Charities in Copeland have received a financial boost to help people through the cost of living crisis thanks to the generosity of one local company.
The LLWR Grassroots Fund provides grants to charitable organisations that are addressing issues relating to the current economic crisis, supporting the younger generation with developing skills and vulnerable, older people.
Managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, the fund was set up in 2011 by waste management company, Low Level Waste Repository Ltd, now trading as Nuclear Waste Services.
In that time, more than £130,000 has been awarded to local good causes, including a recent grant to Howgill Family Centre’s project ‘Baby Basic West Cumbria’.
Based in Cleator Moor, Baby Basics West Cumbria provides essential baby equipment, clothing and toiletries to women and families in Allerdale and Copeland, who are struggling with the financial and practical burden of looking after a new baby.
The project relies on the donation of good quality, second hand baby equipment and clothing from the local community, alongside other donations of new, unopened toiletries and nappies. These are then safety checked and prepared into referral packages and given out as gifts via health professionals, such as NHS midwives.
Launched two years ago, it is one of over 50 centres in the ‘Baby Basics’ network throughout the UK.
The project is reliant on volunteers and to secure its future, a grant of £25,380 over the next three years will employ a Project Coordinator to ensure it can continue providing support.
Christine Davey, who set up the project, said: “We have seen an increase in our referral rate since we launched in January 2021, as families have tried to cope with the rising cost of living. The support from the local community through donations and fundraising events has been amazing and enabled us to meet the referrals which are placed with us. We’re so grateful for the compassion individuals, clubs and groups have shown to our project”.
The project works with NHS midwives, health visitors and other agencies, who refer families in need of support.
“We’re excited that this wonderful project will be able to continue in its work to improve post-natal safety and wellbeing of local mothers and babies, providing dignity and hope at this vulnerable time in their lives, and so grateful for this vital funding that will enable this,” said Christine.
The fund has received a recent boost of £50,000, meaning more good causes will continue to benefit.
Martin Walkingshaw, Chief Operating Officer for Nuclear Waste Services, said: ‘We’re proud of the important work that our fund is supporting but the real heroes are the volunteers that work with people in need.
“Being able to guarantee the future of Baby Basics for a further three years will help ensure that families can meet the key requirements for their new-borns. It’s a privilege that we can play a part in providing essentials such as baby clothing that otherwise some may struggle to secure.”
Other projects to recently benefit from the fund include Home to Work’s healthy food growing project, Whitehaven Community Trust, which provides accommodation for homeless 16-24 years olds, and Mirehouse Community Centre to support the Top of the Shops café managers post.
Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to continue our longstanding relationship with LLWR. As an endowment fund at the Community Foundation, it will provide funding to help people for decades to come. The recent grants will help provide a safety net and alleviate current financial hardship during what are tough times for many local residents.”
For more information or to apply visit, www.cumbriafoundation.org or call the grants team on 01900 820827 or email email@example.com
High Sheriff of Cumbria, Alan McViety, welcomed people from around the county to an award ceremony recognising their tireless efforts to enhance and enrich the places where they live.
Individuals, community and voluntary-led groups, who often go unrecognised for their outstanding efforts, came together on Tuesday 21st March to celebrate their achievements and receive recognition and awards from the High Sheriff.
Mr McViety has visited voluntary organisations around the county during his year of office, learning more about their work.
Around 40 guests attended the ceremony, held at Roundthorn Country House Hotel in Penrith. The High Sheriff handed out 16 certificates alongside grant awards of £8,000 and issued three recipients with the prestigious High Sheriff’s Shield.
Ending his shrieval year with a celebration, Mrs McViety, said: “I was delighted to hold my awards where I had the opportunity to recognise the dedication and hard work of the various recipients. During my time as High Sheriff, I have met some wonderful volunteers dedicating their time to enhancing the life of their communities and making a difference to people’s lives. It is a privilege to have had this opportunity to recognise and honour just a few of them.”
Right2Work was recognised for its work with young people. Director, Sue Green, said: “The Youth Futures programme has been an excellent springboard for many young people who have been experiencing personal difficulties or setbacks. Mandy Morland, who has lead responsibility, has delivered a personalised and effective programme that has changed the lives of many young people and their families. We are all extremely proud at Right2Work of receiving the High Sheriff Award.”
The awards are part of the High Sheriff’s Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, and publicly recognise both charities and individual volunteers who help improve their communities.
Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “There are an extraordinary number of voluntary and non-profit organisations working at the heart of our communities, and this is an opportunity for them to receive the recognition and support they deserve.”
The High Sheriff is one of the oldest Crown Offices, dating back to before the Battle of Hastings. As the Sheriff’s powers increased, they were considered to be a threat and in 1540 Henry VIII created Lord Lieutenants to take over the military duties. To this day, both the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff are appointed by, and are representatives of, the Sovereign with the High Sheriff being responsible for law and order – keeping the King’s Peace.
In partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Government has announced the Know Your Neighbourhood fund, a package of up to £30 million to create volunteering opportunities and increase connections across the country.
Cumbria Community Foundation is delighted to be distributing over £1 million of the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund over the next two years to support initiatives in Barrow that can help to boost volunteering and tackle loneliness, help participants improve their mental and physical wellbeing, develop new skills and form social connections.
Eight projects have already received a share of £135,000 supporting initiatives such as telephone befriending to providing activities for socially isolated fathers. Funding has been awarded to those who do not usually have access to volunteering opportunities.
The Well Communities received £47,663 to develop a trauma informed volunteer training programme. Ged Pickersgill, Senior Development Manager, said: “We are reactive to the changing needs of the community and this funding will drive social activism and behavioural health change activity in Barrow with a professional and robust approach to volunteer engagement and development. 90% of our staff in Barrow started their journey as volunteers.
“The ‘Grow Your Own’ model will be developed and formalised by a number of national key strategists and scholars which will create a localised blueprint for lived experience volunteer recruitment, engagement and supervision.”
Love Barrow Families received £17,673 to encourage more fathers in the area to join its Community Dads’ Group. Volunteer, Penny Forrest, said: “The existing group members feel that the camaraderie and sense of belonging they have found since joining has improved their wellbeing and enjoyment of life, and they feel more confident and purposeful. This grant will enable us to publicise and grow the group, and we are excited about being able to involve more dads and extend the range of activities we can offer. Up until now the group has been limited as it operated on a shoestring budget, and we are so grateful that we can now obtain the resources and equipment we need to be able to develop and take the group to the next level.”
A Stitch Different CIC provides meaningful activities and real-life work experience for people living with disabilities. A grant of £3,788 allowed the social enterprise to run a ten-week pilot to work with older adults who have anxiety or other mental health issues, and to encourage parent carers to volunteer and reduce the feelings of isolation, while learning new skills.
Amanda Bland, Founder, said: “The project is proving a big success especially with carers and individuals struggling with anxiety. Those attending are saying how they are loving trying new things, meeting new people, accessing support, gaining confidence to be more involved in the community and not feeling so lonely or isolated.”
The College House Community Hub, run by Groundwork NE & Cumbria, received £22,453 to expand the services on offer. Victoria Myers, Project Manager, said: “The funding will allow us to extend the range of activities and services provided by both Groundwork and local organisations to the residents of Hindpool. The aim is to reduce loneliness and social isolation, improve health and wellbeing, skills and confidence, and help the residents to feel more socially connected within the community.”
Grants were also awarded to Age UK Barrow, Barrow and District Disability Association, Barrow Forward, Cumbria Addictions, Advice and Solutions (CADAS) and Groundwork North East and Cumbria.
The second round of funding will re-open for applications in April.
Jenny Benson, Director of Programmes & Partnerships, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support meaningful and impactful activities in Barrow that encourage volunteering and tackle chronic loneliness. Our first round of grants from the DCMS Know Your Neighbourhood Fund have supported a diverse range of activities tackling social isolation and improving wellbeing through the power of volunteering. We welcome applications from organisations in Barrow for the next round in April.”