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Young Cumbrians supported through outdoor learning

A new fund managed by Cumbria Community Foundation has awarded its first grants to support the development on young people in West Cumbria.

The fund, set up by a generous couple who remain anonymous, focusses on supporting young people across the county from challenging backgrounds.

The Outdoor Partnership, a charity that offers equipment and qualifications in activities such as kayaking and climbing, received £19,989 to engage young people in Allerdale and Copeland in outdoor activities. By working with local youth organisations and schools, more than a 100 young people will access paddle boarding and cycling opportunities while receiving accredited qualifications. Some of the participants will be encouraged to continue their development through volunteering, coaching and be supported into employment in the outdoor sector.

Claire Bryant, Outdoor Activities Development Officer Cumbria said: “This award will enable us to deliver development sessions in partnership with local providers. The development sessions will be based on paddle sport and outdoor activities, finishing with a first aid or safety course, ensuring young people can access the outdoors safely. A legacy will be left with a fleet of Stand-Up Paddle Boards (SUP) provided to Copeland Canoe Club, to enable them to continue people’s paddling experiences.”

“The project will support young people’s health and wellbeing, tackling the effects of loneliness and isolation through sport and physical activity. It will also help improve people’s mental health through access to green spaces and improve their confidence and self-esteem through outdoor activities. We are delighted to be able to support young people across the coastal Cumbria area.”

Cockermouth Rugby Union Football Club received £2,674 to develop young people into junior sports coaches. Over the course of an academic year, 10 young people from Cockermouth School will access training, development and volunteering opportunities. They will help deliver sporting sessions to younger children and be supported to volunteer at local clubs and organisations.

Chris Wright, Head Coach at Cockermouth Rugby Union Football Club, said: “Our Elite star programme is designed to support and encourage young people to develop their leadership skills and volunteer in their community. The young people will be recruited  will look to develop self-confidence, organisational skills, coaching skills and event management.

“Head of PE at Cockermouth School, Mr Charters was pleased to support the programme due to their current sport leaders missing out on so much due to the pandemic. This will be a great opportunity for young people to build their CVS, networks and employability in the future.”

The generous fund holder said: “After a very tough year of lockdowns, disrupted education and outdoor activities, we are really keen to support young people getting back on their feet and for the fund to offer opportunities for personal development.”

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.

For more information on the fund, visit: or contact Annalee Holliday on or 01900 820827.

Good causes in West Cumbria receive £370,000 to support local communities

Cumbria Community Foundation is continuing to support community groups in West Cumbria through grants worth almost £370,000.

44 charitable organisations received a share of the funds at its recent West Cumbria Grants Committee. The money came from funds set up by local people and businesses including Lord Egremont, CCL Secure, LLWR, Shepley Group and Sellafield Ltd.

2 individuals also received grants to support their career development through educational grants.

Helping to improve digital connectivity, Isel Valley Community Partnership CIC received £15,000 from the Tallentire Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund to bring fibre broadband to rural homes in the Blindcrake area.

David Roberts from the partnership said: “Our partnership was set up to facilitate the roll out of full fibre broadband in the Isel Valley which is presently served by poor telephone and internet services. Government grants fall well short of the overall cost, so together with the work of volunteers, the substantial grant from Cumbria Community Foundation will go a long way in bridging the funding gap. This grant means that our project has every chance of a successful outcome for the benefit of the residents in what is officially considered a remote and hard to reach rural area.”

New charitable organisation, BEE UNIQUE, based in Flimby, was set up to support families with autistic children. It received £2,000 from the CCL Secure Community Fund and the Shepley Group Fund to purchase sensory and tactile play equipment for community events. Founders, Nadia Shaw and Dave Parsons, said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received to date and it has allowed us to purchase the equipment to hold small events for a single family at a time during COVID restrictions, but the grant allows us to grow along with the easing of the lockdown and cater for more families.”

Other organisations to receive funding included Allerdale Disability Association. It received £8,618 from the Pappagallino Fund to support people with multiple disabilities. Meals on Wheels (Cumbria) received £2,000 from the Beeby Family Fund to support older people in the Wigton area by supplying them with nourishing meals.

There was also another boost for secondary schools in Allerdale. £98,000 from the Mary Grave Trust Fund, Beverley Charitable Trust Fund and Live the Dream Fund was awarded to help disadvantage students have access to laptops to help with their studies.

Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants, Programmes & Communications Officer, said: “There are many worthy organisations in West Cumbria that hold communities together. This is a great example of how philanthropy is helping local people and helping our communities to thrive. We are grateful for the continued support of all our fund holders.”

VACANCY – Development Assistant

Would you like to be part of our team?

Cumbria Community Foundation addresses disadvantage across the county by encouraging philanthropy from a wide range of public, corporate and individual supporters, and making life-changing grants with the income. We have ambitious targets for growing our income and the Development Team is responsible for this.

The Development Assistant role underpins the work of the team by undertaking research and project work, managing data, running online and in-person events, and providing information and practical support to staff and trustees.

Download the  Job Description and Application Form. For an informal discussion about the role, contact Jacqui Currie on 01900 820820. Our offices are in Dovenby near Cockermouth, but the role is currently home-based due to COVID-19 restrictions.

37.5 hours. £21K – £25K depending on skills and experience.

Closing date is midnight Sunday 18th April 2021. Interviews commence week beginning 26 April 2021.

New High Sheriff of Cumbria aims to promote opportunities for Cumbria’s youngsters

A West Cumbrian businessman has been royally appointed to be this year’s High Sheriff of Cumbria.

David Beeby was appointed as Cumbria’s new High Sheriff at a virtual declaration ceremony held on 31st March. He succeeds Julie Barton in the ceremonial role.

David was born and brought up in Nottinghamshire where his family has farmed for more than 150 years. The youngest of five, David “grew up aspiring to be Robin Hood and not the Sheriff!”

He qualified as a Chartered Accountant before moving into industry. In 1987 he and his young family relocated to Cumbria when he was offered the role to run what was then called Smith Brothers in Whitehaven.

From 2004, until he retired in 2015, David was CEO of the Innovia Group based in Wigton. Before retiring, he proudly signed the contracts for the polymer substrate supply to the Bank of England and significant new investment in the Wigton site.

David said: “Alongside my business career I have been involved in several charitable roles including Chair of The Princes Trust in Cumbria and member of the management committee at Calvert Trust. I am currently Chair of Trustees of Cumbria Community Foundation and Chair of Cumbria CBI. I am also involved in working with a small number of companies.”

He plans to use his year in office to highlight and encourage opportunities for young people to advance, be confident, committed and community-minded.

“My theme for the year is ‘Better Tomorrows’ – I have selected that theme because very simply I would hope that all we do every day is about improving the foundations of Cumbria to create better tomorrows for all Cumbrians. While this is a generic ambition for everything that goes on in Cumbria, I am particularly concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the younger generation. We all recognise this has had a negative impact on their education despite the best effort of educators and parents. Additionally, due to the inevitable damage to the economy over the last year, there will be limitations to opportunities in some career areas and impact on life choices.

“It is for this reason that, while I will seek to support all the fantastic work that goes on in Cumbria, I will place particular emphasis on the opportunities for young people. I hope to highlight, support and encourage all those activities that can help young people to develop the life skills to be good, successful, fulfilled and law-abiding citizens.”

The origins of the Office date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county, and for the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown. Today, there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales each year.

While the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today. Many High Sheriffs also assist Community Foundations and local charities working with vulnerable and other people both in endorsing and helping to raise the profile of their valuable work.

To find out more about the High Sheriff of Cumbria, visit

Funding to help community groups use sport to support young people

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on young people. That’s why Cumbria Community Foundation has teamed up with Made By Sport to create something which will have a positive impact on their future.

From 12th April, the Made By Sport #ClubsInCrisis Fund, supported by the Cash4Clubs scheme, will open to funding applications from community organisations and sports clubs across Cumbria.

The fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, is offering unrestricted grants of £2,021 to groups with an annual income of less than £75,000 that use sport as a vehicle for social good and enable young people aged 5-25 to develop a range of skills and knowledge that bring a benefit to not only them but also to their local community.

Made By Sport is a charity that raises awareness of the power of sport and funding for organisations that use sport to support young people across the UK. The ‘Clubs In Crisis’ fund is part of a wider campaign that believes sport is the best vehicle for creating societal change for young people across a myriad of challenges they face in the modern world.

Sophie Mason, CEO at Made By Sport, said: “While community sport provision is in a precarious state right now, there has never been more recognition that sport is fundamental to our individual, community and societal development. If sport at its most grassroots level is denied, we risk a huge rise in mental health issues, anti-social behaviour and lack of life skills that lead to better employment opportunities. We are delighted to be working with community foundations across the UK to make sure this support reaches the clubs that really need it.”

Ellen Clements, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “Sport is a vital tool to help young people develop and overcome social issues such as mental health, fight crime and anti-social behaviour, increase employment skills and pathways and to bring communities together.

“We know this money is needed now and that’s why we’re thrilled to support this fund alongside Made By Sport, the leading organisation that raises awareness of the power of sport and raises funds for sports clubs and organisations.”

If you would like to know more about the #ClubsInCrisis Fund, which opens for applications on 12th April, click here or contact Ellen Clements 01900 820824 or email