Community Foundation announces staff promotions

12th October 2020

Two new roles have been filled at Cumbria Community Foundation to strengthen and grow the charity’s impact and ensure some of the biggest issues facing communities can be tackled now and in the long-term.

Founded in 1999, Cumbria Community Foundation distributes more than £2m in grants each year to community groups and individuals on behalf of a wide range of donors. The Foundation manages more than 100 charitable funds and has grown its endowment fund to £21 million.

Dr Jenny Benson and Jacqui Currie were welcomed into their new roles at the Foundation this month.

Dr Jenny Benson has been promoted to the position of Director of Programmes and Partnerships. Jenny joined the Foundation nearly five years ago to manage the £10.3m Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund and has more recently undertaken a role to promote philanthropic giving. She will now lead the charity’s grant making and be responsible for developing and establishing strategic partnerships that will generate further investment into the voluntary sector. She will also be working with the public, private and voluntary sector to highlight the needs in the county and increase the charity’s profile as one of the county’s leading independent funding organisations.

Dr Jenny Benson said: “I am delighted to be taking on this new opportunity. I have always been passionate about serving our local communities and care deeply about addressing local needs and looking after the most vulnerable people in our community.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated disadvantage and highlighted the importance of communities, organisations, agencies and business working together. The Foundation has a strong track record of partnership working and in delivering effective grant making programmes. I am looking forward to working with the team at the Foundation and collaborating with other partners, to make an even greater difference to those communities who are most in need.”

Jacqui Currie will be taking on the new role of Head of Development, having worked for the Foundation for more than a year as 20th Anniversary Events and Fundraising Coordinator. As part of the Senior Leadership Team, she will be managing the Foundation’s development plan, seeking out new opportunities for engagement and funding streams, as well as leading on membership and ambassador programmes.

Jacqui said: “This is a great opportunity, which I am delighted to accept. I am determined to increase engagement with individuals and organisations across the county and beyond to help the Foundation continue to grow.

“As a proud Cumbrian, I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to help address disadvantage across my home county and I will be encouraging those who are in a position to give in these challenging times to channel their support through the Foundation.”

Andy Beeforth, OBE, Chief Executive with the Community Foundation said, “Jacqui and Jenny bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion to their work at the Community Foundation. We’re delighted they’ve accepted these challenging roles at a time when the work of the Community Foundation has never been more important.”