£1m awarded to good causes in Cumbria

8th July 2024

Over £1 million has been awarded to a range of good causes across Cumbria, supporting projects promoting resilience against floods, early years communication skills, rural youth groups and many more.

A total of 130 grants worth £1,064,819 were given out to community organisations and individuals at three recent Cumbria Community Foundation grants committee panels.

The money came from funds set up by local people and businesses including Nuvia Ltd, Westmorland Ltd, and Thomas Graham & Sons.

Ninety-nine community groups received a total of £1,031,873 towards a wide range of projects across the county, and 31 individuals benefited from £32,946 towards the cost of overseas trips, equipment and course fees.

Babies and carers at Howgill Family CentreHowgill Family Centre received £56,590 from Cumberland Educational Foundation Fund, Nuvia Fund and Beverley Charitable Trust Fund to continue its programme to improve speech and language skills in children in West Cumbria up to the age of four.

Where children are slow to develop speech and language skills, they often go on to struggle with literacy and academic skills throughout their schooling.

Parental engagement has been identified as crucial in aiding children’s early communication development. Specialist project workers from Howgill Family Centre work with families in the Copeland area through nurseries and group sessions to support parents and teach them techniques for communicating with their babies and toddlers.

Faye Eldon, Chief Executive of Howgill Family Centre, said: “This funding is vital to support parents in the understanding of the importance of early language and how this can impact positively on their child’s future learning journey. Parents share stories, songs and have fun with their children, while meeting new people and this would not be possible without the funding we receive. Thank you!”

Tall Ships Youth Trust was awarded £3,000 by Cumbria Young People’s Fund to enable 10 disadvantaged young people from the Barrow area to take part in a ‘voyage of exploration’ sailing trip. The young people will take part in activities such as setting sails, helming, rope work, navigation, and domestic duties such as cooking and cleaning, to help them learn teamwork and communication skills.

One previous participant, Bethany, aged 21, explained the impact taking part had on her. “The voyage has been the highlight of my year by far. I’ve had a lot of hardship recently and it’s been great to get away from it all. I come from a background where I thought I’d never have an opportunity like this. After the voyage I’m feeling a lot more confident about life in general and I feel much happier than I did at the start of the week.”

Susan’s Farm at Houghton, near Carlisle, was awarded £30,000 from the Brian and Ann Clark Fund and Cumbria Fund to support the work of Education Manager Helen Ward.

Fiona Merritt, Chair of trustees at Susan’s Farm, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the financial support of Cumbria Community Foundation towards our Education Manager’s salary.

“Helen’s role is very broad ranging. She leads educational developments at the farm, and coordinates and leads many of the school visits each year, where over 2,000 local children come to learn what goes on at a farm and to engage with the great outdoors. Alongside this, she supports our programmes for young people who need a different environment to school to work in, and our care farming programme, as well as co-ordinating our volunteer network, organising work experience for local secondary schools and managing occupational placements.

“With Cumbria Community Foundation’s funding, Helen is able to put more time into making strong and effective links with local primary and secondary schools, develop programmes and visits that fit exactly with their requirements, build strong and effective relationships between the staff both at schools and on the farm, as well as with the young people themselves.”

Our Place Youth Club in Ambleside was awarded £12,000 from the Beeby Family Fund and Cumbria Young People’s Fund towards staff and activities costs.

Ian Parr, Lead Youth Worker for Our Place Youth Club, said: “The continuation of Our Place Youth Club (OPYC) is vital to Ambleside. OPYC is the only non-uniformed, open to all youth provision in the local area. It currently offers both a Junior Club (school years 5 and 6) and a Senior Club (year 7 and above) in term time at the Parish Centre. OPYC offers a designated safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place for young people just to be ‘young people’, a chance to let off steam, socialise with their peers and make new friends.

“A variety of positive activities take place each week, with qualified youth workers on hand to address any issues and concerns that may be troubling individuals, and informally educate the groups on topics such as staying safe. A trained sports coach also attends.

“All the above helps young people feel wanted and accepted, improves their mental and physical health and gives them a sense of worth in the community.”

Keswick Community Emergency Recovery Partnership (KCERP) was awarded £10,764 from CiFR Community Flood Resilience Fund towards equipment such as emergency generators and radios, as well as their project manager’s salary and publicity costs.

Claire Peat, KCERP Project Manager, said: “KCERP is incredibly grateful for the support from Cumbria Community Foundation, allowing our community organisation to be able to purchase equipment that will make a real difference in our efforts to help keep our vulnerable residents safe in emergency situations.

“As the storms increase in intensity, we have to prepare not only for floods, but also the possibility of losing power during a storm. This grant funding will allow us to get some community generators so that we can keep our emergency control room running until the utilities companies can reach us and repair lines. It means that we can keep the emergency radios working and maintain the internet connection to allow information to get through. It will also allow us to set up a community hub so that residents are not home alone without heating and light.

“We look forward to testing this out in a simulation exercise towards the end of this year to ensure we have the correct processes in place for the new equipment.”

Shap Swimming Pool received £3,500 from Thomas Graham Grassroots Fund, Cumbria Grassroots Fund and Westmorland Family Community Fund to pay for replacement pool filters in the pump room.

The pool is run by volunteers and the new filters will reduce the daily maintenance needed and free up volunteers to do other tasks. The filters will also reduce the volume of chemicals needed to maintain the required water quality standard for the pool.

Carlisle Vineyard Church received £3,000 from Castles & Coasts Housing Association Community Fund and Abbeyfield Carlisle Society Community First Fund towards the running costs of Give a Day Carlisle – a week of voluntary action which takes place in July every year.

The grant will enable Give A Day to provide coaching, networking and support for individuals, groups, organisations and businesses in and around Carlisle to initiate and complete projects within and for the community.

Annalee Holliday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We are very grateful to the generosity of our fundholders which enables us to support so many fantastic causes and organisations across the county. Week in, week out, community groups and charities do incredible work to support those in need all over Cumbria and we are very pleased to have been able to give out more than £1 million in funding to support those efforts.”

For more information or to apply for funding visit, www.cumbriafoundation.org, call the grants team on 01900 820827 or email grants@cumbriafoundation.org.

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