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A further £90,000 awarded from the NHS to support Cumbrians with their mental health

A charitable fund has invested more funding into third sector organisations responding to an increase in people struggling to cope.

The NHS Psychological Support Fund was set up by the NHS in north Cumbria and Cumbria County Council and is held by Cumbria Community Foundation. A further £90,612 has been awarded to four charities that are tackling the impact of anxiety, domestic abuse, and addictive behaviour, which have become more prevalent during the pandemic.

This comes at the most appropriate time as lockdown restrictions ease and, for many people, anxiety levels rise.

West Cumbria Domestic Violence received £24,480 to help reduce waiting times for its counselling service for victims of domestic abuse, which provides psychological, emotional and wellbeing support in West Cumbria

Victoria Pike, Trainee Project Manager West, said: “COVID-19 has presented many challenges for us all and continues to impact family dynamics for a lot of people. During the past 12 months, there has been a 40% increase in monthly referrals going from 25 on average in 2019/2020 to 35 in 2020/2021 and our helpline has had an overall 30% increase in calls.

“We currently have a waiting list of 134 people that have asked for help due to domestic and sexual abuse, and these referrals are not slowing down. The grant will allow us to increase counselling hours to help reduce our waiting list and the distress experienced by our clients. This will give survivors of abuse the support they very much need, let them know they are not alone and help them deal with the trauma they have experienced, enabling them to move onto a safer, happier future for themselves and their children.”

iCan Health & Fitness, based in Carlisle, received £16,400 for its wellbeing and mental health support podcasts. Jenna Sutherland, WeCan Wellbeing Co-ordinator & Development Manager, said: “We are thrilled to hear that we are receiving a grant to deliver Series 2 of our podcasts!

“Series 1 has so far received over 1,500 downloads and included local experts in health and wellbeing as well as those who shared their very personal lived experience. The feedback we had was incredible and we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of listeners who have felt comfort and reassurance from hearing local people talk about mental health so openly and honestly.

“We are honoured to be able to put together another series and will record another 12 episodes over the next year which will be full of helpful real life and raw conversations with local people. Series 1 is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify by searching WeCan Cumbria.”

Cumbria Alcohol and Drugs Advisory Service (Cadas) received £24,987 to support members of the community whose mental health has been negatively affected by their own or someone else’s harmful substance use or other problematic addictive behaviour, such as gambling.

Together We received £24,754 for its Together We Talk project which provides free one-to-one and small group psychological interventions as well as family support services to people aged 11 and upwards in West Cumbria.

Peter Rooney, Chief Operating Officer for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know organisations close to our community can have a huge impact for people living in north Cumbria and we are delighted to support these groups. The challenges of the pandemic and lockdown have affected us all but have hit some people much harder than others. It is important we are able to support specialist help close to home like this.”

So far, 14 groups have already received funding from the NHS Psychological Support Fund. Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants, Programmes said: “The effects on people’s mental health and wellbeing, particularly general anxiety and isolation have increased during the pandemic and can have a debilitating effect on a person’s daily functioning and long-term mental health. We want to reduce the impact of this pandemic by providing grant funding to groups offering mental health support and emotional wellbeing services in North Cumbria.”

The fund can be accessed by third sector organisations in north Cumbria supporting people with anxiety and isolation and other mental health issues. Groups in the Carlisle and Eden area are particularly encouraged to apply.

For more information, click here or call 01900 825760.

Funding to support suicide and self-harm prevention across north Cumbria

A fund established to help communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic has received a welcome boost.

The North East and North Cumbria Mental Health Integrated Care Systems (ICS) has provided additional funding to help enhance suicide and self-harm prevention work across north Cumbrian communities.

The NE&NC Suicide Prevention Network has allocated additional funding to support organisations and community groups that within communities to reach isolated and vulnerable people and groups within our communities.

Katherine McGleenan, Suicide Prevention Lead across North East and North Cumbria, said: “We are pleased to be in a position to be able to offer further funding for projects supporting vulnerable people across North Cumbria. We hope this will help organisations continue to provide vital support, information and training on suicide and self-harm prevention so that we can continue to raise awareness, reduce the stigma and ensure people know how to access help if they need to.”

The money has been donated to the Cumbria COVID-19 Response Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation. The charity has so far awarded more than £3m in grants to community groups to help the county respond and recover from the pandemic.

Charitable organisations can apply for up to £35,000 to deliver:
• focused prevention – raising awareness, campaigns, resources, training
• targeted preventions – community action, training, campaigns
• crisis interventions and recovery phase interventions – focused community support.

Andy Beeforth, CEO at Cumbria Community Foundation said: “Any death by suicide is one too many and now more than ever we need to be able to provide fresh and creative ways to provide advice and support. Thanks to this additional donation, voluntary organisations will be able to increase their support to avoid many people getting to crisis point, where they feel there is no other option.”

For groups wanting to enquire about funding, they should click here or contact the grants team:

Brewin Dolphin

This year, Brewin Dolphin will support James Golding who will attempt to beat the World Record for the number of kilometres cycled in 7 days. James plans to cycle 4000km and each of Brewin Dolphin’s offices will be taking part in their own distance challenges to raise money for their chosen charity.

Brewin Dolphin have an extensive history of supporting many charities through its local offices and Cumbria Community Foundation. The Penrith team were challenged to see how many miles they could accrue by walking, running, cycling, swimming between 21st June – 28th June 2021, to raise funds for Cumbria Community Foundation. The team raised £500 which has been matched by Brewin Dolphin Foundation Fund totalling £1,060 (with gift aid) for Cumbria Community Foundation.

Andrew Eze BA(Hons) MA FCSI, Divisional Director – Head of Office Penrith, Brewi

n Dolphin Ltd said: “The team at Brewin Dolphin in Penrith are very proud to help raise funds. In the aftermath of COVID-19, the targeted help provided by Cumbria Community Foundation has never been needed more. The seven day challenge has been a great reason to get out and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District. Much more importantly, it has allowed Brewin Dolphin to raise funds for Cumbria Community foundation and the very valuable work it does in helping so many good causes in our county.” 

Cumbria Voices: Hear from world class business in Cumbria

Cumbria may be best known for its stunning lakes and mountains, but it is also home to world class businesses working across a number of sectors.

Cumbria Community Foundation is inviting people to find out more about these businesses at an online event ‘Cumbria Voices: Aspiration and Excellence: World class business in Cumbria’ on Thursday 15th July at 6pm.

The event is being hosted by the Foundation’s Cumbria Club as part of the Cumbria Voices campaign and is the first in a series of events being held in partnership with Armstrong Watson. Cumbria Voices will give an opportunity for different facets of Cumbria to be showcased to people both within and outside the county, and future events will focus on the art that our beautiful landscapes have inspired, the environment that we all enjoy, and the foods that our county is famous for producing.

On 15th July, we will hear from leading figures of businesses who have grown and made their home in Cumbria, including Martin Rayner from Lakeland Ltd, Matt Mellor from Createc, and Phil Wild from James Cropper Plc, alongside Sue Green from social enterprise The Oaklea Trust and Jo Lappin from Cumbria’s Local Enterprise Partnership.

Andy Beeforth, CEO of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We founded the Cumbria Club with Lord Bragg’s support in 2020 to showcase all things Cumbria to everyone who has an interest in sustaining our Cumbrian communities. We are delighted to bring together for our first Cumbria Voices event some of the leading figures from Cumbria’s business world to explore the themes of aspiration and excellence, and we are grateful to Armstrong Watson for their partnership.”

Accountants, business and financial advisory firm, Armstrong Watson, has supported and advised businesses in Cumbria for more than 150 years. With the origins of the firm in Carlisle, it has expanded over the years to 17 regional offices across the north of England and Scotland, including six across the county.

Stephen McCullough, Partner and Head of Marketing and Business Development, said: “We are delighted to support the Cumbria Voices events which will help to highlight the wealth of homegrown activity in Cumbria, be that in business, the arts and culture, alongside supporting the environment and natural heritage the county is well known for. We’re well aware of many of the world-class businesses Cumbria has to offer and we look forward to interesting and lively presentations and debate from Cumbria Voices both inside and outside our beautiful county.”

To find out more about this event and to register to attend, click here or email

The Cumbria Club is open to individuals and families who live both inside and outside the county. Membership presents an opportunity to engage with others who have an interest in the county, including the landscape, communities, culture, environment, economy, and history. To find out more about the Cumbria Club, click here.

Furness: Opportunities and Challenges 2021

A major report examining all aspects of life for people in Furness has been published last week.

‘Furness: Opportunities and Challenges 2021’ has been commissioned by the charity Cumbria Community Foundation as a guide to what needs to be done to improve lives, and how to help attract funding to the area.

More than 100 hours of research went into its production, which uncovered some startling statistics:

  • Life expectancy for a boy born in parts of High Furness is 84 while for a boy from certain wards in Barrow it is only 72.
  • 29% of people live in areas classed as among the 20% most deprived in England and 1 in 5 live alone.
  • Almost 1 in 4 adults have no qualifications

Against those stark figures, the report found many positives. People in Furness are substantially happier with their area than the national average, and that Barrow is the second most affordable place to live in Britain.

Cumbria Community Foundation Chief Executive Andy Beeforth said: “We produced a similar report for West Cumbria, which resulted in a new transformative programme being developed, funding partnerships that address family wellbeing, financial literacy and young people and enterprise.

“The report has been created with the backing of all local councils, a number of business leaders, BAE and charitable funders, and all are committed to positive change for people of the area.”

Furness MP Simon Fell was one of around 100 people to attend an online launch event this week and praised its scope.

“The report shows poverty and prosperity rubbing together side by side,” he said, adding: “It is a tremendous piece of writing and will give me the tools I need to go into Government and speak to ministers to press for more support.”

The report looks at everything from health and unemployment to education and housing, and speaks to people in the public, private and third sectors, from local government to film making to drug treatment.

The impact of the pandemic is covered but is far from the main focus which takes in a wider look at Furness and what the future holds for the region.

The report highlights the often extreme contrasts in Furness, from the fells of South Lakeland to the expanse of Morecambe Bay, the highly-skilled jobs at Barrow’s main employer BAE Systems to the pockets of acute deprivation just streets away.

The next generation feature too, with the views of more than 250 schoolchildren sought in a survey which asked them what they thought about the place where they lived.

Asked to describe it in five words, the overwhelming majority chose positive terms, including ‘beautiful’, ‘peaceful’, ‘friendly’, and ‘safe’.

One girl said: “I want to stay here when I grow up because my family are here. I want to be by the sea with my family and friends. Being with the people I love makes me happy.”

In his foreword, Tony Keen, MD of SN Group, writes: “Now we have a document which gives us focus and direction to help make the changes the area needs.”

Furness: Opportunities and Challenges 2021 click here.