£130,000 awarded to good causes in Copeland

30th March 2023

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 grants@cumbriafoundation.org