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Helping good causes in Furness survive and thrive

Good causes across the Furness area have received a share of £12,317 to help keep their services going during these unprecedented and challenging times.

Cumbria Community Foundation awarded the money at its recent Furness grants committee. The money came from funds set up by local people and businesses including the Roselands Trust Fund, Kirkby Moor Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund and the Brian and Ann Clark Fund.

The funding will make a world of difference to six community groups by supporting running and project activity costs. One woman, who has experienced domestic violence, also received a grant from the Cumbria Victims Charitable Trust Fund.

Based in Barrow, Drop Zone Youth Project provides a safe and supportive environment for young people to access services, gain new skills and have fun. It received £3,780 from the Barrow Community Trust Fund to continue offering detached youth work across Dalton.

Sue Johnson, Project Manager, Drop Zone Youth Projects said: “We are extremely grateful to the Foundation and funders for their ongoing support for our youth work. We will continue to reduce anti-social behaviour, and keep young people safe in the community.”

Wellness at Greenacres is a newly formed mental health community group. It received £500 from the Barrow-in-Furness Grassroots Fund to support children and young people with anxiety. The funding will benefit 20 youngsters who will receive one to one support through an outdoor wellbeing programme.

Barrow and Districts Society for the Blind, based on Cavendish Street in Barrow, received £3,850 from the Roselands Trust Fund to continue offering group activities once lockdown restrictions ease. Carl Hodge, Chief Executive, said: “A lot of our clients like to take part in more daring sporting activities, and we have previously offered walking with alpacas, indoor skydiving, skydiving, curling, horse riding, bowling, cricket, sailing, kayaking, basketball and riding tandems. We have seen a change in some of our client’s mental wellbeing and this would have a detrimental effect if these types of activities were to stop.”

Ellen Clements, Senior Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We have a long-established and close relationship with the voluntary sector in Cumbria and there are many worthy organisations in the Furness area that are supporting communities during this unprecedented time. We are 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.”

For more information about Cumbria Community Foundation, how to support local charities through them or to apply for a grant, visit or call a member of the team on 01900 825760.

Cumbrian school children benefit from thousands of pounds to assist home learning

Pupils from across the county have been given much-needed laptops to learn from home.

Almost £90,000 has been awarded to provide IT equipment to more than 300 children and young people, helping teaching to be carried out remotely.

Cumbria Community Foundation awarded the money to ten schools from various funds, including the Mary Grave Trust, the Printers Inc Social Mobility Fund and the Westmorland Family Community Fund.

The Mary Grave Trust would normally have supported young people travelling abroad through educational or youth group trips, work experience or gap year activities. Due to the current travel restrictions, the Foundation has instead used this funding to help young people study from home.

Many children and young people do not have access to a device that is suitable for remote learning. Netherhall School, St Joseph’s Catholic High School and Workington Academy were among the schools to identify pupils who were digitally excluded.

Denise Richardson, Deputy Head St Joseph’s Catholic High School said: “On behalf of the school, we are delighted to have received a grant to purchase 24 laptops for students.”

“Our online school is working well and this equipment will help more students have their own laptop to access their live lessons and online work. It is vital for effective home learning that all our students have access to suitable devices. These laptops will also be used in school on our return, so that students can continue with online learning as a means of catching up on any work which they may have missed.”

Judith Schafer, chair of Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders, said: “The Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders launched a laptop for schools project in January to try and get IT kit to children who need it during the current lockdown. I am delighted that in response to this, schools have been supported by Cumbria Community Foundation.

“It’s so hard for students to engage in home learning without the right ICT equipment at home. Working from a smartphone or tablet is difficult, and even in homes where there is a computer, it may be being shared between siblings all trying to do lessons at the same time.

“Getting each child, that needs one,  their own laptop will transform what they can achieve at home, and that is so important given the disruption students have already experienced and the uncertainty about the future. This funding from Cumbria Community Foundation will go a very long way to making sure we reach as many students as we can, as quickly as we can. It’s also a long-lasting, as even when students return to the classroom, an increased reliance on IT may well be part of the learning experience in the future as part of the recovery curriculum schools will be working on. Giving every child access to the right IT kit long term is crucial.

Dr Jenny Benson, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “The lack of access to digital technology for all pupils is demonstrating existing inequalities in households.

“The Government scheme for laptops has been effective for those identified as having low incomes or eligibility for free school meals. However, there are so many other families that do not fit the specified criteria. We are delighted that we have been able to use our funds to meet the changing needs and to support so many young people undertaking home schooling at this challenging time.”

Membership Grasmere Gingerbread

Joanne Hunter, Co-Director, Grasmere Gingerbread said: “ Recently, we were delighted to make a contribution to Cumbrian Community Foundation (CCF) to assist them in the valuable work that they do in various parts of the county. In Cumbria (like everywhere else), the global Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on individuals, families, communities and entire towns and cities and we know Cumbria Community Foundation has been targeting resources at the people in the greatest need. It is remarkable that this year the Foundation has directly helped 58,000 Cumbrians in 2020 – more than 10 per cent of the population – and we salute that achievement. We are particularly interested that the Community Foundation is to focus on mental health, family poverty and young people and education in the future, issues that Grasmere Gingerbread® has directly supported in the past. We would urge all businesses, if they can afford to do so in these unbelievably challenging times, to support Cumbria Community Foundation. More than ever in Cumbria, we all need each other.”

If you would like to know more about how you can leave a charitable legacy for your local community or a cause you care about visit our membership page.

Winter warmth from our supporters

This year our supporters have helped us raise more than £190,000 for the Winter Warmth Fund to help vulnerable older people keep warm this winter. The team from Napthens, who also happen to be fundholders have been avid supporters each year.

Jamie Allison, Partner, Head of Cumbria, said:“Napthens is proud to support good causes in its heartlands including Cumbria and was pleased to be able to provide a £500 donation to the Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Fund as part of our charitable giving in lieu of Christmas gatherings in 2020. From our Kendal base in Bridge Mills, our team has supported the foundation for around 5 years now and we see it as a crucial part of the Cumbrian community which has a positive impact across every corner of the county.

“Unfortunately, owing to Covid-19 we have not been able to run our CCF Charity Shoot or our CCF Rounders Tournament in 2020, we look forward to reigniting these in 2021 and continuing to support the CCF and its initiatives.

The work that Andy and the team has achieved in the pandemic period has been outstanding and we are proud to continue to support them.”

If you want to know more about how you can help click here.

The Gurney Charitable Trust

Cumbria Community Foundation helps philanthropic individuals and businesses by managing their funds to put something back into their chosen community.

 The Gurney family have been associated with Cumbria since 1906 when land agent, surveyor and entrepreneur James Gurney, who loved the Lake District, bought Ireby Grange Estate in 1906, which has remained under family ownership ever since.

The Gurney Charitable Trust was set up in 1990, originally making grants to smaller charities in Buckinghamshire. The Trustees, who are all members of the Gurney family, then set up endowments with local Community Foundations in Sussex, Buckinghamshire and more recently Cumbria. The grants from the endowments are assessed by each Community Foundation to make sure that the donations give the best expected benefit to the local community.

The grants address a range of charitable causes including health and medical issues, disability and disadvantage, natural history and the arts, and wildlife and conservation. Keswick Museum and Art Gallery received a grant towards a creative project that celebrates the many inspiring and unsung women of Cumbria and marks the centenary of the first UK votes for women.

The Northern Lakes and in particular, the community of Ireby, is of much interest to the family. They like to focus very much on the local community, supporting projects or causes, however small they may be.

The family have a trusted relationship with the Foundation, as we are able to support the causes they they care most about and aim to meet the needs of those who apply for help.

If you would like to know how to apply for a grant or create a grant making fund, click on the links or please call 01900 825760.

Anonymous donor pledges to support the talents of young people

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, an anonymous donor has set up a new fund to support and inspire young people in Cumbria.

The Young Persons Opportunity Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, is open to charitable groups that work to support the development of young people, in particular those from challenging backgrounds.

The generous donor said: “In the best of times, many young people in our communities need inspiration to realise their full potential. The COVID-19 crisis has only added urgency to this, and the Young Persons Opportunity Fund seeks to help ensure that we do not lose the talents and energies of our young people”.

Potential funded projects must have an emphasis on using the outdoors to expand horizons and self-confidence and work with specific groups of young people over a period rather than single one-off sessions or events. Funding will also support the development of leadership qualities in young people, especially those who have the potential to inspire their peer group and/or their own communities.

Annalee Holiday, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “This is a great example of local philanthropy and how people can support their community and local young people to enjoy for years to come.”

Grants will normally be less than £20,000 over one year; however, there is no minimum or maximum award amount. Grants may be a single award, or a series of awards paid over up to three years and dependent on progress.

If you would like to apply for a grant, contact Cumbria Community Foundation on 01900 825760 or for more information visit:

If you would like to know more about how you can leave a charitable legacy for your local community or a cause you care about please contact Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive on 01900 825760 or email

Cumbrian man leaves legacy to support his community

A Cumbrian man has left a lasting legacy of support to his home community of Alston Moor.

When Nenthead resident Dick Phillips died, the proceeds from the sale of his property were gifted to the Alston Moor Community Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation.

Dick asked the Foundation to allocate his gift to the Fund so that grants could be made to give back to the community where he lived. The Alston Moor Community Fund was set up in 2006 by an anonymous donor who wanted to support the strong sense of self help and entrepreneurship that exists on the Moor. The objectives of the fund were kept deliberately wide so that it could respond to changing community need over time.

Foundation Chief Executive, Andy Beeforth, said: “I spoke to Dick about his legacy gift about 15 years ago. He was thrilled to learn that someone had created a fund for Alston Moor and wanted to do what he could to build the fund so that it could help more local groups. Dick lived for many years in the area. I first met Dick in the 1990’s when he worked for East Cumbria Countryside project. He was a kind and caring man with a strong commitment to his community. We are enormously proud to be able to carry on Dick’s legacy through the Alston Moor Community Fund. It is an amazing gesture. Because the donation is part of an invested fund the community will benefit in perpetuity.”

Cumbria Community Foundation helps individuals, families and businesses manage their charitable giving and philanthropy. As well as leaving a gift to an existing fund, people and businesses can also create a fund to support a particular charitable cause or community.

The Foundation is keen that community groups in the Alston area apply for funding through the fund. The Alston Moor Community Fund has supported more than 17 projects from helping to connect people with the arts and culture to supporting people’s physical and mental health, wellbeing and safety.

The deadline for applications is 2nd April 2021. For more information about how to apply, contact the grants team by phone 01900 825760 or by email

If you would like to know more about how you can leave a charitable legacy in your will for your local community or a cause you care about and/or to commemorate a loved one please contact Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive on 01900 825760 or email

The challenges and opportunities of living in Furness

A major research project has been launched to find out the challenges and opportunities faced by people living in Furness.

And locals are being invited to get involved.

The project has been commissioned by the charity Cumbria Community Foundation with the aim of creating a guide to what needs to be done to improve lives, and helping to attract funding to the area.

Two meetings are being held next week to brief people about the project and give people a chance to influence the report.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, is hoping people will take the opportunity to share information about social issues in Furness and the good work that is being done in the area around them.

“This is a major piece of work that we are undertaking and we have already had detailed discussions with the councils, BAE, MP Simon Fell and others about the project. Now we are keen to engage with a wider ranger of people across the community.

“The report will look at everything from health and unemployment to education and housing as well looking at the important work that is already being done in Furness and some of the opportunities here too,” he said.

“Covid has highlighted many of these issues, but this report will not just be about the pandemic – we want to take a longer view of Furness and delve into the data,” he added.

Cumbria Community Foundation has previously produced two community needs reports: ‘Cumbria Revealed: A County of Contrasts 2017’ and ‘West Cumbria Opportunities and Challenges 2019’.

Both reports have provided an analysis of the challenges and opportunities in the county, highlighted some of the work already being undertaken to address disadvantage and identified opportunities for social impact investors to target their efforts and help communities to thrive.

Each report has provided an effective tool for securing additional investment to address priority community needs. Both documents have been widely shared, informing local policies and investment strategies. They have also been used by many third sector groups to prioritise their work and to access funding locally and nationally. Most recently the ‘West Cumbria Opportunities and Challenges 2019’ report was instrumental in helping the Foundation to secure a £2.2m social investment programme in West Cumbria in 2020, funded by Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Two online briefings were held in February. The video below is of one of the meetings, which was held to brief people about the project and give people a chance to influence the report.

If you have would like to include your comments into the research, please email Ellen Clements:

Festive fundraiser keeps older people warm & well this winter

With temperatures this winter dipping to almost -7C in some parts of Cumbria, the fundraising efforts of a local couple have meant that more vulnerable older people will be warm this winter.

Judith Egan, with the support of the community of Mungrisdale, has raised £1,957 for the Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal with thanks to some festive fundraising. From generous winter fuel allowance donations to the purchasing of Christmas cakes, mince pies, mincemeat, and attending wreath making classes, this is the fourth year Judith has supported the winter initiative.

The Winter Warmth Appeal was set up by Cumbria Community Foundation in 2010 to make sure that vulnerable older people who may have to choose between heating and eating, can stay warm and well through the cold weather.

Judith said: “The first year I organised a coffee morning and last year I introduced wreath making classes. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic there were no coffee mornings this time around.

“Instead, I emailed people who had supported us in the past, announcing that I would still love to receive donations from their winter fuel allowance, and I would also be making mince pies, mincemeat, Christmas cakes and wreaths which they could order.

“I also held four wreath making classes. These were only for three people at a time so we could be safe and social distance. These were really enjoyable days where the ladies loved being out making something and having a good chat, after the November lockdown. They were provided with all the materials for the wreath making and a light lunch, and refreshments.

“I feel our Winter Warmth fundraising just gets better, the support from the local community is just wonderful. This is a nationwide problem, but Cumbria Community Foundation has excelled at promoting the Winter Warmth Appeal in our county.

“Please join the campaign and help protect the elderly to keep warm this year and every year.”

This year in partnership with Age UK and Copeland Age and Advice Service, Cumbria Community Foundation has been able to award more than £200,000 to hundreds of older people helping to keep them warm, safe and well while easing financial pressure during the cold season. While this is an amazing achievement, there are still many older people who desperately need support. Altogether £1.2m has been distributed since the start of the fund in 2010.

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said:

“It’s more important than ever that the Winter Warmth Appeal receives widespread support, and we are very thankful for Judith’s support again this year.

“The coronavirus outbreak means that, for many older and vulnerable people, this winter has been even more difficult. Many need to stay at home to keep themselves safe and find themselves cut off from family and friends, facing higher costs to heat their homes.”

If you would like to support the Winter Warmth Appeal and organising your own fundraiser you can donate online, call 01900 825760 Monday – Friday between 9am and 5pm or send a cheque payable to ‘Cumbria Community Foundation’ (write Winter Warmth on the back) and post to Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Dovenby, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN.

Three quarters of a million to good causes in Cumbria

It’s a welcome start to the year for good causes across Cumbria and North Lancashire after they received a share of almost three quarters of a million pounds.

The money came from funds set up by local people and businesses including Castle Green Hotel, Herdy and the Westmorland Family, which are administered by Cumbria Community Foundation.

26 community groups received support to deliver activities that will tackle mental health issues, help those with disabilities, provide advice and guidance to people on low incomes, offer hospice and bereavement support, purchase equipment for emergency rescue services, and assist older people who are vulnerable or isolated. 21 people also received financial support to help with further education and training costs.

In Sedbergh, a new ‘Community Maker Space’ will be developed thanks to £3,000 from the Herdy Fund. Settlebeck Parents, Teachers and Friends Association will use the funds to upgrade the design and technology facilities at Settlebeck School so that it can begin a programme of evening classes open to pupils, parents and members of the community who wish to learn more about computer aided design and manufacturing.

Steph Williams for Settlebeck Parents, Teachers and Friends Association, said: “As a very small rural secondary school we pride ourselves in providing pupils with a bespoke educational experience, which is often difficult to find in larger schools, ensuring that every child has the chance to thrive. Alongside this, we continue to seek opportunities to develop our high-quality facilities. We have a close relationship with the Sedbergh community and surrounding area and have been looking for ways to further strengthen those links.”

Diane Hannah, Co-founder Director, Herdy said: “When we heard about the Settlebeck project we instantly wanted to provide the outstanding funds to make it happen. Herdy is a design led business, so this project is very close to our heart. Not only are we happy to contribute financially but there are loads of opportunities for us to work with the pupils too once the facility is up and running. We’d love to share our knowledge and experience with the pupils and work on some live Herdy projects with them.”

The social and economic impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for communities and many of those are also suffering from an increased sense of isolation, poor mental health and increased financial problems. Formerly known as OpShops, Restore based in Carlisle, received £4,913 from the Pappagallino Fund and £3,000 from the Westmorland Family Community Fund towards two projects, which are helping to support local residents.

Chris Harwood, Pioneer Minister says: “This fantastic support will help us refurbish our new warehouse, creating a new community hub for our staff and volunteers. Funding will also help us to develop our community projects that promote social inclusion and care for the environment: ‘Men in Sheds’ and the ‘Community Allotment’.  We plan to use the grant to upgrade and provide more tools, improve our safety equipment, and open the projects up to more people who may be struggling with their mental health or feeling lonely and isolated and in need of a supportive community. Many more vulnerable people will need support after the lockdown is over. Thanks to Cumbria Community Foundation’s generous fund holders we will be in a much better position to be able to offer this help.”

Up to 150 young women aged 14-16 in Carlisle will benefit from a £5,000 grant from Cumbria Young People’s Fund. iCan Health and Fitness based in Denton Holme will use the funding towards a six-week pilot programme offering a variety of physical exercise sessions in addition to promoting positive mental health, wellbeing and positivity through the WOW! iCan Be Me project.

Matthew Wood, Wheels of Wellness Project Manager at iCan Health and Fitness CIC, said: “The young women will all receive training from people with knowledge and lived experience and learn about respect for other people’s identity, culture and beliefs as well as acceptance of self-image, how to be more mindful and sleeping well techniques. This is set to the backdrop of rebounding sessions on our unique Wheels of Wellness facility.”

The Farmer Network works with over 1,150 farmers across Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales. It received £6,500 from the Carr’s Group Fund and the Cumberland Educational Foundation to support its training voucher scheme. The vouchers, worth up to £200, are for young people working in farming to obtain technical training and certificates of competence. These certificates are legal requirements but are particularly expensive for smaller family farms to fund without financial assistance.

Project Manager, Veronica Waller, said: “Farmers need help with affording the cost of training more than ever with the changes to farm payments starting in 2021. This training allows younger farmers to offer their services as contractors in addition to working on their home farm and this additional income is particularly important at a time of unprecedented change.”

Ellen Clements, Senior Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “There are many worthy organisations in Cumbria that are supporting communities during this unprecedented time. We are 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.”

To apply for a grant or for more information call a member of the grants team on 01900 825760.