Season of goodwill

Author: David Beeby - 19th December 2019

December is the season of good will and what better month to pay tribute to the many examples of good will across Cumbria. We connect people who care with causes that matter and we couldn’t do this without your support which enables groups across Cumbria to help improve the lives of others.

Rotarians in Cumbria are collecting your old, unwanted coats and giving them to charities that support the homeless, refugees, children living in poverty and people fleeing domestic violence.  Any size, style, colour of men’s, women’s and children’s coats are greatly appreciated. You can learn more here:

The charity fundraising event, Kitchen Rivals, returned last month with teams from legal firm Baines Wilson and Barclays Bank going head to head under the watchful eye of chefs from the Lodore Falls Hotel, to see who could create the best dining experience.

A group of 19 members of Penrith Young Farmers Club have posed in nothing but their wellies for a calendar for charity. The 2020 calendar is out now with all proceeds going to three charities: Hospice at Home, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Orchid, a charity fighting male cancer.

Kaefer, based at Westlakes Science Park near Whitehaven has raised more than £10,000 in just two years to support Hospice at Home West Cumbria.

When Myles Walker contacted our CEO Andy Beeforth about setting up a Winter Warmth Fund they had no idea that 10 years on it would have helped thousands of people by raising £1 million to keep older people warm.

Myles now 81, explains: “It is remarkable how a twinge of conscience can give birth to a now ten-year-old millionaire! In those days, I delivered medicines for the local surgery to people stuck at home. One such patient, living in a small cottage, spent day and night in one room which had a fire with a back-boiler. She could not afford electricity for heating and seldom cooked. I told Andy Beeforth of my ambition to form a fund to help the many other elderly people in similar circumstances. He and his wonderful team formed The Winter Warmth Appeal, to which I recommend anyone who does not really need the government winter warmth payment to donate it – preferably with Gift Aid.”

This year, several businesses including EDF Renewables, Sellafield and West Cumberland Farmers, have pledged to match any donations given, so that more money will be available to prevent older people having to choose between heating and eating.

The Winter Warmth Appeal collects people’s warm generosity and gives it back out to vulnerable older people to ensure they can heat their homes properly and remain safe and well during the colder months. If you would like to donate please visit our website:

As well as making individual donations, our members have been busy fundraising for the Winter Warmth Appeal. Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat, part of the Darwin Escapes family of holiday resorts and retreats, has proudly supported the Winter Warmth Appeal for the past three years running. This year, the team and their guests raised a total of £325 through Easter and Halloween events, summer parties and raffles. Keswick Reach is delighted that their donation was doubled through the Winter Warmth Match Funding Challenge and are proud to play a small part in a very worthy local cause. A big thanks also to the Westmorland Team who have been raising money for the Winter Warmth Appeal at Rheged and also PPM Ltd, James Walker & Co and H&H Reeds who have all raised money by having a festive fun.

For those usually alone on Christmas Day, the Rotary in the Whitehaven, Egremont and Cleator Moor area are providing Christmas Day Lunch at Cleator Moor Civic Hall. If you know anyone that may be interested, please contact them on: 01946 810176.

If you are looking for something do on Christmas Eve, Keswick’s Alhambra Cinema is once again raising money for our Winter Warmth Appeal. All proceeds from ticket sales of It’s a Wonderful Life will be going to the Winter Warmth Fund. Carol Rennie, Director, said: “It has become an Alhambra tradition now – we’ve done it three years in a row!”

As the year ends, we are pleased to say it has been another exciting and successful year for Cumbria Community Foundation. Please take time to review our 2019 annual review, which shares stories of some of the wonderful organisations and people we have worked with in ways that will have a lasting impact.

Whatever the New Year brings, we will continue to connect people with the causes that matter to them and we will work side by side with communities, fundholders and supporters to help make Cumbria a better place for all.

We look forward to another year of supporting communities and enabling generosity in Cumbria. Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and prosperous 2019.