to providing food in our kitchen. For the volunteers to be able to support our local community like we do, we need funding to cover things such as transport and training costs, and this is where the Community Foundation has helped us, so we all would like to say a huge big thank you!”

North Allerdale Development Trust’s Early Intervention Programme received £17,000 from Cumberland Educational Foundation Fund, CCL Secure Community Fund and the Live the Dream Fund. The funding will provide vital support to young people aged 9 to 16 that are struggling in formal education. According to figures from the Department of Education, last year, 7,000 days were lost to school exclusions in Cumbria alone and these figures do not account for pupils being placed in internal isolation within school or the impact it has on the mental wellbeing of young people.

Last year, the award-winning programme received 150 referrals from schools and services throughout Cumbria. This year, that figure will be in excess of 200. Sandra Keaveney, Chief Executive at North Allerdale Development Trust, said: ‘’This grant will help us to continue to provide this much needed service for our young people, while continuing to develop to their needs. Young people in Cumbria today can face several challenges in their social environments, whether these be economic or other factors which can negatively contribute to their mental wellbeing and learning. The Early Intervention Programme seeks to address these before they reach crisis point.’’

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “There are many worthy organisations around the county that hold communities together and continue to support the needs of local people. Charitable giving puts money into disadvantaged communities and unlocks more resources through people’s voluntary efforts. We are ever grateful to the generosity of our fundholders to enable us to support these vital services, especially during times when local services are under pressure and struggling to meet local needs.”