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Community Fund launched by Lakeland

Communities across South Cumbria will benefit to the tune of £50,000 this year thanks to the generosity of local family-owned business, Lakeland.

Charitable and not-for-profit organisations that improve the health and wellbeing of local people, and projects that protect the environment, can apply for a share of the funding provided by the kitchen and homeware retailer.

The creation of the myLakeland Fund, in partnership with Cumbria Community Foundation, allows Lakeland to expand its reach into local communities and show its gratitude and ongoing support for the Cumbrian community where the business was founded more than 50 years ago.

The experts in cooking, baking, cleaning and the home, Lakeland created the fund to give grants to charitable organisations that improve the health and wellbeing of local people and projects that protect the environment.

Priority will be given to community-led projects in or around Windermere, Kendal and South Lakeland, those that support young people, and organisations that have minimal opportunity for raising funds or are helping to address new or emerging needs.

A total of £50,000 is available from the fund and grants will normally be in the region of £5,000 to £15,000.

Fran Wilkinson, Head of Loyalty at Lakeland, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be launching the myLakeland fund in partnership with Cumbria Community Foundation. Whilst Lakeland is now a national retailer, we were founded here in the heart of the Lake District, where our Head Office, Flagship Store and Distribution Centre remain to this day, and it’s important to us that we give back to the local community that has supported us. With the help of our myLakeland members, we’ve been able to commit £50,000 of support to local charities and not-for-profit organisations right here in South Lakeland and we’re looking forward to seeing the funds being distributed to those in need.”

Cumbria Community Foundation has been building philanthropic support for communities and grassroots groups for 22 years. In that time, working with individual donors and businesses, it has invested more than £56 million into local communities.

Sarah Thompson, Grants & Programmes Officer at the Foundation, said: “Lakeland have been supporters of our work for many years and we are delighted that they have decided to set up a fund allowing us to help the company distribute their charitable giving to community projects. They share our values and passion for strengthening communities in Cumbria.

“This new partnership and additional funding is a great boost and means we can continue to support local community groups and initiatives that make a big difference to the lives of those in genuine need.”

To apply for funding, visit  contact Sarah Thompson via or on 01900 825760 to check eligibility.

NHS fund to involve the third sector in improving mental health services

Almost £250,000 is being made available for community organisations in north Cumbria to support people with severe mental illness.

Third sector groups are being encouraged to apply for grant funding to help people with severe mental illness gain better access services and support. The money from the NHS has been made available to support people to improve and stay well in the community.

The NHS Community Mental Health Transformation Programme was set up by NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to improve the health needs of adults with severe mental illness (SMI) in north Cumbria.

Almost a quarter of a million pounds is being made available and the funding is managed by Cumbria Community Foundation in three separate funds.

The Healthier Lifestyles Fund will specifically support interventions that target health risks such as smoking, obesity, and frailty, and focused on meeting both the physical and psychological needs of people.

The Positive Changes Fund will help people who often face challenges to access services easily. It will support groups such as LGBTQ+, refugees, veterans, ethnically diverse people and the gypsy, roma, traveller community engage with statutory and community mental health services and to develop community support plans.

A third fund targeting those with eating disorders is in development.

Cumbria Community Foundation will host the fund from the Community Mental Health Transformation Project to provide grants to the third sector, in order to help people with SMI live well in their communities. Organisations applying on their own can apply for up to £25,000 and partnership bids can apply for up to £75,000. The closing date for applications is 6th May 2022.

Peter Rooney, Chief Operating Officer at NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know that the third sector in North Cumbria already provides valuable support for people with serious mental illness and supports them to connect with formal services. These new grants will help organisations to support people to access a range of health services and improvements in their wellbeing.

“We have been working with Cumbria Community Foundation in this way for a while and we know the impact these grants can have on people living here in north Cumbria.”

Dr Jenny Benson, Director of Programmes & Partnerships Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “The grant supports our key aim to tackle health inequalities and create healthier communities through place-based partnerships that can make a genuine difference to people across our region.

“As a Community Foundation, we are delighted to ensure this funding reaches where it is most needed. It will help tackle health inequalities, improve people’s mental health and wellbeing, and offer specialist support to people.”

Applicants interested in applying should contact Sarah Thompson, Grants & Programmes Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation or visit for more information.

Further funds are being planned.

Cumbria Community Foundation awards £42,000 to 8 community and voluntary organisations from the arts council’s let’s create jubilee fund

Cumbria Community Foundation has announced eight grants totalling £42,000 to voluntary and community organisations in Cumbria from the Arts Council England’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund.

The Let’s Create Jubilee Fund will ensure that thousands of people from communities all across England will have the opportunity to take part in exciting creative events – all in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee. From puppetry and story creation, through to making crowns, carnival and art trails, there will be a huge range of exciting activities for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in.

Made possible thanks to National Lottery players, the Let’s Create Jubilee Fund has been administered by UK Community Foundations on behalf of Arts Council England. The programme is designed to help voluntary and community organisations develop creative and cultural events to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June.

Cumbria Community Foundation is one of 44 community foundations awarding grants across the country on behalf of the Arts Council.

Young people from the South Whitehaven Youth Partnership will work with community members, the local church and Rosehill Theatre to create a free cultural festival, which will bring the communities of Kells, Woodhouse and Greenbank together on Thursday 2nd June.

Jacqueline Cardy, Development Worker said: “I am really looking forward to the Jubilee celebration event, young people are working hard to ensure it offers a variety of fun activities. Our partnership with Rosehill Theatre will offer cultural experience right on the doorstep for those living in Kells, Woodhouse, Greenbank and we will be asking local groups to come along and showcase their talents.”

Kirkby Lonsdale & Lune Valley CIC is planning a full weekend of events between Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June. There will be music and dance performances in Market Square, including a new dance commission, free dance workshops at St Mary’s Church and a showing of Ludus Dance’s Miss Baines for members of the local charity Community Cupboard.

Jayne Davies, Project Manager and Freelance Creative Practitioner said: “Queen Elizabeth II has witnessed innumerable changes including dramatic shifts in music and dance styles; from 50s rock and roll, through 70s disco all the way to today’s TikTok dance challenges. We want to celebrate every decade of her reign and give our community a chance to come together and create. After two years of lockdown, it’s time to dust off your dancing shoes and celebrate, Dancing Through The Decades has something for everyone.”

In Maryport, Ewanrigg’s Jubilation Celebration is a free family fun day where local residents can come together and celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee Year. Ragged Edge Productions are working with local community groups to develop an interactive audio story trail which will be available for local residents to enjoy on the day. Other free activities include giant inflatables, children’s activities, and a cream tea. The event takes place on the field next to Ewanrigg Community Centre on Wednesday 1 June from 1pm – 5pm. The event is delivered by Ewanrigg & Netherton Tenants & Residents’ Association, Ewanrigg Local Trust and Home Group.

Sharon Barnes, Chair of Ewanrigg Local Trust and ENTRA, said: “Our band of willing volunteers are already ‘putting the flags out’ and encouraging everyone to join in and celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. We’ll be running activity sessions in the run up to the big day. The funding will enable us to provide activities for free, which means everyone has the chance to participate. We have all really missed being able to meet socially during lockdown and this is a fantastic opportunity for us all to get out of our houses and enjoy an outdoor day of fun – together!”

Stanwix Community Association in Carlisle is running a series of community workshops to create artwork that will be displayed as an outside gallery within Stanwix to celebrate the Queens Platinum jubilee.

Pamela McCall, Booking Manager at Stanwix Community Association, said: ‘We are working with a local artist to create exciting artwork with local children and families in the run up to the Jubilee that will be exhibited within our local community. We are really looking forward to getting started on this exciting project to celebrate this historic occasion.”

CANDOFM community radio station, Barrow BID and Barra Culture, and local business will be hosting the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations in Barrow Town Centre on Saturday 4th June.

Jonny Williams, Manager of the Station, said: “A live stage with tribute and local performers representing popular music from all the decades of the Queen’s reign will provide a musical backdrop alongside choirs, a magician, caricaturist and street entertainers. There will also be lots of opportunities to gets hands on with creative activities such as a pop-up choir, drumming workshops, face painting, tie-dye activity, and much more.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive at Arts Council England said “The Let’s Create Jubilee Fund is a wonderful example of our ambition to give everyone the opportunity to participate in and experience the arts, culture and creativity – made possible thanks to National Lottery players. This June, we’ll see communities across England coming together to celebrate a historic milestone for this country. I’m excited to see these projects brought to life in villages, towns and cities across the country as our wonderfully creative communities celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.”

Andy Beeforth, CEO of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a unique opportunity for people to get together and celebrate in their communities. We are proud to have connected Arts Council England with local organisations whose imaginative and exciting projects and collaborations with professional artists will bring communities together to enjoy marking this milestone moment in our history.”

HM Queen Elizabeth II is the first monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, having overtaken Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch in 2015.  Her reign has been marked by a commitment to public service, reflected by her extensive programme of engagements at home and abroad, and support for over 600 cultural organisations, charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations.

For more information about events in your area please visit

Charities in West Cumbria supported via Bedrock Awards

Eight charitable groups in West Cumbria are planning for a sustainable future thanks to £880,000 of grant funding.

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.

Unlike a traditional grant, which would support “business as usual” or a new project, the Bedrock Awards is a two-stage programme that helps community groups plan for sustainability, development, and growth via a thorough analysis of opportunities for improvement.

The first round of awards has benefited critical organisations: Age UK West Cumbria, Cumbria Youth Alliance, Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service, Copeland Citizens Advice, Hospice at Home West Cumbria, Howgill Family Centre, Phoenix Enterprise Centre and Together We CIC.

Bedrock Awards enables organisations to explore new ways of working, including income generation, use of digital, collaboration, sharing resources and better management of community assets/premises while improving governance, building capacity and future proofing the organisation, through staff development, expert volunteer recruitment and clear succession planning.

One awardee said: “The Stage 1 Bedrock Award grant enabled us to increase staffing levels so we could commit time to the programme. It provided a breathing space that allowed us to fully commit to the process. However, grant or no grant, I would have taken part in the programme as I recognised the benefits of it. The grant just made it easier.”

Another commented: “The Stage 1 Bedrock Award process really helped bring the whole team on the transformational journey we are undertaking. We now have a much better understanding of the need to change, why and how.”

Sellafield Ltd understands the importance of organisational resilience and that often change is required at organisational level before resilience measures can be implemented or even engaged with. That’s why, further investment has been provided from the company’s social impact multiplied programme to run a second round of Bedrock Awards.

Tracey West, Social Impact Manager at Sellafield Ltd said: “The success from the first round of Bedrock has highlighted the need and the difference the project is making. The staged approach should help organisations to plan for the future and be more resilient so they can continue to offer the services that are so well received in our communities.

Bedrock Awards is delivered by Cumbria Community Foundation, in partnership with Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership (CSEP) and its partner Social Enterprise Acumen CIC (SEA).

Jenny Benson, Director of Programmes & Partnerships at the Foundation, said: “SEA has worked with each awardee 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.

The Bedrock Awards programme is now open for a second round of funding. Stage 1 applications should be submitted by 5pm, Thursday 5th May 2022. Click here for more information.

VACANCY – Learning & Evaluation Officer

Post: Learning & Evaluation Officer

We are one of the county’s leading grant makers, providing much needed financial support to local community groups and initiatives that make a big difference to the lives of those in genuine need. Our aim is to change people’s lives for the better through donations from individuals, companies, charitable trusts and statutory organisations.

If you’re passionate about purpose, then now is a good time to join us. We’re seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual with strong knowledge and experience of a range of analytical and evaluation techniques. This role will deepen our knowledge of Cumbria’s social and community issues and help us understand our impact for the benefit of everyone

Download the job description and application form. 

For an informal discussion about the role, contact Jenny Benson on 01900 825760.

Closing date is 9am Monday 16th May 2022

Interviews will take place on Friday 27th May 2022. A pre-interview task will be forwarded to those called for interview for completion in advance.