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Three West Cumbria charities receive major funding boost to help them in their work

Three West Cumbrian charities have received a share of over a quarter of a million pounds to continue to play a vital role in supporting local communities.

The money was awarded from the Bedrock Awards programme, part of Transforming West Cumbria, which was developed by Cumbria Community Foundation and funded by Sellafield Ltd, to build the resilience, capabilities and financial sustainability of charities and community organisations in West Cumbria.

Successful applicants completed a two-stage programme of tailored business support, which has been delivered via the Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership (CSEP) and its partner Social Enterprise Acumen CIC (SEA). SEA has worked with the beneficiaries and bespoke strategies have been created. This has enabled the release of funding to help them plan-ahead and provide opportunities to invest in their business development. The funding is intended to deliver long-term benefit to each organisation, resulting in an increased ability to help a greater number of people more effectively and a more resilient organisation.

Kate Welch of SEA said “It’s a real pleasure working with CSEP and the Foundation to help build the capacity and resilience of the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in west Cumbria. The organisations we are working with play vital roles in supporting some of the areas most vulnerable people, and the Bedrock Awards will really help these organisations strengthen their offer.”

Age UK West Cumbria, Cumbria Youth Alliance and Together We CIC received the good news last week.

Jane Mindar, Chief Executive at Age UK West Cumbria said: “We are delighted to have received £89,000 to launch our CommuniTEA service, which is a response to the lack of low-level support for older people in the region. A key focus of our charity is to enable older people to remain independent and enjoy the best quality of life possible – and we believe that CommuniTEA supported by this grant will enable us to fulfil this charitable aim and help transform the lives of older people in West Cumbria.”

Providing free one-to-one and small group psychological interventions as well as family support services in West Cumbria, Together We CIC received £80,815.

Janine Ward, Managing Director, said: “This funding will further strengthen our business base and build our self-efficacy. It will enable us to recruit two new posts; a much-needed business manager to help us manage contracts and grants and to generate commercial income, alongside improving our fundraising strategy. In addition, a volunteer manager will enable us to manage the many volunteers we rely on to run our services and develop this much-needed pathway to encourage clients to become volunteers.

“We’ll also streamline our website into a user accessible format, making it easier for clients to refer and get the support and help they need.”

Cumbria Youth Alliance, which provides support to hundreds of youth organisations and helps young people to reach their full potential, received £85,000 to build the quality and capacity of West Cumbria’s youth sector.

Becky Wolstenholme, Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am delighted that this funding will provide investment for the future and will certainly make a difference to the lives of many young people. The funding will be used to improve our staffing structure and the implementation of becoming a registered training centre.”

Bedrock Awards is delivered by Cumbria Community Foundation, in partnership with Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership and Social Enterprise Acumen.

Dr Jenny Benson, Director or Programmes & Partnerships at the Foundation, said: “Bedrock Awards is a unique programme which helps Third Sector organisations in West Cumbria to plan for sustainability, development and growth via a deep analysis of opportunities for improvement. We are delighted that three organisations supported to date have progressed to Stage Two.”

Support is also available to community groups in West Cumbria via Bedrock Basics, delivered by Cumbria CVS. It offers training and development opportunities on an individual and group basis and to date has benefited more than 100 organisations. For more information, contact Bridget Johns on 01768 800350 or Gordon Henry

Funding available & volunteers needed for community benefit fund

Community organisations and partnerships within the parishes Bridekirk, Blindcrake, Gilcrux, and Plumbland are being encouraged to apply for grant funding.

The Tallentire Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, established by RES, is held and administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, a charitable body with grant making expertise, that processes grant application and supports a local Advisory Panel to make decisions on grant awards.

Over the last seven years, community causes near to the Tallentire Wind Farm have received a share of more than £370,000 in grants.

Grants, which range from £450 to £60,000, have supported a wide range of costs and activities, such as equipment, running costs for local groups, staff or sessional worker costs, consultations, maintenance or refurbishment of community facilities.

The Advisory Panel is also looking to recruit new members and the Foundation is encouraging people who live in the local area to be part of the decision-making process.

The role of the panel is to advise on grant applications, and it usually meets at twice a year. Training will be provided and members will have the opportunity to meet funded groups.

Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at the Foundation, said: “The fund provides a valuable, long term, sustainable and reliable source of income for local communities.

“We like to involve as many local people as possible when making grants, ensuring our awards reflect the local needs of each community. This is a great opportunity for people to become involved with our grant process.

“If you are interested in becoming a member, please complete the simple application form, here and return it by 28th February 2022 to or call 01900 825760 if you have any queries.”

Applications for grant funding must be received by 25th February 2022. For more information on the Tallentire Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund or to apply online, please visit or email

Cumbria Voices Carbon Zezo Event

Grants available for community art projects

Artistic projects in parts of Cumbria are being encouraged to apply for funding to help rejuvenate the arts sector after lockdown.

The Westmorland Arts Trust, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, supports charitable projects that benefit residents in the former county of Westmorland, giving them access to the highest quality music, drama and the visual arts.

Grants of up to £2,000 are available to offer creative and cultural activities for people, particularly young adults and children, in the former county of Westmorland.

Funding will cover the costs of organising events, including volunteer expenses, artist fees and marketing costs and promotion. The fund is open to voluntary and community organisations that have charitable aims and have professional input.

Last year, Lake District Summer Music received £1,000 to support its summer festival in venues across Cumbria including Kendal, Ambleside, Hawkshead, Grange-over-Sands, Bowness, Windermere and Kirkby Lonsdale.

Nick Hardisty, Festival Manager, said: “After so many months of enforced isolation, people really needed something to lift their spirits and help them reconnect with the community.

“To bring music back and see the smiling faces from our audience, it was clear how much it meant to everyone to experience live performances again. It was a year full of uncertainty and we could not have done it without the support of Westmorland Arts Trust.”

Previous grant recipients include Bendrigg Trust in Kendal, one of the few specialist outdoor centres in the UK working specifically with disabled and disadvantaged people. It received £1,628 to run its Arty Pants project and give disabled youngsters the chance to experience the arts, find hidden talents and develop creative skills.

The Westmorland Arts Trust was set up in 1996 by the provisions in the will of Dr Elizabeth Kemp, for the purpose of the education of the public in the arts of music, drama and the visual arts. In 2012, it was transferred to the Community Foundation.

Ellen Clements, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at the Foundation, said: “Since 2012, almost £100,000 has benefited communities in the local area, supporting over 70 projects. These include festivals, music groups and arts activities, helping to strengthen cultural involvement and opportunities in the area.”

For more information or to apply click here or call Ellen Clements on 01900 820827 or email

Grant funding gives boost to community projects

Community projects near to the Hellrigg Wind Farm have received a share of £18,000.

The Windfarm, operated by RWE Renewables has been helping to transform its local communities through the Hellrigg Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund for over 10 years. The fund is managed by Cumbria Community Foundation and supports community-related, environmental and educational activities run by volunteer-led and community groups that benefit the parishes of Silloth-on-Solway, Holme St Cuthbert’s, Holme Low, and Holme Abbey.

Silloth-on-Solway Town Council received £5,000 for Silloth Green’s Changing Place project, which will provide accessible toilets for the local community and visitors.

Cllr. Carol Doran, Chair of the Accessibility Committee said: “This is brilliant news for Silloth and shows how important this facility is, offering those with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy with confidence the town and indeed the Green. The Accessibility Committee is delighted to know that they are supported in this endeavour by Cumbria Community Foundation.”

Changing Places are more than a standard accessible toilet, they offer additional specialist equipment that meets the needs of people with profound and complex disabilities who cannot use the toilet independently. A Changing Places toilet can give new-found freedom as hose with disabilities can stay away from home longer, knowing that they can visit a safe, hygienic bathroom.

Holme Low Parish Projects Group received £10,000 to support the renovation of the old waiting room at Causewayhead Cemetery. There have been complaints from members of the public about the poor condition of the building, which has been allowed to fall into disrepair in recent years and about the lack of any toilet facilities and adequate water supply. The project will restore the former waiting room building, provide accessible toilet facilities and a water supply for people putting flowers on the graves of their loved ones.

Duncan Findlay, Project Group Chairman, said: “On behalf of the project group I would like to thank Hellrigg Wind Farm for the support. Details about the project can be seen on our website”

Two further projects also received a financial boost. Silloth Youth Club received £3,000 to provide activities for its young members and Holme St Cuthbert Community Group received £300 to make improvements to Newtown pond.

All applications are reviewed by an advisory panel made up of local people.

Wendy Jameson, said: “As an Advisory Panel member since 2012, I can honestly say these grants have made a big difference to a lot of groups in the local area and to their projects, from the very small to the more substantial, which have brought real benefits to our local community, at a grassroots level. When funding can be difficult to secure, Cumbria Community Foundation have helped to make the process much less daunting and I would encourage groups to come forward and apply.”

Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at the Foundation, said: “Since 2012, more than £180,000 has benefited communities in the local area, supporting over 60 projects. These include maintaining and upgrading village halls, improving access to facilities, providing vital funds to cover running costs for community groups, supporting projects that add value to public services and much more.”

For more information or to apply for a grant, please click here or call Annalee Holliday on 01900 820827 or email 

Sellafield invests £1.8m to transform community mental health support  

A new partnership designed to revolutionise mental health provision in west Cumbria has been launched.

The West Cumbria Mental Health Partnership is part of a £1.8m investment by Sellafield Ltd’s Social Impact Multiplied (SIX) programme.

It will operate under the Transforming West Cumbria programme, led by Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF.)

The announcement coincides with Blue Monday (17th January), thought to be the most depressing day of the year, to highlight the importance of communication and community in combatting mental health concerns.

The partnership aims to create a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to community mental health provision in Allerdale and Copeland.

It was launched in response to the closure of Mind West Cumbria in 2019.

That left a void in community support for people experiencing mental health issues.

Sellafield stepped in to support a short-term solution, funding one-to-one and group support services.

Working with the Foundation, the focus soon switched to creating a long-term sustainable model and the new partnership was born.

It built on work already started by the Foundation to encourage mental health providers to work together while identifying and addressing gaps in provision.

As well as providing much-needed funding, the partnership will support community organisations to improve their resilience, capability, and financial sustainability.

The partnership has launched a website which provides details of mental health and wellbeing support available in west Cumbria and allows users to choose the right provider for them.

Four initial programmes have been established by the partnership, each led by a strategic partner.

They are:

Adult mental health, led by Groundwork NE & Cumbria

Delivery partners:
• Together We
• iCan
• Healthy Hopes
• Always Another Way
• Mental Health North West
• Mind in Furness
• Cumbria Youth Alliance.

Services include: talking therapies; counselling; fitness and exercise support; drop-in support groups; alternative and complementary therapies and coping strategies; walking for wellness; and fun activity sessions.

Youth mental health, led by Cumbria Youth Alliance

Delivery partners:
• Together We
• Spiral
• Always Another Way
• iCan Health and Fitness

Services include: talk support; bullying support; body image, gaming, gambling, and addiction support, support for LGBTQ community, health and fitness.

Financial wellbeing, led by Citizens Advice

Delivery partners:
• Copeland Citizens Advice
• Allerdale Citizens Advice

Services include: crisis response; and general financial advice and support.

Recovery College, led by Together We

Delivery partners:
• Mental Health North West
• Happy Mums
• iCan Health & Fitness
• Blue Jam
• Always Another Way
• Every Life Matters
• Home to Work
• Multicultural Cumbria
• Outreach Cumbria
• Newton Rigg College

Services include: courses and workshops to help people develop coping strategies and mental health symptom management. For more information, visit:

The partnership is also funding a suicide prevention project via Every Life Matters

Gary McKeating, head of community and development for Sellafield Ltd, said: “Poor mental health is an issue that can affect all of us. Ensuring high quality services are available for our workforce and our community is incredibly important to us.

“We’re fortunate to have such a diverse range of community-based support available in west Cumbria but provision was patchy and in need of co-ordination following the closure of Mind West Cumbria.

“That’s what the partnership is all about: building a strong platform so organisations can collaborate, develop their skills, and thrive in the long term.

“This will be a game-changer for mental health provision in west Cumbria.”

Annalee Holliday, senior grants, programmes, and communications officer for CCF, said: “The closure of Mind West Cumbria highlighted the fragility of organisations delivering such critical services.

“We were pleased to work with Sellafield to address this through the development of the West Cumbria Mental Health Partnership.

“The launch couldn’t be more timely as demand for support in west Cumbria continues to grow and statutory mental health services are stretched to capacity.”

Tamsin Beattie, West Cumbria Mental Health Partnership lead for Groundwork NE & Cumbria, said: “We’re delighted to be leading the adult mental health programme. The funding will allow us to deliver far more high quality support services to people in west Cumbria than we have ever had in the past.

“We’re aiming to support a minimum of 2,000 people over the three-year programme, although we expect we’ll be able to support many more.

“Together we’re determined to make a positive difference to the lives of as many people as we can.”