Funding boost to South Lakeland community groups

13th October 2022

Community projects across south Cumbria are celebrating after being awarded grants to support a range of issues including tackling the many challenges facing England’s largest lake.

Homewares retailer, Lakeland, joined forces with Cumbria Community Foundation to expand the company’s 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 myLakeland Fund was set up to support community projects in and around Windermere, Kendal and South Lakeland, and has awarded more than £23,000 to local causes since it was set up six months ago.

Children and young people suffering with mental health issues will be able to access counselling sessions thanks to a £7,500 grant to self-harm awareness charity, SAFA.

The SAFA team

The charity has seen a 70% increase in referrals related to self-harming and three in five are aged under 19. Ian Burns, Chair of Trustees, said: “This is fantastic news for SAFA, and we are extremely grateful to Lakeland. We are determined to deliver significant benefit to those who need support in Kendal. People’s lives will be significantly improved as a result of this funding.”

Lake District Foundation received £3,890 for its Love Your Lake project that aims to clean up Windermere and improve the environment.

Sarah Swindley, Chief Executive of Lake District Foundation, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding which will enable us to introduce and manage ‘two-minute litter pick stations’ at busy lake locations. These will encourage people to take part in mini litter picks and raise a wider awareness about caring for our lakes and local environment.”

Bay Trust Radio, one of Cumbria’s oldest radio stations, received £3,050 to recruit new volunteers and purchase equipment to allow them to broadcast from home.

The station started broadcasting in 1977 in the old Westmorland County Hospital before moving to the Westmorland General.

John Williamson, president and station manager, said: “When I started in hospital radio, patients would have been in hospital for weeks but now they may only be in for days, so the station has had to move forward and expand the service.

“Every person involved with the station is a volunteer who gives up their time to bring enjoyment to others every week. Being awarded this grant will enable our charity to introduce new volunteers to present radio shows from home, encouraging those less mobile or with physical disabilities to join in.”

Carer Support South Lakes also received £9,000 over the next three years to support the most vulnerable carers and help them identify steps to improve their wellbeing.

Fran Wilkinson, Head of Loyalty at Lakeland, said: “Having launched the myLakeland fund in partnership with Cumbria Community Foundation six months ago, we’re delighted to see the difference that the fund is already making here in our local community. 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 continuing to see these funds being distributed to many great causes.”

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 almost £60 million into local communities.

Annalee Holiday, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at the Foundation, said: “Lakeland has been a supporter of our work for many years, and we are delighted to help the company distribute its charitable giving to local community projects like these.

“Our job is to harness the spirit of local philanthropy, connecting local donors and funders to local people running grassroots initiatives, tackling some of the most challenging social and health challenges on our doorstep.”

To find out more about the myLakeland Fund, click here or contact Annalee Holiday via or on 01900 825760 to check eligibility.