20 grant stories to celebrate

As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, we visited 20 organisations that have received grants from the funds we administer to find out how the money has made a difference to the lives of local people.

Allerdale Disability Association

In one year alone, west Cumbrian charity, Allerdale Disability Association (ADA), unlocked more than four million pounds worth of benefits for people with disabilities. In 2018,  ADA helped 900 people through its information service.  The charity has received more than £138,000 in grants since 2002.

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Botcherby Community Centre

It’s been described as a ‘lifeline’ for people living in one of the poorest parts of Carlisle.  Learn how more than £69,000 worth of grants has helped it become a hub of the community after devastating floods in 2005 and again in 2016.

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Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS) is at the forefront of tackling drug and alcohol addiction in the county. Over the last 17 years, it has received almost £230,000 in grants from the Foundation.

CADAS aims to address and reduce the negative impact of problematic drug and alcohol use on individuals, their families and communities.

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Carlisle Mencap

More than 7,000 adults in Cumbria have a learning disability. Many feel isolated and wouldn’t take part in activities outside their comfort zone. However, due to the support of Carlisle Mencap, its 400 service users across the county are looking at a more confident future and a sense of improved well-being. Carlisle Mencap has received more than £75,000 from Cumbria Community Foundation since 2002.

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Cumbria Family Support 

Cumbria Family Support has been helping families who are experiencing difficulties in their own homes for 25 years.

The charity has received more than £64,000 in grants to support families in Carlisle, Eden and more recently Allerdale.

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Cumbria Deaf Association

When your world is silent, or sounds are muffled, it’s easy to become isolated and introverted. Cumbria Deaf Association has worked tirelessly for 125 years to help people who are hearing impaired to live a full life. The charity has received more than £93,000 since 2006.

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Cumbria Youth Alliance

Based in Workington, Cumbria Youth Alliance was set up in 1997 and has received over £300,000 from Cumbria Community Foundation since 2003.

Each year, it works with around 2,000 young people around the county, focussing on the most deprived areas, to help them reach their full potential.

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Ford Park 


Ford Park Community Group in Ulverston provides inclusive volunteering opportunities supporting a range of people from across South Lakeland and the Furness Peninsula. More than £57,000 worth of grants have been awarded since 2006.

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Gateway 4 Women 

A group of women whose lives have been transformed by learning the art of manicures and pedicures are now lifting other women out of despair.  More than £52,000 in grants has helped support Gateway 4 Women, a subsidiary of Cumbria Gateway. Gateway 4 Women is a women’s only centre, providing vital services that were not already available in north Cumbria.

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Growing Well 

Mental health is often not talked about because people find it difficult. One charity in Kendal uses gardening to help people overcome anxiety and depression. Growing Well was set up in 2004 on an organic farm on the outskirts of Kendal. Since 2012, it has received more than £58,000 in grants to support vulnerable people across the county.

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Home to Work

A project designed to get people out of unemployment and back into work has led to one young woman launching her own business.

Thanks to almost £100,000 in grant funding, the Skills 4 You project, run by Home to Work  in Cleator Moor has boosted confidence and given hundreds of people skills to make positive changes and get them back into employment.

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Mind in West Cumbria

One in four people are likely to suffer from diagnosable mental health problems. Mind in West Cumbria works with other agencies and local partners to support around 100 people per week. The charity can offer these services free of charge thanks to financial help and has received more than £88,000 from the Foundation since 2006.

Helping only one person with their mental health recovery can save the community £60,000*.

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Mirehouse Residents Group

A warm welcome and a room full of laughter is what awaits you at Mirehouse Residents Group in Whitehaven. Since 2010, Mirehouse Residents Group has received £69,284 from the Foundation.

Activities run out of the Mirehouse Community Centre on Seathwaite Avenue, and with the assistance of grants from Cumbria Community Foundation, armchair aerobics, lunch club, arts and crafts and bingo have all been organised; making a great social setting for a good old craic.

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Northern Fells Group


Described by one member as “The Great Escape”, Caldbeck’s heart-warming community project “Men in Sheds” provides a perfect social haven for men to share their love of woodwork and a bit of a ‘craic’.

The vast number of projects, managed by Northern Fells Group, has received almost £200,000 in grants since 2004.

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Phoenix Youth Project

Each year, 700 young people from Cleator Moor, Frizington and Moor Row attend the Phoenix Youth Project. Since 2004, grants totalling almost £200,000 have supported core costs, residential trips, educational courses, including first aid and health and hygiene training, social action projects and the Phoenix Role Models.

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Project John 

Project John is based in one of the most deprived wards in Barrow and many of the youngsters that it meets have never had the skills or opportunity to take part in local activities. More than £22,000 in grants has helped turn the lives around of its most hard to reach young people, by giving them real opportunities to grow self-esteem and self-worth participating in community activities.

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Safety Net 

Safety Net received its first grant, managed by the Foundation in 2005 and has received more than £183,000 in total. Lesley Storey, Chief Executive of Safety Net explains how £4,000 to run an innovative equine therapy project has helped victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence to work through issues around trust, self-belief and relationships and help rebuild their lives.

Click here for the full story.

The Farmer Network

Helping to maintain and develop a sustainable farming community in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales, was the aim of The Farmer Network, when it was formed in 2006.

The Foundation has provided ongoing funding support worth more than £175,000 to farmer initiatives including its training voucher scheme, farming landscape and fell gather events and most recently, the Business Support for Young People Programme.

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Time to Change

Time to Change (West Cumbria) was set up in 2013 to tackle the rising issue of homelessness and subsequent unemployment in the area. It runs Calderwood House which has helped more than 170 people get back on their feet. The homeless hostel in Egremont  has received more than £70,000 in grants from Cumbria Community Foundation since 2013.

Click here for the full story.

West Cumbria Carers

West Cumbria Carers operates across Allerdale and Copeland and provides support to 1,900 adult carers and 300 young carers, some as young as five. Since 2006, the charity has received more than £256,000 to support carers in West Cumbria.

Click here for the full story.