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New trustees appointed to board

Cumbria Community Foundation has welcomed three new members to its board of trustees.

Patrick Boggon, Georgina Smith and Rachael Stephenson were officially appointed at the Foundation’s March board meeting.

Patrick Boggon is the founder and Director of Tarnside Consulting. He has spent his career helping charities and not-for-profits maximise their fundraising potential.

This has included setting up a brain injury rehabilitation centre at the Calvert Trust; transforming Auckland Castle from an under-used bishop’s palace to a top visitor attraction, leading to regeneration in the area; doubling the income at Newcastle Hospitals charities; and supporting domestic abuse charities with training and coaching.

Patrick said: “It is a privilege to join the board of Cumbria Community Foundation and I look forward to contributing to its future. I believe the Foundation is worth investing in because it has an insight into, and an understanding of, the county that ensures the grants it makes are truly effective.

“It therefore adds value to both the philanthropists that want to give in Cumbria and the grassroots charitable organisation making a day-to-day difference to people’s lives.”

Georgina Smith is a Senior Associate Solicitor at Napthens, based in the Wills and Estate Planning department at the Kendal office. She is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and a dementia champion. She works closely with the rural department, and has a real passion for assisting rural and farming families.

Georgina is a proud Cumbrian, attending school in Cartmel and later, Barrow Sixth Form. She has seen firsthand some of the challenges Cumbria faces.

Georgina said: “I have supported local charities both professionally and personally and am honoured to accept the role of Trustee with the foundation so I can assist it in whatever is required, utilising my experience, knowledge and links within the local community.”

Rachael Stephenson is a Partner in the Private Client team at Cumbria-based law firm, Muckle LLP. Having practiced in Cumbria since 2007, her specialisms include dealing with the succession planning needs associated with complex family arrangements. Her particular areas of expertise include advising on charitable and private trusts and personal planning for business owners.

As a trustee of several Cumbrian charities, including Eden Valley Hospice & Jigsaw, Rachael promotes philanthropy in all its forms. She is experienced in helping people to realise their goals; giving as much as they can, in a tax-efficient way, whilst making the greatest impact to those in need.

Born and bred in the Eden Valley, Rachael was educated at Casterton School, Kirkby Lonsdale. She now lives near Carlisle with her partner and two young daughters. As a family, they spend their free time exploring; up in the hills, out on the lakes or playing on a beach.

Rachael said: “I’m delighted to have been chosen as a trustee for Cumbria Community Foundation. Acting as a trustee of several local charities over the years, I’ve had the privilege of seeing first-hand the outstanding impact of the work and contribution of the Community Foundation. I look forward to working with an amazing team of people supporting charities in the county.”

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “I’m so pleased to have Georgina, Rachael and Patrick joining the board. We were delighted with the range and quality of people applying to fill these volunteer roles and look forward to working with them to grow the philanthropic funds we hold on behalf of the people of Cumbria.”

The new trustees join a board of 16 current members, chaired by David Beeby, former CEO of the Innovia Group.

Lakeland shoppers back South Cumbrian charities

Good causes across South Cumbria are benefiting from the generosity of shoppers at kitchenware retailer Lakeland.

The Windermere-based business, which has 58 shops and mail order customers all over the country, launched myLakeland in 2019. Club members get exclusive savings and offers and each time they shop, a few pence go to charity.

Some is donated to national organisations such as Shelter, the Trussell Trust and Woodland Trust but local charities benefit too through the myLakeland Community Fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation.

Steve Knights, Chief Executive of Lakeland, said: “Here at Lakeland, we’re proud of doing our bit to support local and national causes. As a business, we regularly make contributions of both money and Lakeland products to organisations across the country, we also have our carrier bag fund which we donate the money generated from our 10p carrier bag charge to an environmental cause each year.

“Back in 2019, we launched our fantastic myLakeland loyalty club that gives members not only a huge range of savings but also every time customers make a purchase with us, we’ll add some pennies to our myLakeland charity pot. This charity pot supports both local and national causes, benefiting a range of charities close to our Lake District base with the help of the Cumbria Community Foundation. We are really proud to give this money to help charities carry on with their amazing work in the community.”

Sixteen groups in South Cumbria have benefited from a share of £150,000 since the fund was established in 2022.

They include the Kent Estuary Youth Project (KEY), which is receiving £30,000 over three years to cover running costs.

Trustee Hilary Fordham said: “The funding helps pay for our two full-time youth workers and a part-time admin assistant, and towards venues and equipment.”

KEY provides youth clubs, holiday activities and summer residentials for youngsters aged 11-19 in three villages: Milnthorpe, Arnside and Storth. It engaged with 200 young people last year.

Hilary added: “We’re a small charity. Without this funding we’d have to make difficult decisions about letting somebody go. Funders that support core running costs are few and far between, so we’re very grateful.”

South Lakeland Action on Climate Change has received £20,000 for its Waste into Wellbeing project, which takes food from supermarkets, shops and eateries that would otherwise be wasted to turn into nourishing meals.
These are provided on a pay-what-you-can basis or redistributed to residents in need through the Kendal Community Food Larder and Kendal People’s Café.

L-R Diane Clayton, Stacy Hurley, Daniel Rayson, Vanessa Oldham, Duncan Pollard, Heather Fielding

Stacy Hurley, development manager for Waste into Wellbeing, said: “We operate from multiple venues and have been looking for a permanent base, which we’ve secured at the old United Reformed Church in Highgate, Kendal.

“There’s a sports hall on that site that Waste into Wellbeing is taking on. The myLakeland grant will enable us to install a state-of-the-art catering kitchen. It will also house our community cooking project.”

Angela White – a former surgeon from Kendal, also known as ‘The Running Granny’ – set up Going for Old, a social enterprise to promote action for healthy ageing throughout all stages of life.

Going for Old has received £3,671 from the myLakeland Community Fund to deliver health and wellbeing workshops for the over-50s.

Angela said: “These are aimed at people who are not currently typically physically active but who are looking to make changes to their health.
“An important part of the initiative is to provide ongoing support via social media and website to motivate people along their journey.

“We have previously piloted a few workshops but would not have been able to scale it up to reach more people without this grant.”

Annalee Holliday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Lakeland, a home grown multi-million pound family business that is passionate in supporting some of the lesser-known local voluntary groups working in areas where their retail shops are based. The team at Lakeland are involved in reviewing funding requests and make the decisions of which ones to support, which creates a collective understanding of local issues.”

In 2024, Lakeland is celebrating its 60th year of innovation and to celebrate this milestone are going to be making an additional donation to the Foundation. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming months to see how this will help in the community.

To find out more about the myLakeland Community Fund, click here.

High Sheriff thanks Cumbrian charities

Charity workers and volunteers from across Cumbria were rewarded and thanked at an award ceremony this week, recognising their tireless efforts to enhance and enrich their local communities.

Representatives from more than 20 voluntary and non-profit organisations were invited to the High Sheriff Award ceremony at Appleby Hub on Tuesday 19 March.

High Sheriff, Samantha Scott

High Sheriff of Cumbria, Samantha Scott, has visited charities and voluntary organisations around the county throughout her year of office, which comes to an end this month.

She said: “This has been a truly inspirational year and I have been privileged to visit so many amazing charities and voluntary organisations who do so much to support their communities and make Cumbria such a special place to live.

“The High Sheriff Awards are an opportunity for me to recognise and thank everyone, not only for the fantastic work they do, but also for the warm and generous welcome I have received from all corners of the county.

“Thank you to the Appleby Hub for hosting the event and for the delicious cream tea.”

The High Sheriff handed out 22 certificates alongside grant awards totalling £16,400 and issued three organisations with the prestigious High Sheriff’s Shield – Eden Rivers Trust, Wigton Theatre Club and 1st Wetheral Brownies.

Kate Jensen and Aaron Cockbain are co-chairs of Wigton Theatre Club, which has more than 110 members aged from five to 80. Kate said: “We have a really big team of volunteers who put hours and hours in to make sure the theatre really does benefit the whole community, and to have that recognised by the High Sheriff is wonderful.”

L-R: Aaron Cockbain, Samantha Scott and Kate Jensen

Aaron added: “The theatre is an expensive building to maintain – it dates back to 1884 – and we have invested a lot of money in it in recent years, putting in solar panels, refurbishing the foyer, putting in new toilets. There is always something else that needs doing so this grant will really help us ensure the building lasts.”

1st Wetheral Brownies was awarded the High Sheriff’s Shield in recognition of their incredible efforts in fundraising and community action. As well as tackling local issues such as littering and dog fouling, the youngsters have raised more than £10,000 towards Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal by holding an annual sponsored sleep out for the past eight years.

L-R: Georgina Collins, Samantha Scott and Janice Brown

Leader Janice Brown said: “Our Brownies are very community-minded, so it is wonderful to receive this recognition from the High Sheriff. We have many low-income families, including some from Ukraine, so this grant will be a huge help towards our residential trip to Liverpool later this year.”

The third recipient of the Shield was Eden Rivers Trust. Jenni Payne, Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator, said: “We have around 130 volunteers on our books and can get anywhere between one and 30 at a session. We really try to remove all the barriers that could stop someone from volunteering, whether those are cultural barriers, or reasons such as not having a car.

“We try to open up opportunities to as many people as possible. With any project, such as the work we have done to reintroduce water voles, volunteers do a lot of hard graft in the background.”

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, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes 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.”

Other groups to receive an award are: A Stitch Different, Bendrigg Trust
Carlisle Key, Citizens Advice Copeland, Coniston Mountain Rescue Team, Every Life Matters, Furness Multicultural Community Forum, Headway South Cumbria, iCan Wellbeing Group, Keswick Youth Centre Services, Marsh Street Arches & Gardens, Northern Fells Rural Community Development Group, Penrith Pumas, Shackles Off Youth Project, South Lakeland Action on Climate Change, South Whitehaven Youth Partnership, Springfield Domestic Abuse Support in South Lakeland, Susan’s Farm and Whitehaven Community Trust.