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Give your views on life in Carlisle

People who live, work and study in Carlisle and the surrounding rural towns and villages are being asked to take part in a major survey into life in the area.

The Citadel, Carlisle, CumbriaCumbria Community Foundation has commissioned a report – Carlisle: Opportunities and Challenges – which will analyse the city’s social needs and community issues, highlighting work already being undertaken to address disadvantage and identifying opportunities to help communities thrive.

Over the next few months, people in Carlisle, Brampton, Dalston, Longtown and the surrounding rural areas are being asked to give their views to feed into the report.

The consultation process was launched with an online public meeting last week (Tues 9 July) where people had the chance to ask questions and find out more about the project.

An online survey is now live at for people to give their views on what they like about Carlisle, what could be improved, and what changes they would like to see in Carlisle district in five years’ time.

The findings of the survey will feed into the report, which follows three similar reports produced by the Foundation since 2017: one looking at the whole county, and others focusing on West Cumbria and Furness.

A steering group made up of local people has been set up to ensure the report reflects the needs and priorities of the Carlisle area, chaired by Kevin Walsh, Vice Chair of Cumbria Community Foundation.

Kevin Walsh
Steering group Chair Kevin Walsh

Kevin Walsh said: “The previous reports have proved to be key resources, both for bringing people together and securing investment to address areas of need in these communities.

“For the Carlisle report, we will be consulting widely, from youth groups and community organisations to businesses and individuals, to get the fullest picture possible.

“In order to ensure the report fully reflects the views of Carlisle and the surrounding rural areas, we would love as many people as possible to fill in the survey and share their thoughts.”

The report has been funded by Kingmoor Park, Sellafield Ltd, Riverside Housing and the previous local authorities of Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council. It will be used to inform and influence key decision makers, including local authorities, government, potential philanthropists/donors, funders, healthcare providers, businesses and third sector organisations.

The survey should take no more than five minutes to complete. Fill it in online at To request paper copies or for any queries, email:

To the South Pole and back – without leaving Cumbria

Staff from Cumbrian businesses have walked the equivalent of the distance from Cumbria to the South Pole and back, as part of a charity challenge in aid of local good causes.

Virtual Coast to Coast Challenge participants
Virtual Coast to Coast Challenge participants at the celebration event in Penrith

More than 130 colleagues from 18 companies and organisations signed up for Cumbria Community Foundation’s Virtual Coast to Coast Challenge, clocking up an incredible 19,882 miles in six weeks.

Participants tackled the 171-mile virtual route from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay by walking, running and swimming all over the county and beyond, as well as on static exercise bikes and rowing machines in their homes, offices and gyms.

The challenge, organised by Cumbria Community Foundation to mark its 25th anniversary, raised more than £12,500. All the money raised will be distributed by the Foundation through grant making to a wide range of charities and community groups across the county.

Companies taking part included Armstrong Watson, Oxley Developments and Intro PR [see notes below for a full list]. Beneficiaries of Cumbria Community Foundation also joined in, including the Centre for Leadership Performance, Phoenix Enterprise Centre and Calderwood House.

Participants had six weeks to complete the challenge but some powered through the miles in half that time.

Cumbria Community Foundation Chair David Beeby congratulates the winning team, WCF
Cumbria Community Foundation Chair David Beeby congratulates the winning team from WCF

A team from WCF was the first to finish, and the firm also took individual first place, with Deputy Managing Director Phil Murray completing the challenge in less than three weeks.

The team – known as WCF Warriors and made up of members of the firm’s senior leadership team, plus one family member – also raised the highest total, thanks to a match funding donation from the firm.

Managing Director Jo Ritzema said: “As long-standing supporters of Cumbria Community Foundation, we were delighted to support the charity in their silver anniversary year by doing something a bit different.

“Our senior leadership team already had its own group on Strava, so taking part in the Virtual Coast to Coast Challenge was the perfect fit for us.

“We have all thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Virtual Coast to Coast Challenge and have benefitted from both the physical and mental effort. By doing it as a team, we have been spurred on by the efforts of others, particularly on dull and rainy days, and there is no doubt there has been a healthy level of competition to top the leaderboard.

“Our colleagues at WCF have encouraged us with their kind words and donations and we are very grateful for the generosity of everyone who sponsored us. We are also grateful that WCF has match funded what we raised with its own contribution.”

The challenge was created to be as inclusive as possible for people of all abilities.

Heather Sewell of Cumbria Tourism

Heather Sewell, Communications Manager for Cumbria Tourism, took part with a team of her colleagues. She said: “As someone who was born with a complex heart condition, the strenuous uphill nature of the ‘real’ Coast to Coast route wouldn’t be suitable for me.

“This virtual version was still undoubtedly a big challenge, so I was thrilled to complete the 171-mile course within the six weeks. It’s been a great incentive for me to get out and about across the county, with all the physical and mental health benefits that brings.”

Caroline Adams, Development Manager for Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We were absolutely delighted with the way so many people rose to the challenge and took part to support the work of the Foundation.

“We wanted to do something special to mark our 25th anniversary and this challenge has certainly given us many memorable moments, as well as raising very valuable funds for communities in need across the county.”

As well as organising the challenge, a team from Cumbria Community Foundation also took part.

Caroline added: “We have really enjoyed going for walks in our lunch break – despite the largely terrible weather – and even set up an exercise bike in one of our meeting rooms, so hopefully we will keep up our good habits now the challenge has finished.”

A celebration event was held last night [Monday 15.07.24] at North Lakes Hotel in Penrith to bring participants together to thank them and share stories of their efforts to complete the challenge.

Thanks to the following who kindly provided prizes and goody bags: Asda Workington; New Balance, Flimby; Cranstons; Grasmere Gingerbread and Wild & Fruitful.

To find out more ways to support Cumbria Community Foundation, visit

Grant opportunity from Northern Cancer Alliance

Two new funds to support projects helping people affected by cancer are now open to applications, with more than £180,000 available in total.

The funding has been provided by the Northern Cancer Alliance and will be administered by Cumbria Community Foundation.

The Northern Cancer Alliance Prehabilitation Fund will provide innovation grants for charitable organisations to support cancer patients to be better prepared for cancer treatment across the North East and North Cumbria (NENC). Projects should improve cancer patients’ quality of life and outcomes, by promoting physical activity, better nutrition and emotional resilience.

Example projects could include providing cancer patients with access to fitness advice and practical support.

A total of £162,193 is available from this fund. Grants will normally be between £5,000 and £10,000 per organisation over 12 months. Partnership applications are welcome and larger grant awards may be considered. All applicants MUST speak with the Grants Officer before making an application. If your project is based in North Cumbria, contact Sarah Thomson on 01900 825760 or email

The Northern Cancer Alliance Community Connectors Fund aims to address a gap in funding for grassroots community groups to provide local support for those living with and beyond cancer.

This fund will provide grants of up to £500 to existing or new community-based support groups to run activities for anyone living with and beyond cancer including carers, family and friends – for example, coffee mornings or drop-in sessions to support a better understanding of cancer.

Projects are expected to connect with their nearest Macmillan Cancer Support Centre and applicants MUST contact their nearest centre before applying. Details can be found online at

A total of £20,000 is available from this fund.

Groups can apply for funding from both pots simultaneously but priority for the Community Connectors Fund will be given to small/grassroots organisations.

Of the £182,193 available, funding has been allocated as follows: North Cumbria £15,294; Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland, £93,410; North Tees, South Tees, County Durham and Darlington £73,489.

Applications should be received by 8 September 2024.

Andrew Copland, Northern Cancer Alliance Programme Manager, said: “The Northern Cancer Alliance is very excited to be working with the Community Foundations across the North East and North Cumbria, to support the work of the voluntary and community sector in relation to cancer.

“We hope that this initiative will contribute to building much needed capacity in our communities with the most health inequalities and build new and exciting links with our NHS Trusts to continue our mission of cancer transformation.”

Sarah Thompson, Grants & Programmes Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be working with Northern Cancer Alliance to bring forward funding that will ultimately see increased support for individuals facing cancer and their families, friends and carers.”

For more information about the funds, visit:

Northern Cancer Alliance Prehabilitation Fund 

Northern Cancer Alliance Community Connectors Fund 

or contact Sarah Thompson on 01900 825760 or email

Cumbria Community Foundation is working with County Durham Community Foundation and Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to administer the funding across the North East and North Cumbria.

£315,000 programme to help young people leaving care

Young people leaving care will benefit from mentoring, work experience placements and life skills development, thanks to a new three-year £315,000 programme created by Cumbria Community Foundation.

Delivered in partnership with Cumbria Youth Alliance, Inspira, Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council, the Brighter Futures programme will provide personalised support to 80 young adults aged between 18 and 25 over three years, designed to address the challenges faced by care-experienced young people as they transition into adulthood.

Cumbria Community Foundation secured funding from the national Care Leavers Programme managed by UK Community Foundations, a £3.6m match fund scheme funded by the Local Authorities’ Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), a shareholder of the UK’s biggest charities asset manager, CCLA. Match funding has been provided by a number of charitable trusts, companies and private donors, including BAE Systems and John Laing Charitable Trust.

The programme has been developed collaboratively with input from various stakeholders, including care-experienced young people themselves, and will be tailored to their individual aspirations, with the aim of enabling them to thrive in adulthood.

Cumbria has a higher proportion of care experienced young people than the rest of England and rates have continued to rise over the last few years due the impact of austerity, Covid-19 and the cost of living crisis on families.

The Brighter Futures programme has two phases:
• Firm Foundation – delivered by Cumbria Youth Alliance, the first phase will concentrate on building emotional resilience, social skills, and raising aspirations through personalised mentoring and skill-based activities.
• Flourish – delivered by Inspira, the second phase will focus on the transition to becoming work-ready by providing tailored work placements, training and employment opportunities, supported by mentors from the business community.

As well as supporting the young people themselves, the Brighter Futures programme will also provide training for employers to ensure they understand the complexities of working with those leaving the care system and make appropriate adjustments if required.

Annalee Holliday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We’re really pleased to have secured this national funding and delighted at the response from local match funders, who are all passionate about helping young people who have left care make a positive transition into adulthood.

“It’s a sad reality that care leavers face a wide range of difficulties and challenges that most of their peers are fortunate enough not to experience. Gaps in support have been found when it comes to relationships and mentoring, education, employment and mental health, and that is why initiatives like Brighter Futures are so vital. We look forward to working with our partners and seeing the positive outcomes this new initiative will bring.”

The programme will support at least 80 young people aged 18 to 25 over three years.

Becky Wolstenholme, Chief Executive of Cumbria Youth Alliance, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Cumbria Community Foundation and other partners on the Brighter Futures programme. As the lead organisation in Cumbria representing young people and youth organisations, we understand the unique challenges faced by these young people, and we are committed to providing the support they need to succeed. This partnership will help bridge gaps in education, employment and personal development, ensuring that every care experienced young person has the opportunity to build a brighter future.”

Deborah Naylor, Area Operations Manager for Inspira, said: “Inspira is delighted to contribute to this significant project. This partnership goes beyond just offering assistance; it aims to empower young individuals to unlock their full potential. Through the collaboration with local organisations and employers, this holistic approach guarantees that young people with care experience not only gain the necessary practical skills needed for employment but also develop the confidence and resilience to pursue their career aspirations.

An integral part of the Brighter Futures project is the involvement of Cumbrian employers who can offer customised support, training, and work experience, to empower young individuals to overcome challenges and barriers to create a positive future. The project not only offers employers the chance to become mentors and role models, inspiring young individuals to strive for excellence, but also provides an invaluable opportunity to shape the future workforce, ensuring that tomorrow’s labour markets are well-equipped with skilled and confident professionals.

By participating in this project, employers can make a significant impact on the lives of young people, helping them develop the skills and confidence necessary to succeed. Inspira, a leading organisation dedicated to enhancing employability skills, will be leading on this aspect of the project and encourage employers who are interested in making a difference to get in touch with Deborah Naylor for an initial discussion – email

Cllr Emma Williamson, Deputy Leader of Cumberland Council and Executive Member for Children and Family Wellbeing and Housing, said: “Empowering our care-experienced young people through the Brighter Futures programme not only provides them with essential skills and training but also nurtures a sense of belonging, guidance, and hope for a brighter future.”

Cllr Sue Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills at Westmorland and Furness Council, said: “It is wonderful to be working in partnership to create a programme which will make such a difference to the lives of young people with care experience.

“Transitioning into adulthood, developing life skills and making choices about the future can be challenging for anyone, but particularly for care leavers who may not have the guidance and support of relatives.

“I’m really pleased to see the Brighter Futures care leavers programme will help to ensure our young people develop the life skills and workplace experiences they need, providing them with strong foundations to reach their full potential in adulthood.”

BAE Systems Submarines Future Workforce Director Janet Garner said: “BAE Systems is delighted to be supporting the Brighter Futures programme, which helps to ensure that these care-experienced young people are given the opportunity to meet their full potential.

“This further demonstrates our commitment to support the local community, dismantle barriers to employment and optimise access to meaningful careers for our young people.”

Any businesses or individuals who would like to know more about making a financial contribution to the Brighter Futures programme should contact Annalee Holliday on 01900 820827 or email

Award for first Age Friendly premises in South Lakeland

A Cumbrian business has become the first to receive a new award in recognition of its efforts to be inclusive and welcoming to people of all ages.

Julie Glandfield, General Manager of the Lakeland Café; and Lakeland Chairman Sam Rayner; receive their Age Friendly Premises Award from Age Friendly Coordinator Katie Gatt; and Annalee Holliday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at Cumbria Community Foundation
Julie Glandfield, General Manager of the Lakeland Café; Lakeland Chairman Sam Rayner; Age Friendly Coordinator Katie Gatt; and Annalee Holliday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at Cumbria Community Foundation

Lakeland has received the first gold standard Age Friendly South Lakeland Premises Award for its flagship store in Windermere.

The award scheme was created by Age Friendly South Lakeland to celebrate businesses and organisations who have taken steps to make their premises more welcoming to older people, both in terms of the physical environment and behaviour of staff, and practices such as communication and recruitment.

Age friendly communities are a concept developed by the World Health Organisation to make it possible for people to continue to stay in their homes, participate in the activities that they enjoy, and contribute to their communities, for as long as possible.

Age Friendly South Lakeland was established in 2021, thanks to funding from an anonymous donor via Cumbria Community Foundation and the NHS Morecambe Bay Population Health Fund, with support from the Centre for Ageing Better.

Age Friendly Coordinator Katie Gatt and a steering group made up of local representatives put together a checklist which organisations must work towards in order to receive the premises award.

The checklist includes 40 points covering four areas:
Physical Environment e.g. Is your flooring even and without obstacles? Is the lighting in your premises good? Could you offer a seat where an older person can sit for a few minutes without the obligation to spend money?
Respect and Inclusion e.g. Do you have products with an age friendly focus? Are promotional materials representative of older people?
Communication and Information e.g. Do you have large, clear fonts for signage, printed materials and website etc? Embrace realistic depictions of ageing in your communications.
Age Friendly Recruitment e.g. Include short diversity statement in job adverts emphasizing age-inclusivity. Collect and analyse the age profile of the current workforce as well as job applicants to evaluate whether job ads are attracting candidates of all ages.

Businesses and organisations can be awarded bronze, silver or gold accreditation, depending on how many of the criteria they meet.

Lakeland, in Windermere, is the first recipient of the gold standard award.

Age Friendly Coordinator Katie Gatt said: “This checklist has been created to help organisations, businesses and community groups to identify how they can make their services more inclusive for people all ages. Hopefully it will encourage firms and organisations to think about what they could do differently to improve the experience older people have when visiting their premises.

“I was delighted to present the first gold standard award to Lakeland, Windermere. They really do go above and beyond to ensure people of all ages feel welcome.”

Katie, together with Annalee Holliday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at Cumbria Community Foundation, presented a certificate and window sticker to display in store to Lakeland Chairman Sam Rayner and Julie Glandfield, General Manager of the Lakeland Café.

Ruth Fleming, Charitable Giving Lead for Lakeland, said: “It is an honour to not only be given this recognition and to be the first to receive it but also, to receive the gold standard. At Lakeland, we take pride in looking after our customers, be it with customer services, providing products we are confident in or simply providing a safe environment for visits. After all, we wouldn’t be Lakeland without our customers!”

Annalee Holliday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We were delighted to be able to help establish Age Friendly South Lakeland and it is fantastic to see real, practical steps being taken to improve lives for older people in the local area. Congratulations to Lakeland on receiving the first Age Friendly South Lakeland Premises Award – and gold at that! We hope many more businesses and organisations will follow their lead.”

A steering group oversees the work of Age Friendly South Lakeland and includes representation from Active Cumbria, Age UK South Lakeland, Carer Support South Lakes, Community Catalysts, Kendal ICC, Morecambe Bay CCG, South Lakes Dementia Community, and Westmorland and Furness Council.

Cllr Helen Chaffey, Chair of Westmorland and Furness Council’s South Lakeland Locality Board, said: “Westmorland and Furness Council are delighted to support this award scheme that recognises the contribution local businesses can make to our vision that Westmorland and Furness is ‘a great place to live, work and thrive’.”

For more information on how to apply for the Age Friendly South Lakeland Premises Award, please contact Katie Gatt via or 07546 985705.

£1m awarded to good causes in Cumbria

Over £1 million has been awarded to a range of good causes across Cumbria, supporting projects promoting resilience against floods, early years communication skills, rural youth groups and many more.

A total of 130 grants worth £1,064,819 were given out to community organisations and individuals at three recent Cumbria Community Foundation grants committee panels.

The money came from funds set up by local people and businesses including Nuvia Ltd, Westmorland Ltd, and Thomas Graham & Sons.

Ninety-nine community groups received a total of £1,031,873 towards a wide range of projects across the county, and 31 individuals benefited from £32,946 towards the cost of overseas trips, equipment and course fees.

Babies and carers at Howgill Family CentreHowgill Family Centre received £56,590 from Cumberland Educational Foundation Fund, Nuvia Fund and Beverley Charitable Trust Fund to continue its programme to improve speech and language skills in children in West Cumbria up to the age of four.

Where children are slow to develop speech and language skills, they often go on to struggle with literacy and academic skills throughout their schooling.

Parental engagement has been identified as crucial in aiding children’s early communication development. Specialist project workers from Howgill Family Centre work with families in the Copeland area through nurseries and group sessions to support parents and teach them techniques for communicating with their babies and toddlers.

Faye Eldon, Chief Executive of Howgill Family Centre, said: “This funding is vital to support parents in the understanding of the importance of early language and how this can impact positively on their child’s future learning journey. Parents share stories, songs and have fun with their children, while meeting new people and this would not be possible without the funding we receive. Thank you!”

Tall Ships Youth Trust was awarded £3,000 by Cumbria Young People’s Fund to enable 10 disadvantaged young people from the Barrow area to take part in a ‘voyage of exploration’ sailing trip. The young people will take part in activities such as setting sails, helming, rope work, navigation, and domestic duties such as cooking and cleaning, to help them learn teamwork and communication skills.

One previous participant, Bethany, aged 21, explained the impact taking part had on her. “The voyage has been the highlight of my year by far. I’ve had a lot of hardship recently and it’s been great to get away from it all. I come from a background where I thought I’d never have an opportunity like this. After the voyage I’m feeling a lot more confident about life in general and I feel much happier than I did at the start of the week.”

Susan’s Farm at Houghton, near Carlisle, was awarded £30,000 from the Brian and Ann Clark Fund and Cumbria Fund to support the work of Education Manager Helen Ward.

Fiona Merritt, Chair of trustees at Susan’s Farm, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the financial support of Cumbria Community Foundation towards our Education Manager’s salary.

“Helen’s role is very broad ranging. She leads educational developments at the farm, and coordinates and leads many of the school visits each year, where over 2,000 local children come to learn what goes on at a farm and to engage with the great outdoors. Alongside this, she supports our programmes for young people who need a different environment to school to work in, and our care farming programme, as well as co-ordinating our volunteer network, organising work experience for local secondary schools and managing occupational placements.

“With Cumbria Community Foundation’s funding, Helen is able to put more time into making strong and effective links with local primary and secondary schools, develop programmes and visits that fit exactly with their requirements, build strong and effective relationships between the staff both at schools and on the farm, as well as with the young people themselves.”

Our Place Youth Club in Ambleside was awarded £12,000 from the Beeby Family Fund and Cumbria Young People’s Fund towards staff and activities costs.

Ian Parr, Lead Youth Worker for Our Place Youth Club, said: “The continuation of Our Place Youth Club (OPYC) is vital to Ambleside. OPYC is the only non-uniformed, open to all youth provision in the local area. It currently offers both a Junior Club (school years 5 and 6) and a Senior Club (year 7 and above) in term time at the Parish Centre. OPYC offers a designated safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place for young people just to be ‘young people’, a chance to let off steam, socialise with their peers and make new friends.

“A variety of positive activities take place each week, with qualified youth workers on hand to address any issues and concerns that may be troubling individuals, and informally educate the groups on topics such as staying safe. A trained sports coach also attends.

“All the above helps young people feel wanted and accepted, improves their mental and physical health and gives them a sense of worth in the community.”

Keswick Community Emergency Recovery Partnership (KCERP) was awarded £10,764 from CiFR Community Flood Resilience Fund towards equipment such as emergency generators and radios, as well as their project manager’s salary and publicity costs.

Claire Peat, KCERP Project Manager, said: “KCERP is incredibly grateful for the support from Cumbria Community Foundation, allowing our community organisation to be able to purchase equipment that will make a real difference in our efforts to help keep our vulnerable residents safe in emergency situations.

“As the storms increase in intensity, we have to prepare not only for floods, but also the possibility of losing power during a storm. This grant funding will allow us to get some community generators so that we can keep our emergency control room running until the utilities companies can reach us and repair lines. It means that we can keep the emergency radios working and maintain the internet connection to allow information to get through. It will also allow us to set up a community hub so that residents are not home alone without heating and light.

“We look forward to testing this out in a simulation exercise towards the end of this year to ensure we have the correct processes in place for the new equipment.”

Shap Swimming Pool received £3,500 from Thomas Graham Grassroots Fund, Cumbria Grassroots Fund and Westmorland Family Community Fund to pay for replacement pool filters in the pump room.

The pool is run by volunteers and the new filters will reduce the daily maintenance needed and free up volunteers to do other tasks. The filters will also reduce the volume of chemicals needed to maintain the required water quality standard for the pool.

Carlisle Vineyard Church received £3,000 from Castles & Coasts Housing Association Community Fund and Abbeyfield Carlisle Society Community First Fund towards the running costs of Give a Day Carlisle – a week of voluntary action which takes place in July every year.

The grant will enable Give A Day to provide coaching, networking and support for individuals, groups, organisations and businesses in and around Carlisle to initiate and complete projects within and for the community.

Annalee Holliday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We are very grateful to the generosity of our fundholders which enables us to support so many fantastic causes and organisations across the county. Week in, week out, community groups and charities do incredible work to support those in need all over Cumbria and we are very pleased to have been able to give out more than £1 million in funding to support those efforts.”

For more information or to apply for funding visit,, call the grants team on 01900 820827 or email

Carlisle Opportunities and Challenges – have your say

The Citadel, Carlisle, CumbriaPeople who live and work in Carlisle and the surrounding rural areas are being offered the chance to contribute to a major report about the city which will be published later this year.

Cumbria Community Foundation has commissioned the report – Carlisle: Opportunities and Challenges – which will analyse the city’s social needs and community issues, highlighting work already being undertaken to address disadvantage and identifying opportunities to help communities thrive.

It follows three similar reports produced by the Foundation since 2017: one looking at the whole county, and others focusing on West Cumbria and Furness.

A steering group made up of local people has been set up to ensure the report reflects the needs and priorities of the Carlisle area. It will be chaired by Kevin Walsh, Vice Chair of Cumbria Community Foundation.

Kevin Walsh said: “The previous reports have proved to be key resources, both for bringing people together and securing investment to address areas of need in these communities.

“We are now turning our attentions to Carlisle, at the request of – and with the support of – local partners. This is a really exciting time for Carlisle, with projects such as the Southern Relief Road, the Carlisle Station Gateway project, Uncovering Roman Carlisle and the Pears Cumbria School of Medicine, but we know the city also faces many issues.

“We hope this report will be a key resource and reference document for organisations and businesses in Carlisle, the wider county and beyond.”

Members of the public are invited to attend an online meeting on Tuesday 9 July to hear more about the project – book a place.

There will also be chance for people to give their views via an online survey. Details of this will be announced soon.

The report has been funded by Kingmoor Park, Sellafield Ltd, Riverside Housing and the previous local authorities of Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council. It will be used to inform and influence key decision makers, including local authorities, government, potential philanthropists/donors, funders, healthcare providers, businesses and third sector organisations.

‘Levelling up’ funding available in Cumberland

Funding is available for charitable community organisations and social enterprises, as part of the Government’s ‘levelling up’ programme, which aims to address geographical inequalities across the UK.

Cumbria Community Foundation is managing four UK Shared Prosperity Funds (UKSPF) and three Rural England Prosperity Funds (REPF) on behalf of Cumberland Council, with the aim of providing business support and encouraging local people into employment.

Grants of up to £25,000 are available for projects which promote volunteering and wellbeing activities, improve the digital skills of those furthest from the labour market, and create and support businesses with a social purpose.

A mix of revenue and capital grants are available through seven schemes:

UKSPF E26 – Revenue funding to grow the local social economy (up to £15,000)
To create and support businesses with a social purpose.

UKSPF E30 – Revenue funding for business support (up to £15,000)
To drive employment growth, particularly in areas of higher unemployment.

UKSPF E35 – Revenue support for volunteer and wellbeing activities (up to £20,000)
Supporting people furthest from the labour market to overcome barriers to work by providing volunteering and enrichment activities to improve opportunities and promote wellbeing.

UKSPF E36 – Revenue funding to support digital inclusion (up to £25,000)
To improve the digital skills of people furthest from the labour market.

REPF 1.2 – Capital grant funding for growing the local social economy and supporting innovation (up to £20,000)
To support all stages of community business including start-ups.

REPF 2.7 – Capital funding for rural circular economy projects (up to £15,000)
To boost the rural circular economy by reducing waste, promoting reuse and recycling, and fostering innovation and creativity.

REPF 2.8 – Capital funding to support rural volunteering facilities (up to £13,500)
To enable the development of volunteering and social action projects.

REPF is focussed on rural areas and therefore excludes the Carlisle City area.

UKSPF 26, REPF 1.2 and REPF 2.7 are open to community-based organisations and social enterprises that are working with Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership, who will help develop the investment case and funding application.

More than £450,000 has already been awarded to organisations in Cumbria in previous rounds of UKSPF and REPF funding via Cumbria Community Foundation. The aim of the funding is to spread a culture of enterprise, create local jobs and boost community cohesion by providing a range of support for new and existing businesses, alongside fostering a sense of local pride, and belonging.

Darren Crossley, Cumberland Council’s Director of Place Sustainable Growth and Transport, said: “We would like to thank partners for their support and look forward to seeing more businesses and organisations benefitting from these funding schemes.”

The funding can be used to cover project running costs, staff salaries, equipment costs and capital costs (REPF only).

Annalee Holiday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at the Foundation, said: “These funds have already helped many local people into employment – whether it’s their first job, returning to the world of work or gaining skills through volunteering.

“This latest round of funding offers another fantastic opportunity to inspire, encourage and nurture both new and existing entrepreneurs across Cumberland and I would urge people to apply.”

The closing date for applications is 10am on Monday 24 June 2023. If funding is available after this first round of applications, a further funding round will be confirmed.

To find out more or to apply, visit: or or contact Cumbria Community Foundation on or 01900 825760.

If you are a social enterprise that wants to apply, you can contact Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership for advice and assistance – email

Financial support for families in need

West Cumbrian families in financial hardship can apply to a new fund for up to £1,000 towards their everyday living costs.

The Family Support Fund was set up thanks to funding from Sellafield Ltd as part of its Social impact multiplied (SiX) programme, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation.

The aim of the fund is to provide financial support to vulnerable families in most need with the cost of essentials.

Grants of £150 per person, up to £1,000 per household, are available to families in need living in the former districts of Allerdale and Copeland, either raising a child under 16 or a young person up to the age of 25 with a long-term disability, disabling condition or life-limiting illness.

Families in need, distress or financial hardship who have exhausted all other sources of funding can apply for a grant to help with basic washing, cooking, sleeping and clothing needs, or towards accommodation costs and wider household essentials.

Anyone who wishes to apply should contact one of the following organisations:

  • Always Another Way: Lyn Cavaghan, 07597 700249
  • Cumbria Addictions, Advice and Solutions (CADAS): Angie Milfull,, 07565 206479
  • Howgill Family Centre: Christine Davey, 01946 817900
  • Together We CIC: Sam Joughin, 0808 196 1773
  • West Cumbria Domestic Violence: Hope Vallely 07483 359784

Tracey West, Senior Social Impact Manager at Sellafield, said: “One of our social impact priorities is to support families and to help alleviate hardship. Although we tend to work on projects that are designed for sustained impact over the longer term, sometimes we need to do things to address the current situation when people are struggling.”

Annalee Holliday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “Week after week we hear stories of families across West Cumbria who are struggling to feed and clothe their children or pay their household bills. This funding will be a very welcome lifeline for many who are having a really hard time right now.”

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Cumbrian businesses under starters orders for challenge

A group of women on a race track running in a line towards the cameraDozens of businesses across Cumbria are ready to embark on an unusual fundraising campaign – the Virtual Coast to Coast Corporate Challenge.

Businesses across the county have signed up to take part in the challenge, organised by Cumbria Community Foundation, which begins on Monday 20 May to raise money for local good causes.

Instead of walking Alfred Wainwright’s famous route from St Bees Head to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire, they will complete the 171 miles in their home, office or gym by walking, running, swimming, static exercise bike, rowing machine or any other form of exercise where you move to record mileage.

To show how it is done – and to encourage more businesses to take part – Foundation employees headed for the test track at M-Sport, Dovenby Hall, equipped with a rowing machine and exercise bike.

Dr Jenny Benson, director of programmes and partnerships at theA group of women on a race track, one on a rowing machine, one on an exercise bike, the others cheering them on Foundation, said: “Doing the challenge virtually means everybody can take part.

“You don’t need to book a fortnight off work and battle with the elements from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay – you can clock up the miles in your lunchbreak, taking the dog for a walk, or even in front of the TV if you have an exercise bike or rowing machine.

“Having six weeks to complete the challenge makes it much more inclusive. You can take your time and fit it in around your everyday life.”

Cumbria Community Foundation staff are themselves attempting the challenge. They plan to walk together during their lunch break and after work.

Jackie Blacklock, development assistant, said: “Working for the Foundation, I get to hear about all the amazing projects and community groups that we fund and I thought this was a great way for me to give something back.”

Businesses participating include WCF, Armstrong Watson and the Centre for Leadership Performance in Cockermouth.

Rhianna Smith, project lead at the Centre for Leadership Performance, came to the launch event at M-Sport.

She said: “To be honest I’m not very prepared. But I walk my dog every day and she’ll be delighted she gets a few longer walks.

“It’s incredible the work that Cumbria Community Foundation does. It supports so many different people, so many different communities. We’re really delighted to support them.”

The Foundation embarked on the Challenge to mark its 25th anniversary. Entrants can sign up at any point but must complete the challenge by July 1.

All the money raised goes to its Cumbria Fund – which supports a wide range of charities and community groups – or to the participants’ corporate fund with the Foundation, if their company has one.

Andy Beeforth, the Foundation’s chief executive, said: “This is a brilliant way for businesses and our corporate supporters to raise money for local causes.

“We also hope it will be a fun way for companies and their staff to join together and give back to their community.”

Businesses can register online at: