Preventing the collapse of a popular local group

16th June 2016

Preventing the collapse of a popular local group

When Kendal Windows on Art’s (KWoA) Milnthorpe Craft Group lost their regular meeting venue there were fears the group would collapse. Everyone in the group is over 65 and the loss of the group could mean the loss of their only means of socialising and opportunity to be independent.

Through raised awareness and support from the NCI funded Community Support Project (South Lakes), KWoA contacted Cumbria CVS, who successfully linked them to the NCI small grants fund established by Cumbria Community Foundation.  A grant of £500 was awarded to KWoA for the Milnthorpe Craft Group to take part in their Pride of Place project, using Milnthorpe Primary School as their new venue.

The Neighbourhood Care Independence Programme small grants fund enabled the Craft Group to continue, resulting in these five outcomes:

Collaboration between KWoA and Milnthorpe primary school has helped the older people maintain their independence through social and creative activities with the children. The Pride of Place project encourages community engagement with intergenerational activities inspired by the sharing of local history, memories and stories.

The new venue meant the older people could still access their social activity, and sharing their creativity and knowledge with the children at the school has helped them to get to know local young families and be valued by their communities.

The sessions also saw both the children and older people learning new skills from each other including textiles and photography.

The project also opened up new opportunities outside the Craft Group. A lady who attended the group then went on to volunteer at the school helping and listening to the children read. The older people have now been invited back into school in April to help develop the children’s sewing skills, and are socialising with other people outside their usual groups in the Milnthorpe community.

Creative work made by older Milnthorpe residents including Craft Group members and the children will be displayed as part of a series of community exhibitions across Milnthorpe community venues in June.

This is just one example of successful collaboration between CCF, CVS and local providers and NCI partners, and ‘would have not been anywhere near as successful or far-reaching as it has been without the NCI Small Grant Fund’. (Andrew Bass, Business Development Officer, Cumbria CVS, Barrow & South Lakes)

This NCI small grants fund was set up by Cumbria Community Foundation as part of its grant-making for the Neighbourhood Care Independence Programme. The purpose of this fund is to be easily accessible so that grant monies can get quickly to where they are needed. The fund is administered by Cumbria CVS for access by grassroots groups who know what is needed most on the ground in their communities.

For more information about NCI in Carlisle, Eden, South Lakes and Barrow please contact or call 0844 967 1885.