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Cumbria community cost of living crisis grant

Community groups and organisations across Cumbria are being offered financial support to help relieve the hardship of people who are experiencing financial struggles.

The current cost of living is forcing more people across our county into poverty. Many households who were ‘just about managing’ have been hard hit along with one in eight households whose income is less than £10,000 per year.

Working in partnership with Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Community Foundation is offering funding to charitable organisations that support interventions to help people who are struggling financially.

The Community Hardship Fund is providing grants of up to £10,000 to support activities that help people in financial hardship.

Funding can be used for practical skills such as budgeting and cooking courses or to buy equipment for community lunches, and schemes that help people to meet pressing needs, such as essential household items. The grants will cover costs to sustain a service that support people in financial hardship e.g., foodbanks, food pantries and hubs and additional staff costs to deliver increased activities or coordinate a service.

The Rock Youth Project in Carlisle received a grant to support low-income families by offering regular cooking classes and twice weekly coffee mornings. Funding also contributed to the cost of purchasing a washing machine for use by the local community, and a larger oven.

Vickie Harkness, Youth Lead, said: “We adapt to the needs of the community and have opened our doors to everyone, not just those supported by our youth provision. This funding will support those who are suffering from the cost of living crisis. We plan to reduce isolation, give families a safe space to collect all the essentials whilst meeting others, and most importantly ensure they don’t need to worry about how they can afford the things that meet their basic needs.

“This project has given us the opportunity to pair up with different agencies where we can also provide entertainment for younger children to give parents and carers a well-deserved break and take part in some activities that will teach them new skills.”

Other grants have been used to provide emergency help for struggling families supported by Howgill Family Centre, and a healthy food growing project run by Cleator Moor based Home to Work.

Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants, Programmes & Communications Officer, said: “We know there is increased need across the county with food banks running out of food and more and more people unable to afford to eat or heat their homes to a safe level. This new fund will support projects that are keeping people fed and warm and provide additional practical support and advice to help people cope throughout this period of great hardship.”

To apply for funding, visit www.cumbriafoundation.org/fund/community-hardship-fund or contact Annalee Holiday via annalee@cumbriafoundation.org or on 01900 825760.

 

Giant artwork created with 300 blankets to highlight the Winter Warmth Appeal

Three hundred blankets were used to create this giant image of a pensioner trying to keep warm.

The 24ft long artwork beside Hadrian’s Wall used 300 blankets – one for each life lost to the cold in a Cumbrian winter.

It was created to highlight Cumbria Community Foundation’s annual Winter Warmth Appeal on Saturday at Birdoswald Roman Fort.

The charity’s chief executive, Andy Beeforth, said: “This giant artwork reminds us that Cumbria may have stunningly picturesque landscape, but it is also a place where thousands of older folk struggle to stay warm during its winters.

“Our landscape can be as bleak as it is beautiful and, on average, in a bad winter an extra 300 people in Cumbria will lose their lives to the effects of the plummeting temperatures. We know for every one degree drop in temperature, the mortality rate increases, even in relatively mild winters.”

“We know that each of the blankets used in this artwork represents a life that will be lost because of the cold. They are someone’s mum or dad, gran or grandad, brother or sister, husband or wife. All lives that could be saved,” he added.

And this year the cost of living crisis along with rising fuel costs has prompted Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health to warn of a ‘major public health threat’ over the coming months.

“Difficulty in heating houses leads directly to increased lung and heart health problems and contributes to the higher rate of hospitalisations and deaths that we see over the winter, so I’m particularly worried about what might happen this year,” he said.

The image was created by Cumbrian artist Abby Kilfedder and took four hours to put together much to the amazement of walkers who chanced upon it while visiting Hadrian’s Wall. “It has been a brilliant project to work on. Hopefully it will really raise the profile of the Winter Warmth Appeal,” she said.

All the blankets are now being washed and donated to Age UK to be distributed to older folk around Cumbria.

Cumbria Community Foundation has run the appeal every year since it was launched in 2010 raising more than £1.5m to date.

This year the Foundation has set a higher target of £500,000. Any donations made between 7th November to 9th December 2022 will be doubled with match funding thanks to generous match funding champions: WCF Ltd, the John Laing Charitable Trust, Sellafield Ltd, Cumbria County Council, Roselands Trust, Nuclear Waste Services, The Johnson Fund, Brian and Ann Clark Fund, The Harvey Family Fund, The Hadfield Trust, Rural Getaways Ltd and private donors.

Andy Beeforth said: “Because of the severity of the circumstances this year we have set our highest ever target – £500,000.

“We know that Cumbrians are immensely generous, the Winter Warmth Appeal raised a record amount last year. I hope we can rise to the exceptional challenge this winter and smash the new target.
“Please donate if you can. Let’s not let the cold and the cost-of-living crisis bring misery and the risk of death to vulnerable older members of our community.”

How to support the Winter Warmth :
You can donate online using this link.

Alternatively, Cumbria Community Foundation also accepts donations by cheque or phone. To make a phone donation, please ring 01900 825760 between the hours of 9am-5pm Mon-Fri.

Winter Warmth Appeal launched as experts warn of tough winter ahead for Cumbria’s older people

Health and care leaders in Cumbria are warning that older people are facing one of the toughest and potentially most deadly winters on record.

The soaring cost-of-living crisis means this winter poses a serious threat to elderly people who already struggle to afford heating at home.

Every year between 300 and 500 older Cumbrians die because of problems related to not being able to heat their homes.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “The cost-of-living crisis has overtaken Covid-19 as the major public health threat over the coming months.

“Difficulty in heating houses leads directly to increased lung and heart health problems and contributes to the higher rate of hospitalisations and deaths that we see over the winter, so I’m particularly worried about what might happen this year.

“Winter is always a particularly difficult time for many people, including those who are older and on lower incomes, and this year is likely to be exceptionally so.”

His comments come as this year’s Winter Warmth Appeal launches in Cumbria with the aim of raising £500,000 to help older people turn on their heating.

Colin Cox said: “I very much welcome the Winter Warmth Appeal as something that could really help Cumbria’s most vulnerable people in what looks set to be the hardest winter for many years.”

Last year generous Cumbrian individuals and businesses donated a record £222,819 to the Winter Warmth Appeal. This was used to make 1,319 grants, helping 1,751 older Cumbrians keep warm.

Hannah Kitching, client services manager at Age UK South Lakeland says the appeal is more vital than ever this year.

“Bluntly put, the Winter Warmth Appeal could be the difference between life and death,” she said.

“Older people are petrified and are making drastic sacrifices for fear of being unable to stay safe and well in their own homes.”

The Winter Warmth Appeal is run each year by the charity Cumbria Community Foundation which is based in Dovenby.

CCF chief executive Andy Beeforth said: “Every year many vulnerable Cumbrians have to choose between heating and eating.

“But this winter could see many more in serious difficulty because of the huge rises in the cost of energy happening at the same time as spiralling food costs. It is a perfect storm of difficulty facing older Cumbrians with limited means.

“I would ask everyone who is able, to please make a donation to the Winter Warmth Appeal, whether large or small. The money goes directly in grants to help elderly Cumbrians to turn on their heating during the coldest weather.”

Cumbria Community Foundation has run the appeal every year since it was launched in 2010 raising more than £1m. This year the Foundation has set a higher target of £500,000. Any donations made between 7th November and 9th December will be doubled with match funding.

Andy Beeforth said: “Because of the severity of the circumstances this year we have set our highest ever target – £500,000.

“We know that Cumbrians are immensely generous, the Winter Warmth Appeal raised a record amount last year. I hope we can rise to the exceptional challenge this winter and smash the new target.

“Please donate if you can. Let’s not let the cold and the cost-of-living crisis bring misery and the risk of death to vulnerable older members of our community.”

Last year a winter warmth grant proved crucial for Anthony Gorman and his wife Carol. Anthony, 78, and Carol, 81, live in Little Urswick near Barrow-in-Furness.

“I have never had anything for nothing, and I didn’t hold out much hope of getting this grant, so it was a big surprise when we did,” said Anthony.

“It made a terrific difference. I’m quite badly disabled with a serious spinal condition. I’m in constant pain and have dreadful sciatica virtually constantly.

“I can’t walk very far so I can’t move about to keep warm. With the cost-of-living crisis at the moment it’s very disturbing to see people doing without food to keep the heating on.

“I hope to God it never comes to not being able to afford heating. Cold makes the pain worse,” he said.

“To people who donate money to help the likes of myself I say, thank you very much. They absolutely make a huge difference to both of us.”

Rosemary Armstrong, 78, from Stanwix in Carlisle, says a winter warmth grant made winter bearable last year.

“The bungalow gets very, very cold,” said Rosemary. “I have to sit with my feet up in the evening because they turn to blocks of ice. My circulation is not as good as it was.”

Rosemary says she has cut down on food due to rising costs. “I have lost a stone and a half which I probably needed to do. I just don’t eat as many treats and puddings anymore.

“The winter warmth grant makes a big difference in not worrying so much about my bills and being able to keep warm.”

The Winter Warmth Appeal also proved vital for Peter Charters last year. Peter is 73 and lives in Grange-over-Sands in a rented two-bedroom flat.

A winter warmth grant meant he could keep his storage heaters on during the coldest weather.

“It was getting quite cold. I had to get the blankets out. I used to wrap myself up in a duvet,” said Peter who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and diabetes.

“I’m quite vulnerable,” he said. “I can’t get out for exercise now because of the COPD, if I walk any distance I get out of breath.

“I am very grateful to people who have donated to the Winter Warmth Appeal. If they have the means to be able to donate, I am more than grateful, especially for people like myself who don’t have a very high income and you are stuck in that situation.”

There are many ways in which you can make a donation, find our more here.

*Carlisle artist David Lush created the attached image specially for the Winter Warmth Appeal fund report 2021-2022.

Creating Warm Spaces across Cumbria

Community groups and organisations across Cumbria are being offered financial support to help people keep warm over winter.

Working in partnership with Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Community Foundation is offering funding to the voluntary and community sector to help create a network of places where people can go to keep warm and have company.

The Warm Spot Fund is providing grants of up to £1,000 per venue to expand capacity or to start up in a new venue. For example, a community centre may apply to cover the costs of providing a designated space with chairs and hot drinks, open at regular times each week, or a parish hall may want to set up a coffee morning for the first time.

Funding can be used to cover energy bills, additional staff time, volunteer expenses, provision of drinks and venue hire, as well as other relevant costs.

Cumbria County Council suggests a Warm Spot should offer a warm, heated space, ‘a warm welcome’ with at least one member of staff or volunteer, a warm drink and be open for at least two hours each week.

Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “As the cost of living crisis continues, we know a lot of people are going to find it increasingly hard to heat their homes this winter and we know that being cold is a genuinely serious risk to your health. This funding is for community organisations who are looking to offer somewhere warm that people can drop-in if they’re struggling, have a hot drink and a chat if they want one. They’ll also be able to talk to people about other places they could get support. A lot of local organisations are hoping to offer this kind of support, so our intention is that this funding helps them make that a reality.”

The Warm Spots Fund has already started to award grants to provide warm spaces up and down the county, including The Salvation Army in Barrow, Moot Hall in Brampton, Kendal Town Hall, Appleby Cricket Club and The Settlement in Maryport.

Jenny Benson, Director of Programmes & Partnerships at the Foundation, said: “Communities are in great need, and we are pleased that we can support this fund by adding match funding. Community groups are doing all they can to keep people safe, feeling ok and warm against the odds. It’s our job to make sure they have the money to do so.”

The council is keen to let people across Cumbria know about these warm spaces and are setting up a WARM SPOT interactive map, which will be available on its website shortly.

Applications to the Warm Spots Fund can be submitted at any time and groups should hear the outcome of their application within 10 working days.

To apply for funding, click here or contact Annalee Holiday via annalee@cumbriafoundation.org or on 01900 825760.

VACANCY – Age Friendly Coordinator

Post: Age Friendly Coordinator

We are one of the county’s leading grant makers, providing much needed financial support to local community groups and initiatives that make a big difference to the lives of those in genuine need. Our aim is to change people’s lives for the better through donations from individuals, companies, charitable trusts and statutory organisations.

We’re looking to develop an Age Friendly community in South Lakeland, which aims to create a supportive, welcoming and vibrant environment for older adults. Everyone has the right to a good life as they get older and our whole society benefits when people are able to age well.

We have long recognised the importance of place-based approaches in helping people to age well. This is a pivotal role to support our ambition to build an Age Friendly community in South Lakeland. The postholder will work with partner organisations, agencies, authorities and local residents to ensure more people have an opportunity to enjoy a good later life, and to reduce inequalities in ageing.

Download the job description and application form from our website www.cumbriafoundation.org For an informal discussion about the role, contact Annalee Holliday on 01900 825760.
Closing date is 10am, Monday 14th November
Interviews will take place on 30th November 2022.

Download the job description and application form. 

For an informal discussion about the role, contact Annalee Holliday on 01900 825760.

Closing date is 10am, Monday 14th November

Interviews will take place on Wednesday 30th November 2022. A pre-interview task will be forwarded to those called for interview for completion in advance.

Funding boost to South Lakeland community groups

Community projects across south Cumbria are celebrating after being awarded grants to support a range of issues including tackling the many challenges facing England’s largest lake.

Homewares retailer, Lakeland, joined forces with Cumbria Community Foundation to expand the company’s reach into local communities and show its gratitude and ongoing support for the Cumbrian community where the business was founded more than 50 years ago.

The myLakeland Fund was set up to support community projects in and around Windermere, Kendal and South Lakeland, and has awarded more than £23,000 to local causes since it was set up six months ago.

Children and young people suffering with mental health issues will be able to access counselling sessions thanks to a £7,500 grant to self-harm awareness charity, SAFA.

The SAFA team

The charity has seen a 70% increase in referrals related to self-harming and three in five are aged under 19. Ian Burns, Chair of Trustees, said: “This is fantastic news for SAFA, and we are extremely grateful to Lakeland. We are determined to deliver significant benefit to those who need support in Kendal. People’s lives will be significantly improved as a result of this funding.”

Lake District Foundation received £3,890 for its Love Your Lake project that aims to clean up Windermere and improve the environment.

Sarah Swindley, Chief Executive of Lake District Foundation, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding which will enable us to introduce and manage ‘two-minute litter pick stations’ at busy lake locations. These will encourage people to take part in mini litter picks and raise a wider awareness about caring for our lakes and local environment.”

Bay Trust Radio, one of Cumbria’s oldest radio stations, received £3,050 to recruit new volunteers and purchase equipment to allow them to broadcast from home.

The station started broadcasting in 1977 in the old Westmorland County Hospital before moving to the Westmorland General.

John Williamson, president and station manager, said: “When I started in hospital radio, patients would have been in hospital for weeks but now they may only be in for days, so the station has had to move forward and expand the service.

“Every person involved with the station is a volunteer who gives up their time to bring enjoyment to others every week. Being awarded this grant will enable our charity to introduce new volunteers to present radio shows from home, encouraging those less mobile or with physical disabilities to join in.”

Carer Support South Lakes also received £9,000 over the next three years to support the most vulnerable carers and help them identify steps to improve their wellbeing.

Fran Wilkinson, Head of Loyalty at Lakeland, said: “Having launched the myLakeland fund in partnership with Cumbria Community Foundation six months ago, we’re delighted to see the difference that the fund is already making here in our local community. Whilst Lakeland is now a national retailer, we were founded here in the heart of the Lake District, where our Head Office, Flagship Store and Distribution Centre remain to this day, and it’s important to us that we give back to the local community that has supported us. With the help of our myLakeland members, we’ve been able to commit £50,000 of support to local charities and not-for-profit organisations right here in South Lakeland and we’re looking forward to continuing to see these funds being distributed to many great causes.”

Cumbria Community Foundation has been building philanthropic support for communities and grassroots groups for 22 years. In that time, working with individual donors and businesses, it has invested almost £60 million into local communities.

Annalee Holiday, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at the Foundation, said: “Lakeland has been a supporter of our work for many years, and we are delighted to help the company distribute its charitable giving to local community projects like these.

“Our job is to harness the spirit of local philanthropy, connecting local donors and funders to local people running grassroots initiatives, tackling some of the most challenging social and health challenges on our doorstep.”

To find out more about the myLakeland Fund, click here or contact Annalee Holiday via annalee@cumbriafoundation.org or on 01900 825760 to check eligibility.

Funding available for community projects supporting architectural merit in Cumbria

Community projects of architectural merit in Cumbria are being encouraged to apply for financial support from a fund set up in memory of a much-love father.

The Geoffrey Blake Architectural Heritage Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, was set up by a daughter in loving memory of her father, who had a long-standing interest in historical architecture.

Community projects run by voluntary or charitable groups that support architectural merit and enhance people’s experience and understanding of the built environment are welcome to apply.

Projects must have full access to the public and have a clear benefit to the community.

The Foundation is eager to hear from projects that include the renovation of community features and landmarks, e.g. wells, crosses and memorials, the renovation of features of public buildings or the creation of new work including sculptures and other built features.

The first grant was awarded to Fitz Park Charitable Trust for the refurbishment of the exterior of PUPS Shelter in Keswick.

The shelter was built in 1939 by the Pushing Young People’’s Society (PUPS).  Their aim was to provide activities and engagement for young people by carrying out charitable work and raising money to build the shelter in Fitz Park near to the War Memorial.

A spokesperson for the Fitz Park Charitable Trust said:“Fitz Park Trust is grateful for the support of Cumbria Community Foundation as it will ensure that the shelter  is restored as close to the original in design and purpose as possible.

“The grant will have a huge benefit in restoring this heritage asset in Keswick. It will take the shelter from a run-down structure, which is now looking very tired, and improve the overall street scene in an area, making this area a more attractive place to encourage people to meet up as well as place for quiet reflection.”

Since 1999, the Foundation has been bringing people who love Cumbria together to make the county stronger, so Cumbria can thrive and meet the challenges communities face and achieve their full potential.

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Programmes Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “This fund provides valuable funds for projects of architectural merit in Cumbria. It is important that people can experience local heritage and it’s great that we have a fund that supports the renovation of community features and landmarks.”

For more information or to apply visit, http://www.cumbriafoundation.org or call Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants Officer on 01900 820827 or email Annalee@cumbriafoundation.org

Electricity North West launches Storm Arwen resilience fund

Communities throughout the North West have an opportunity to be awarded a share of £500,000 through a fund designed to improve resilience.

The region’s power network operator, Electricity North West, has launched the new Storm Arwen Community Resilience Fund and is now welcoming applications.

The fund is aimed at groups and organisations that supported communities throughout one of the worst storms the North West has ever seen.

Grants of up to £10,000 are being made available and in exceptional circumstances, grants of up to £15,000 will be considered.

Stephanie Trubshaw, Electricity North West’s customer director, said: “The level of community support shown during Storm Arwen last year was amazing and something we want to support and learn from.

“We want to be able to ensure the good work continues in the future should adverse weather cause disruption again and that’s why we’re launching our new Storm Arwen Resilience Fund.

“The fund is aimed at organisations and groups to support the welfare of their residents in such events. The criteria we’ve set out is fairly open as we want communities to tell us what matters to them in a time of need.”

The fund is eligible to local volunteer-led organisations, not-for-profit community organisations, local registered charities and parish councils.

Examples of projects supported could be permanently installed generators, new or improved hot food and drink facilities or an improved community communications hub.

Electricity North West is working alongside Cumbria Community Foundation who will be administering the fund across the whole of the North West. In Cumbria specifically, one of the worst-hit areas during Storm Arwen, potential applicants can receive application support from ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT).

Applicants must be based in or provide a service to eligible communities, which are defined as those that were off electricity supply for 72 hours or more during Storm Arwen in November 2021.

During Storm Arwen, 93,000 properties lost power across the North West after winds reached 74mph and tens of thousands of trees came down, pulling down power lines and snapping electricity poles.

Electricity North West restored 18,000 properties automatically within three minutes and over 600 engineers battled the elements restoring 90% of customers within 48 hours, despite continuing winds.

The fund is in addition to the £6m the power network has invested in winter preparations this year to reduce the impact on or customers through severe weather events.

For more information about the fund including criteria, please click here.

Cumbria Community Foundation’s Home from Home Fund Supports First Projects

Holiday and second homeowners are helping communities thrive as two community projects receive the first grants from a new fund.

Cumbria Community Foundation’s Home from Home Fund invites second and holiday homeowners to donate the equivalent of one week’s rent each year, with a minimum suggested donation of £500.

The funds are then allocated to specific projects in towns and villages where many of the properties are located.

The fund has so far helped two local causes: Carers Support South Lakes and Lunesdale Hall in Kirkby Stephen.

Carer Support South Lakes has developed a health and wellbeing programme, which will support around 140 unpaid adult carers in the district.

Debi Marsden, CEO of Carer Support South Lakes, said the demands on unpaid carers could lead to financial issues, as well as feelings of isolation, stress and other physical and mental health problems.

“The health and wellbeing programme works with adult unpaid carers to strengthen their resilience, develop healthy coping strategies and build their confidence and self worth,” said Debi.

“The focus will be to help carers identify their individual needs and offer support that will lessen the impact of their caring role.”

The programme involves group work and one-to-one counselling, as well as therapy sessions, such as yoga or reflexology.

“A health and wellbeing practitioner will work with the individual to find the right resource and help them get to do what they want to do at a time that they wish to do it,” said Debi.

“It could be anything the carer feels they need to lessen the impact and enable them to cope.”

“It really does make a massive difference,” said Debi.

“The funding enables us to employ a part-time worker to run the programme and have all of the infrastructure behind them – the laptops and phones and everything else – that will enable them to do it.”

Meanwhile, Lunesdale Hall, in Kirkby Lonsdale, received a donation from the Home from Home Fund to help pay for a new kitchen.

The building, which dates back to 1895, is used for a range of community, recreational and commercial purposes.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the hall began running a ‘community cupboard’ providing food to people in need and hosting regular community lunches.

However, Michael Burchnall, deputy chair and secretary of Lunesdale Hall committee, said the kitchen is not currently suitable for preparing food for large numbers of people.

“We wanted to host it in the Lunesdale Hall and prepare the food in the hall, but it was impossible for the numbers involved so we’ve been having to prepare the food elsewhere,” he said.

Michael says an upgrade of the kitchen will help solve this problem.

It will also provide facilities to cater for a growing number of enquiries from people who want to book the hall for weddings or other events.

It is hoped work could begin to revamp the kitchen in late September.

“Everything we’re getting in grants means that we don’t have to spend our diminishing resources on the hall and will help it to play an even more important role in the community,” says Michael.

Both organisations will benefit from a £1,000 donation towards the total cost of their projects, helping to make them a reality.

The Cumbria Home from Home Fund has been developed in partnership with self-catering agents and holiday homeowners operating in and around Lake District and wider Cumbria and is also being backed by Cumbria Tourism.

Jacqui Currie, Head of Development at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We have been very pleased with the response to our Home from Home Fund and I’d like to thank everybody who has donated and helped to promote it.

“The Fund provides an easy mechanism for holiday and second homeowners to give back to the communities that host their properties.

“It’s fantastic to see these funds doing exactly what they are intended to do; making a real difference and improving the lives of people in our local community.”

Digital grants available to good causes

West Cumbrian charities and community groups are being encouraged to apply for funding to invest in digital solutions.

The COVID-19 crisis has increased the need for organisations to explore how digital approaches can be used to create more impact for the people they work with.

Bedrock Digital has been created to help charitable groups carry out their work in a more efficient and effective way, resulting in positive social benefit.

Managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, grants will normally be up to £5,000 and the fund will prioritise organisations that alleviate poverty and disadvantage and projects that are addressing needs identified in the Foundation’s West Cumbria Opportunities and Challenges report.

Free expert advice and guidance from Charity Technology is also available to help groups examine whether a digital solution is the best idea, explore alternative solutions and identify any implications of implementing a new solution.

Bedrock Digital is part of Transforming West Cumbria (TWC) which is funded through Sellafield Ltd’s social impact multiplied programme SiX. This social investment programme has been developed in partnership with Cumbria Community Foundation and focuses on promoting thriving communities by supporting sustainable activities that create self-reliance and independence.

Gary McKeating, Head of Community & Development at Sellafield Ltd, said: “The pandemic has pushed charities and community groups to work differently so they could continue to offer their vital services. In some cases the IT was not ideal to make the most of it. This offer of advice and grant funding should help to improve their IT systems and enable them to work more efficiently.”

A recent grant to Whitehaven, Egremont & District Credit Union (WEDCU) supported the implementation of a new hybrid banking platform to provide more flexibility and a greater range of online and digital services.

Andrea Dockeray, Development Manager, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the grant as this investment is much more than an IT upgrade; we see this as a digital transformation making a critical contribution to our sustainability and growth going forward”.

Applications can be made at any time and will be considered at the quarterly grants committee meetings held in September, December, March and June. However, groups are encouraged to access initial free support for their digital developments prior to applying by contacting, Kevin Beynon at Charity Technology.

Kevin said: “I’m excited to be working with Cumbria Community Foundation on Bedrock Digital to support organisations and groups in Allerdale and in Copeland, where I live. The funding from Sellafield Ltd will help us deliver advice, support and training to voluntary and community groups, and social enterprises in West Cumbria, and ensure they benefit from the digital tools and skills they need to support their communities.”

Visit https://charitytechnology.co.uk/bedrockdigital to signup for initial free support.

If you would like to know more about this fund, please contact: Lisa Blackwell on 01900 820827 or email lisa@cumbriafoundation.org

 

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