Every household in the UK is to get an energy bill discount of £400 this October with the poorest also getting a payment of £650 to help with the cost of living.
The announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been welcomed by Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation.
He said: “The Chancellor’s Statement today is to be welcomed and will make a difference to our poorest families, many having already been severely affected by the increase in the fuel cap and inflation.
“A combination of the one-off payment plus Universal Credit payments will total at least £1,200 and will provide a very welcome boost, although sadly we know the likely increase in the fuel cap in October will increase average household bills to nearly £3,000.
“This is without factoring in the impact of inflation on other household bills.
“So very sadly, this winter we will still see an increase in poverty, among families on low incomes, the vulnerable elderly and disabled people.
“The Government’s provision of universal payments of £400 recognises the impact on all households.
“What we do know is that there are some people whose circumstances mean they can afford the increased cost of living without affecting their quality of life.
“Therefore we will be asking those who can afford to help to donate to the Foundation’s Winter Warmth Fund which places money directly in the hands of our most vulnerable older people.”
The Winter Warmth Fund was launched in 2010 to help older people in danger of becoming ill or even dying because of the cold.
Donations are shared with vulnerable people who struggle to heat their homes, so they can stay warm and healthy during winter.
For details visit www.cumbriafoundation.org/winter-warmth-fund
More than £800,000 has been awarded to a range of good causes in Cumbria and the Borders, tackling a range of issues including homelessness, poverty and domestic violence.
More than 40 community organisations received a share of £793,000 and 14 people benefited from £11,270 to increase sporting, artistic and career achievement.
The money was awarded at Cumbria Community Foundation’s recent grants committee from funds set up by local people and businesses, including Thomas Graham & Sons and Shepley Group.
Helping to relieve loneliness and connect people in the community, Gateway Church in Kendal received £31,900 over three years.
Rev Jonny Gios MA, Community Connector at Gateway Church, said: “It’s wonderful to not just receive funding for our community development work across Kendal but also have people who believe in what we’re doing. With this support we’ll be able to build on what we’ve already achieved in our community through a very difficult time.
“We know the next chapter is going to be challenging on many other levels, but this support will help us to connect, signpost, refer and support those who desperately need it. The work in our community is vitally important to us so to be able to continue to employ a dedicated community connector is fantastic news – to see our work flourish.”
EdenVentures received £1,600 to offer subsidised places for children from low income and vulnerable families to attend a five-day summer holiday programme. Summer Weeks is for children aged 5 – 13 and provides a full week of outdoor adventure, exploration and creative activities, including a sleep over.
Anna Clapp, Project Leader, said: “EdenVentures took over the much-loved Summer Weeks Project from Eden Community Outdoors when it closed in 2016.
“Our work has always been important for combatting rural isolation in the holidays, and two years into the pandemic, we are seeing that children and young people need time outdoors, in a fun and safe community, more than ever.
“Due to the funding, we can offer places at different rates, including fully funded via our agency support partners, so that we are as accessible as possible. We work with individuals from different economic and family backgrounds, and due to our high staff and volunteer ratios, we provide an inclusive service meeting complex behavioural and emotional needs of our participants and young volunteers.”
iCan Health and Fitness CIC received £5,000 from the Cumbria Fund to develop a peer support group for men based in Carlisle. The group will help build a support network where men feel safe to talk.
Lisa Bridgewater, Managing Director, said: “We are beyond thrilled to have received support for a men’s emotional wellbeing support group. This will be called ‘Men Supporting Men’ and is a peer-led session for all men aged 18+ to discuss and improve their emotional wellbeing without necessarily knowing it.
“Our lived experience mentor, Daniel, will gently lead conversation on how to improve mental and emotional health and how to talk about feelings with a mix of wellbeing activities, fun games and adventures to lighten the load.
“We’re delighted to confirm the first session will take place on Friday 10th June from 10:30am-12:00pm at the WeCan Wellbeing centre in Carlisle. Sessions are free to all. Men who are currently not working or signed off work for mental health reasons are strongly advised to come along and see if the sessions will help.
If you would like to enquire about joining the group, or for more information, contact Daniel on 08000 386018 or visit www.icanfitnesscumbria.co.uk
Many young carers miss out on the same opportunities as other children as their caring responsibilities mean they have to grow up early. They often miss out on vital school and training, which has a negative impact on the rest of their lives.
In South Lakeland, Carer Support South Lakes received £4,973 to provide an internship for a young person to work alongside its existing team to encourage and support young carers to take part in a range of support groups, activities and trips.
Debi Marsden, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Despite the fact we help well over 1,200 unpaid carers from the age of five to cope with their caring responsibilities, there are still many in the South Lakes area struggling. One of the main aspirations of all the team here is to reach out and help as many unpaid carers as possible. The young carers intern will help identify young carers within our community and be a mentor for our younger carers.”
South Whitehaven Youth Partnership received £62,380 from the Better Tomorrows Fund to employ two new staff members to offer detached youth work over the next three years.
Jacq Cardy, Project Manager said: “Our aim is to engage with young people who are not accessing centre-based youth club provision, offering the same high quality youth work where young people can build positive relationships with their local youth workers, access support, advice and guidance, take part in informal issue based workshops and social action projects.’’
The deadline for the next round of applications is 17th June 2022.
Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We are grateful to the generosity of our fundholders to enable us to support these worthy organisations that are working hard during these difficult times to meet local needs.”
Charitable community groups and individuals in the Borders area are being encouraged to apply for financial support from a wind farm supported community benefit fund.
The Beck Burn Wind Farm Community Fund and Beck Burn Wind Farm Community Fund Educational Bursaries was established by EDF Energy Renewables in 2017. The company donates in excess of £170,00 each year into the funds, which are managed by Cumbria Community Foundation.
Projects and individuals in the Cumbrian Parishes of Rockcliffe, Westlinton, Arthuret and Kirkandrews on Esk, along with the Scottish Community Councils of Springfield & Gretna Green, Gretna & Rigg, Kirkpatrick Fleming & District, and Canonbie & District are eligible to apply for funding.
At a recent grants panel, eight individuals over the age of 16 were awarded a share of £7,540 to support education and training to help them develop their skills and employability.
Three community grants were awarded grants to improve a community play area, provide gardening equipment at a primary school and install three community defibrillators.
In recent years, Springfield & Gretna Green Community Asset Trust have embarked on enhancing the facilities available at Springfield Playing Field.
The group received £8,000 to install new play equipment, including trampolines, a carousel/roundabout, a basket swing, and an accessible gate.
Mike Phillips, Chairperson at Springfield & Gretna Green Community Asset Trust, said: “We are delighted to have received this grant which will allow us to continue our work in developing the playing field to benefit all age groups within our community.
“In previous years we have added amenities for other groups, but we are aware that the children’s play area has not received any upgrade since 1970.
“The grant will enable us to purchase three new items of equipment and we are confident children will enjoy these for many years to come.”
Kirkpatrick Fleming, Hollee and Irvington will benefit from three defibrillators thanks to a grant of £14,134. The installation of the defibrillators will mean that in the event of an emergency, people will be able to collect this life saving equipment quicker than having to travel to the existing one located at the Kirkpatrick Fleming Village Hall.
Gretna Primary School PTA received £5,000 and will use it to provide additional opportunities for children and families at Gretna Primary School to have access to a nurturing garden area to promote wellbeing, to experience gardening projects and to have the chance to be involved in growing and cooking fresh produce.
The fund is intended to support a wide range of activities with awards to community and voluntary organisations and projects which are community based or community led. Activities can include supporting biodiversity and habitat conservation, energy efficiency and sustainability, sports and recreation, health and wellbeing, children, young people and older people, culture and heritage.
The deadline for the next round of applications is 17th June 2022.
Lisa Blackwell, Grants & Programmes Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “This fund provides a valuable, long-term, sustainable and reliable source of income for the local communities. Since the funds were established, £895,000 has been invested into the community. The support from EDF Energy Renewables provides assistance to groups in the area that are helping to meet the priority needs of their community.
“It is flexible funding that can address what is really important to communities and we’re delighted to administer this funding which has been making a difference to the communities.”
Two community projects, led by young people in West Cumbria, have received funding to benefit the communities where they live.
The #CanDo Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, provides grants of up to £5,000 to inspire youth social action, such as volunteering, fundraising, mentoring and campaigning.
Together We CIC and Wigton Youth Station run activities and workshops that encourage local young people to become more involved in their community and provide opportunities to gain new skills and experience different activities.
Together We received £5,000 to support its trial project called Discovery College. Teenagers from two Copeland secondary schools will be recruited to develop and design course materials to support young people’s mental health. The charity already runs the successful Recovery College, which supports people’s recovery from mental health difficulties through learning and education.
Samantha Joughin, Managing Director, Together We CIC, said: “Over the next year, we intend to develop an array of mental and physical health courses, which will be targeted at young people aged between 11-18. The ‘North Cumbria Discovery College’ will be an extension of the North Cumbria Recovery College, which currently delivers courses to 18+ all over North Cumbria.
“Recovery colleges give people with mental health problems a chance to access education and training designed to help them on the road to recovery. The aim is to learn new and build existing skills with the ultimate intention of teaching those participating how to better manage their physical and mental wellbeing.
“The funding provided by the #Cando Fund supports us to co-create and produce course materials directly with young people who have lived experience of mental health issues.”
Wigton Youth Station (WYS) received £3,545 to deliver a peer mentoring scheme which will provide an opportunity for a small group of young men to become peer mentors. The scheme will provide younger members with positive male role models and mentors as they grow and develop over the next couple of years.
Angela Bicknell, Centre Manager, said: “This grant will enable a small, dedicated group of young men who have been with us for four years or more, support and shape the behaviour of our younger members. They have taken ownership over this project and want to be a role model for others by leading by example. This is a legacy they will leave as they move on to college, work or an apprenticeship.”
Decisions on which projects receive funding are made by a Youth Advisory Panel made up of people aged between 16 and 25 from across West Cumbria, putting young people at the heart of the process.
Lauren Woodham, 17 who is a member of the #CanDo Youth Advisory Panel, said: “Being on the #CanDo Youth Panel is such an empowering position to have. It’s great to know that the decisions we make have a positive effect on young people in our local area!”
Funded by Sellafield Ltd, with match funding from Thomas Graham & Sons and local donors, #CanDo is part of Transforming West Cumbria, a multi-year social investment programme developed by Cumbria Community Foundation.
Stuart McCourt, Sellafield Ltd Education, Community and Development Lead, said:” Through our Six – Social Impact Multiplied programme, we want to support our local communities to thrive. The #Cando Fund enables this by empowering young people to lead change within their communities on the issues which are important to them.”
Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “Young people have so much energy, enthusiasm and passion for the world they live in and the causes they support, and by taking action on the issues that matter to them, they can leave a legacy for local people and places, while developing valuable personal skills that can really appeal to local businesses and employers, improving their life opportunities and prospects.”
The deadline for applications for the next round of #CanDo grants is Friday 27th May.
For more information or to apply visit, www.cumbriafoundation.org/transforming-west-cumbria/cando or call Annalee Holliday on 01900 820827 or email email@example.com