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

27th January 2022

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