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West Cumbrian engineering firm celebrates £100,000 of grants to local good causes

Whitehaven-based Shepley Engineers, which celebrates its 75th birthday this year, set up its Shepley Group Fund with Cumbria Community Foundation in 2011. Since then, the fund has awarded grants totalling £105,910 to 72 different organisations, mostly in West Cumbria.

The grants have helped thousands of local children and adults supported by smaller, grassroots charities and community organisations covering homelessness, substance abuse, physical and mental health, disability, arts, sport, the environment, education, youth social action, social inclusion and community development.

The latest three grants, awarded this summer to The Vulture Club, Team Evie and The Windmill Trust, sent the Shepley Group Fund’s award total over the £100,000 mark, and are typical of the grassroots work the group, which consists of Shepley Engineering and its subsidiaries West Cumberland Engineering and PPS Electrical, wants to support.

The Vulture Club in Whitehaven offers creative arts and a place to meet in a safe and fun setting to support people recovering from addiction or trauma. Its £2,000 grant will help with the rent at its new premises in Tangier Street.

West Cumbrian charity Team Evie supports sick children and their families when they are in hospital in Cumbria and the North East, at home after hospital, or in need of bereavement support. Its £2,000 grant will go towards salary costs of its newly developed peer support service.

The Windmill Trust supports children and young people in the Wigton area who have encountered adverse childhood experiences and who are not able to access statutory support. Their £2,000 grant will expand their creative therapy services into the wider West Cumbria area.

David Henderson, Nuclear Business Manager at Shepley Engineers, visited The Vulture Club with Cumbria Community Foundation’s Director of Programmes & Partnerships, Jenny Benson, to see the impact the company’s grants make on the organisations, and the people they support.

“It was great to visit the Vulture Club, meet its co-ordinator Kelly, and talk to the people who are actually benefiting from using the facility and from the support they get from the team who run it,” said David.

“It really brings it home how much initiatives like this are needed in our communities, and the real difference they make to people’s lives.

“Along with celebrating our 75th anniversary this year, surpassing £100,000 of grants awarded, is another milestone worth celebrating. We target the smaller grassroots groups, as these are the ones who often struggle to find the funding they need to provide vitally important support to local people. We are proud to be able to celebrate this milestone, and look forward to continuing to work with the Cumbria Community Foundation long into the future.”

The Shepley Group Fund was set up as an endowed fund with Cumbria Community Foundation in 2011, with an initial lump sum of £89,000, to which further donations have been added to over time. This money has been invested and the earnings have been used to award grants to local charitable groups. This has resulted in £105,910 of grants being awarded – but there is still £171,000 of capital funding which continues to be invested. The benefit of an endowed fund is that it is permanent and can benefit communities over the longer term.

David Henderson said: “I thoroughly recommend setting up an endowment fund with Cumbria Community Foundation. They have a professional team and are well governed with a structured approach to providing support to disadvantaged people.

“We are continuously adding to our endowment fund, and it is consistently growing and will go on in perpetuity supporting people and groups in our communities who need it. It is a great way to make a difference over the long term, support those most in need, and deliver a real positive impact to people’s lives.”

Jenny Benson said: “The Foundation is delighted to support Shepley’s charitable giving over the last decade. They are truly leading the way in terms of their generous commitment to local communities, making significant financial investment in small, local charities and committing to long-term, flexible funding. We know just how much this means to the charities and community groups benefiting from these grants.”

Shepley Engineers, based in the Old Town Hall in Whitehaven’s Duke Street, is Sellafield’s longest-serving continuous contractor, and this year celebrates its 75th anniversary. In 1948 it began work on stainless ducting on the Windscale Piles, and was involved in the commissioning of the world’s first commercial nuclear power plant, Calder Hall.

More recently the group have been working on Britain’s next generation nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and its specialist restoration division has led on the iron restoration of Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) and the Houses of Parliament.

Fibrus grants help to tackle ‘digital poverty’ in Cumbria

Ten community groups in Cumbria have received grants to help vulnerable people access the internet and digital technology.

The funding has come from Full Fibre broadband company Fibrus, which launched the Fibrus Community Fund Cumbria in April in partnership with Cumbria Community Foundation.

Fibrus is donating £60,000 this year, across Cumbria, to tackle digital poverty, with a particular focus on those aged 18 and under and the over-60s. This coincides with Fibrus rolling out high-speed broadband connections to homes across the county.

Carlisle Sight Support is a charity supporting the visually impaired across north Cumbria with satellite groups in Brampton, Dalston and Longtown.

The group received funding to buy Echo Dot smart speakers and run training and awareness-raising sessions, helping the visually impaired make the most of the technology.

Manager Mark Costello said: “We were looking at technological solutions and the Fibrus Community Fund gave us the impetus and the money to go ahead and purchase the items.

“These speakers make such a difference. Visually impaired people can use them to listen to music, turn lights and appliances on and off and to access talking books and newspapers and it can be vital in helping them stay connected to family and friends.”

Dean Jooste, Stakeholder Director at Fibrus, visited the group for its monthly lunchtime social get together and helped demonstrate the smart speakers.

“They soon got the knack of asking questions and were quizzing Alexa about the weekend’s weather, Carlisle United and rugby internationals.

Michelle Lynam enjoyed her first chat with Alexa. “It was quite daunting at first but I’ll get used to it. I like rugby so it was good to be able to get information quickly about the world cup.”

Dean said: “We saw a real need in Cumbria to address digital poverty, and through the Fibrus Community Fund, we heard from some fantastic organisations. By enabling those in need to access computers and online services, we can boost the opportunities of youngsters and improve the quality of life for older people.

“It is important to us that while we’re bringing the people of Cumbria high speed connections, we continue to invest money to support our communities.”

Jenny Benson, director of programmes and partnerships at Cumbria Community Foundation, added: “The grants provided by the Fibrus Community Fund can be life changing.

“They can pay for devices that help young people with schoolwork or to apply for their first job, for example, and enable older people to access online services and stay connected with family and friends through Skype or Zoom.”

The Fibrus Fund has given to 10 organisations in its first round of grants including Friends of Shap School; Drop Zone Youth Projects in Barrow; Hallbankgate Hub and the Carnegie Theatre Trust.

Fibrus is transforming digital infrastructure by investing more than £700 million to bring full-fibre broadband to towns and villages across Northern England and Northern Ireland.

The company recently announced two new connectable locations in the local area as part of its ongoing rollout; Aspatria and Workington, on top of the first homes in Staveley connected under the Government’s Project Gigabit contract earlier this year.

Fibrus has demonstrated its support for Cumbrian communities this year by launching a fund for grassroots clubs across the regions it serves, which invests over £30,000 in boys’ and girls’ sport.

The company also sponsored the new Fibrus 100 girls’ cricket league in partnership with Cumbria Cricket and announced a sponsorship with Workington Town Rugby League in July, with the team’s home ground renamed to the Fibrus Community Stadium.

The second round of funding for the Fibrus Community Fund has opened for applications today, Monday, August 21, closing on November 10, and organisations from across Cumbria are encouraged to apply.

Event celebrates success of young West Cumbrian entrepreneurs

Seven inspiring young West Cumbrians, who started their own businesses, have been praised for their nous and ingenuity. All seven took part in Positive Enterprise, an initiative from Cumbria Community Foundation and the Centre for Leadership Performance to help young people from Allerdale and Copeland go into business.

Their achievements were recognised at a celebratory event at Lakes College, Workington, to mark the end of the first year of the programme.

All participants, aged 15 to 25, have received a £1,000 grant, mentoring from an experienced businessperson and performance and leadership development.

Aiden Thompson, 15, from Whitehaven, collected an extra £1,000 after judges were impressed by his presentation. His business, Cumbria Coastal Crafts, produces framed pebble art and customised laser engraved products.

He said: “I saw a gap in the market and it has been very successful. Positive Enterprise helped me take it from an idea to a business. The grant paid for equipment and the mentoring helped me find the best ways to sell the products and explore potential opportunities.”

Rachel McCartney, 24, of Holmrook, had the most ambitious idea. She has set up McCartney Sustainable Solutions to recycle food waste into compost, fertiliser and biofuel, and is in the process of raising £1.2m. She said: “In Cumbria, we are paying £100 a tonne to dispose of food waste in landfill. I thought there were better ways of dealing with it.”

Lennon Glass, 15, from Cockermouth, trades as Artify making customised and bespoke wool rugs. He said: “I do school work on weekdays and make rugs at the weekend. All the rugs are from UK-sourced wool and profits go to the WI.”

Bethany Goodall, 24, of Workington, established the Lake District Academy of Theatre Arts to provide affordable musical theatre workshops. She said: “Having one-to-one sessions with a mentor gave me a real insight into how to sell my idea. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do that.”

Three of the participants could not be there in person but told their stories through pre-recorded presentations.

Josh Coombe, 15, from Whitehaven, used his grant to buy printing equipment for JC Stitch and Style, which offer fully customisable clothing and mugs.

Luke Eilbeck, 18, of Wigton, has set up Mad4Kit selling vintage secondhand football memorabilia while studying for his A-levels.

And Jack Fleming, 19, from Whitehaven, runs JF Entertainment, a mobile DJ service, which has expanded thanks to Positive Enterprise.

The guest speaker was Sally Phillips, founder of Chimney Sheep in Workington, which makes draught excluders from Herdwick wool. She offered advice and encouragement to the participants.

“I’ve always taken it one step at a time, and now I employ 14 people with a turnover of £2.2m,” Sally said. “It’s not always been fun and games, things do go wrong, but I just ride the wave. I hope you all have adventures as well.”

David Beeby, Chair of Cumbria Community Foundation, added: “We’ve heard different stories from different personalities with different approaches. Every one of them was very impressive. I wish the young entrepreneur all luck in what they’re doing. Business is hard work but you need luck as well.”

Cumbria Community Foundation hopes to repeat Positive Enterprise in 2024.

The programme is funded by the Cumbria-based property developer Brian Scowcroft with match funding from Sellafield Ltd as part of its Transforming West Cumbria programme, the Low Level Waste Repository Ltd (LLWR), Well Whitehaven, Morgan Sindall and Kaefer.

Samantha McKenzie, of Nuclear Waste Services, thought it money well spent. She said: “One of the priorities for the LLWR as a funder is to help young people to develop their skills and knowledge and to be the best they can be. Every single one of them has done that.”

And Laurie Crayston, an entrepreneur who acted as a mentor to Josh Coombe, said: “I like to think that I gave him useful pointers. Every issue he encountered was something I’d had to deal with my own business at some point.”

Better Tomorrows improves life chances of young Cumbrians

A new initiative to encourage more people into youth work in Cumbria has been hailed as a resounding success and is already transforming lives.

Better Tomorrows was launched by David Beeby, Chair of Cumbria Community Foundation and a former High Sheriff of Cumbria, to address what he describes as a “huge gap” in youth work provision.

In the first year of the three-year programme, over 30 people have participated in the accredited training, 19 organisations have been funded, providing 26 new youth worker roles and nearly 4,000 hours of new youth work has been delivered. You can read the first year evaluation here.

Speaking at a Cumbria Community Foundation event to mark the first anniversary, David said: “I felt that young people had made sacrifices for the older generation in the first year of the Covid pandemic, in terms of their education and opportunities, and we needed to redress that.

“We had conversations about what was missing and came across compelling evidence that quality youth work makes a real difference to the outcomes for young people, yet funding for youth work has been cut dramatically.

“It has been a privilege to try and do something about that. I hope now that youth work is being recognised as a career and as an opportunity.”

Better Tomorrows is investing more than £1 million over three years to pay for accredited youth work training. Alongside the training, which is delivered in-person by Cumbria Youth Alliance, it also offers multi-year grants up to £75,000 to community organisations that set up or provide new youth work opportunities for local people.

More than 70 people attended the celebratory event at the University of Cumbria’s Learning Gateway in Carlisle, a mix of funders, funded organisations and youth workers who have undergone training.

Over 40 funders have contributed to the programme, including the Community Foundation, Francis C Scott Trust, Four Acre Trust, LLWR, many local businesses and the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, which is contributing £75,000.

L-R: David Beeby and Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson, Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “High-quality youth work has a crucial role to play in supporting young people to achieve their potential. They gain confidence and competence, develop self-assurance, and can establish high expectations and aspirations for themselves. This is why it is vital that we provide qualified youth workers across Cumbria.”

The most powerful moment came when Erin Beaty and AJ Fell, two young people who regularly attend Carlisle Youth Zone, explained how youth work has changed their lives for the better.

L-R: Erin Beaty and AJ Fell

AJ said: “Opportunities are coming left, right and centre for me now. I’m going to university to do music and that’s only because of the Youth Zone. I started music when a staff member there threw a guitar at me and said, ‘Learn that!’.”

Erin added: “I’ve made some of my closest friends through the Youth Zone. I couldn’t have met them anywhere else because we go to different schools.”

The organisations to have received support from Better Tomorrows include Euphoric Circus, a charity operating in Penrith, Appleby and Alston that engages with young people by training them in circus skills.

Development Officer Toni Spence said: “The funding has benefited us massively. It has formalised what we can offer in terms of training people in youth work and it has made the quality of what we deliver much higher.”

Another beneficiary is South Whitehaven Youth Partnership, which works with young people between the ages of eight and 18. Representative Jacq Carty said: “We’ve got three years of funding and, by the end of year one, we’ve been able to engage with an additional 107 young people as a result.”

Better Tomorrows is scalable, and it can make an even bigger difference with further funding. For more information, or to make a donation, click here or call 01900 825760.

Tackling tension around immigration in Barrow

Barrow is one of the most socio-economically deprived areas in Cumbria. It’s also home to a growing community of refugees and asylum seekers – like the rest of the UK, migration to Barrow has increased following the removal of restrictions introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to limit travel and movement.

Many migrants relocate to the UK fleeing serious threat to their lives. They often arrive with no support networks and only limited English.

Believing access to essential services, housing and support for locals was restricted through the arrival of asylum seekers and refugees, Barrow was targeted by far-right individuals and groups sowing mistrust and intolerance in the community.

Cumbria Development Education Centre (CDEC) is a charity that unites people of all backgrounds and experiences in Cumbria, educating schools, communities and organisations on key social and environmental issues to empower locals to influence positive change.

Director Laura Goad says: “There was a growing ‘them and us’ attitude in Barrow. We had conversations with very concerned police officers, and headteachers were desperate for more help to support children from immigrant families.

“Refugees and asylum seekers were even at risk of verbal and physical abuse. It was time to act and funding from the Foundation meant we were able to provide our community with the expert, tailored support needed.”

“We put together a programme of special workshops, designed directly with refugees and asylum seekers and delivered by our expert team of educators. These took place both face-to-face in Barrow and online, ensuring we were able to maximise our reach. Our aim was to help people in key educational roles, including teachers, youth workers and parents, to build their knowledge on the most pressing issues.

“We also focused on helping children build empathy. Through immersive sessions with young people, we developed their understanding of the cultures and countries migrant children have relocated from. We also presented real-life stories from the people affected, helping children step into the shoes of refugees and asylum seekers.”

“Our work has helped parents and teachers increase their understanding around immigration and built their confidence to address racial and social injustices. They say they feel much better equipped to support children in need and tackle challenges like right-wing rhetoric. The sessions we held with pupils also had a big impact. Parents have told us about children continuing to talk about what they’ve learnt at home, long after the sessions have finished.”

“For the refugees we’ve been working with, this project has given them a voice. A voice to talk about who they are, and their life experiences that have brought them to Cumbria.”

There’s more work to do, but the community feels empowered to make positive change.

“Attitudes to immigration are always changing, so our work isn’t done. But thanks to funding from Cumbria Community Foundation, the teachers, parents and pupils we’ve worked with all feel empowered to make a difference in their community. And the resources we’ve created are free to access and available for schools to use in the future.”

The CDEC community education programme was funded by the Beeby Family Fund (£5,000), Barrow Community Trust Funds Grants (£1,168) and Community Resilience Fund (£4,639).

Second home and holiday let owners encouraged to give back to Cumbria’s communities

It has been a year since the Cumbria Home from Home Fund was set up to provide a way for holiday let and second homeowners to give back to the communities where their properties are located.

The initiative was developed by Cumbria Community Foundation in response to growing concerns about the impact of second homes and holiday lets in the county.

As the 2023 holiday season gets underway, the Foundation explains why the Fund was created and how people can support it.

An increase in the number of second homes and holiday lets is a double-edged sword for Cumbria’s economy and communities. Holiday lets attract tourists to the county and those tourists spend money in our communities. But they also reduce the number of people able to live locally and begin to erode the fabric of communities.

This has a knock-on effect on other tourist facing businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry, who struggle to find local employees.

Westmorland and Furness Council covers most of the Lake District where it is estimated that up to a quarter of homes may be owned by non-residents. The council voted in March 2023 to double the council tax bills of second homeowners. However, that increase will only apply to those who do not let their house out for the minimum number of days to qualify as a holiday let.

Holiday lets do not pay council tax as they qualify for business rates (and most do not pay business rates as they qualify for relief). This leaves local councils with less revenue to pay for local services and holiday let owners with a windfall of no council tax or business rates to pay.

Andy Beeforth OBE, CEO of Cumbria Community Foundation, commented: “The beauty of the Lake District often disguises the fact that too many of our residents are experiencing hardship. The significant increase in the number of holiday lets in the past few years has reduced the availability of housing for local people as well as reducing the council tax revenue which pays for local services.

“It seems only right that some of the windfall that holiday let owners receive from not paying council tax or business rates should find its way back into the local communities that host their holiday let properties. The Cumbria Home from Home Fund is the perfect mechanism for this.”

Donations to the Cumbria Home from Home Fund support projects in and around the Lake District that foster a strong sense of community, encourage social connections and improve wellbeing. Funds have contributed to a number of projects including provision of a warm hub in Grasmere, kitchen facilities for a village hall near Kirkby Lonsdale and an art installation featuring 15,000 ceramic daffodils at Lowther Castle.

Wherever possible, donations to the fund are distributed in the town or in the vicinity of the property so that donors can be assured that their money is being returned to the communities that host their property.

To highlight the need for this Fund and how holiday and second homeowners can get involved, the Foundation has produced a short video which can be found here and more details on the Cumbria Home from Home Fund can be found on the Foundation’s website

To make a donation to the Cumbria Home from Home Fund, visit here. All donations are welcome and will go to supporting Cumbria’s communities.

We suggest a minimum annual donation of £500 for properties that sleep up to 6 people, £1000 for those that sleep up to 10, and £1500 for those that sleep 11 and above.

Ambitious new five year plan launched

Cumbria Community Foundation has been providing a helping hand to the people of Cumbria for more than 20 years.

The money we raise through the support of our generous donors funds the grants that we distribute to charities and voluntary groups across Cumbria. Those charities and groups provide a lifeline to many people and the grants help them to continue and expand their vital work.

Since 1999, we’ve distributed over £60 million in grants to more than 4,000 organisations and 8,000 individuals in Cumbria, funding a variety of projects; improving access to mental health support, advice and guidance for those in financial hardship, increasing employability and training opportunities, supporting early intervention and education programmes, food provision, tackling homelessness and ensuring young people can access youth clubs.

We’re proud of what has been achieved to date but, knowing that there is always more to be done, we launched our ambitious new five year strategy yesterday.

To respond to the needs in our communities, we aim to grow our sustained long-term grant making to a minimum of £6 million per year by 2028. To do that, we plan to increase awareness of the work we do and inspire more people, families, businesses and larger companies and institutions to donate through the Foundation, which can then be channelled to where needs are most pressing in the county.

Our new five year strategy is timely. It is being launched in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis that hit while we were all still recovering from the social and economic challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Living standards and life expectancy are falling, and needs are increasing.

It goes without saying that living in Cumbria has some serious upsides. We’ve got a World Heritage Status landscape with good people who look out for each other. But life in the county can also, for many people, be really tough. Our beautiful landscape hides intense poverty and lack of opportunity, all of which is exacerbated by rural isolation and lack of access to services.

We know our county very well. We commission and produce research reports to identify the issues facing communities in Cumbria and also their strengths. Using evidence-based data and insights, we will produce further reports to evidence local need, shed a spotlight on issues that need addressed, and ensure everyone can achieve their potential.

There are a number of different ways people and businesses can give back to their community through the Foundation – one off or regular donations, a membership scheme, legacy gifts, hosting fundraising events to name a few. Our current core of supporters have helped build an endowment of over £26 million which helps ensure community projects are supported for the long term. With new supporters working alongside current fundholders and partners, the plan is to build that endowment to £40 million over the next five years.

We’re determined to improve the lives of local residents and strengthen communities. We want to ensure that Cumbria is a place where needs are met, and everyone can reach their potential.

Read our new five year strategy.

If you’d like to get involved, contact us by sending an email or calling 01900 825760.

New fund to address digital poverty

Full fibre broadband company Fibrus, who is currently rolling out their network in Cumbria, is delighted to announce its partnership with the Cumbria Community Foundation. This new fund, which launches today and is named the “Fibrus Community Fund Cumbria” aims to award funding to local communities in need of support.

The fund’s main goal is to support those experiencing digital poverty in rural areas, with a particular focus on grassroots organisations and community groups. Successful grants will be allocated to support on-the-ground digital technology projects which make key differences to communities, enhancing people’s lives and wellbeing. A particular focus will be placed on children, young people and older people who could benefit from digital support.

Fibrus Chief Executive Officer, Dominic Kearns, said: “Fibrus is committed to supporting the communities in which we operate. We will invest £60,000 in the Fibrus Community Fund Cumbria in 2023, to give back to some of the organisations doing wonderful work to enhance and support towns and villages across Cumbria.

“We’re looking for projects specifically aimed at young people who need greater access to technology or connectivity, as well as initiatives that combat digital exclusion amongst those more vulnerable in our society. We hope many local groups and community organisations get involved and look forward to hearing more about your fantastic work.”

Jenny Benson, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Fibrus to deliver this important new grant making fund in Cumbria. Digital connectivity has increasingly become a daily necessity for us to live our lives, particularly in rural areas. However, the most vulnerable members of our communities often struggle to afford, access or use digital technologies.

“With Fibrus’ generous support, we will be able to offer grants to community organisations to enable them to help younger and older people become more digitally connected and to access a range of online tools, from grocery shopping and training, to new employment opportunities.”

Fibrus launched a similar fund via the Community Foundation Northern Ireland in September 2021 which will have provided a total contribution of £120,000 by the end of 2023. Some examples of the projects supported so far include the provision of devices to help children with special needs communicate in a way more comfortable for them, and iPads for young people to support with education.

To learn more information or to apply to the fund, click here.

£130,000 awarded to good causes in Copeland

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, or call the grants team on 01900 820827 or email

High Sheriff celebrates county’s charities

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.