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MP Rory Stewart to Sleep Out in the Pennines

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart will spend this Saturday night sleeping in one of the highest and coldest places in England to raise awareness of Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal.

He’ll be joined by CCF’s Chief Executive Andy Beeforth and supported by members of Penrith Mountain Rescue Team.

They’re hoping their freezing night on the fells will encourage people to sign up for a similar challenge ‘The Big Sleep’ in a field beside the Low Wood Hotel, Windermere, on Saturday 15 February.

Rory Stewart explained why he is taking on the challenge, he said:

“Cumbria has some of the highest instances of fuel poverty in the country. Our traditionally built homes are difficult to heat and frequently off the mains gas grid, which make heating them very expensive. When your income is fixed, as is the case for many retired, elderly people, rises in energy bills can quickly become unaffordable, and the only choice left in the worst cases is to endure a cold home. It is completely unacceptable that an average of 300 people in Cumbria alone will die from the cold this Winter. The Cumbria Community Foundation plays a hugely important role in helping vulnerable older people meet the costs of heating their home. I was only too happy to do anything I could to help raise awareness of the Winter Warmth Appeal and the Foundation’s fantastic fundraising efforts, and I hope that our sleep out will do just that.”

John Whittle, Penrith Mountain Rescue Team, said:

“This weekend, we’ll be ensuring the safety of these brave souls by accompanying them to England’s highest, coldest, stone-built bothy, over 2,700 feet up in the Pennines. It’s no mean feat as the temperature will be well below zero and winds have been recorded at 113mph. The exact location for this Saturday’s sleep out is a closely guarded secret as we don’t want to encourage people to head out onto the fells overnight in winter. Instead we’d say consider joining The Big Sleep – a much more civilised sleepover beside the Low Wood on February 15.”

Whatever discomfort is felt by the adventurers, it is for one night only and will highlight the ongoing struggle many elderly Cumbrians face to keep warm every night.

This year’s Winter Warmth Appeal has already raised £52,000 to help older people in Cumbria stay warm and safe this winter – this is more than last year and half way to the target of £100,000.

But, all of this money has been allocated and given out to elderly people who are facing the stark choice of heating their home or eating a meal.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation said:

“I’d like to say thank you to all our donors who have helped raise more than £56,000 to keep older people warm this winter. We’d like people to join us for The Big Sleep in a field beside the Low Wood Hotel, Windermere, on Saturday 15 February. If you have your own camping gear and can bear the cold for one night to help raise even more money for older people, please join us. We’ll try to keep our minds off the weather by watching a family friendly film on an outdoor cinema screen. All the information you need and the names of the people who have already signed up are on our website or speak to Dan on 01900 825760.”

People’s Postcode Trust Invites Cumbria Bids for First Round of 2014

The People’s Postcode Trust invites applications from Cumbria to support projects that address one or more of the following:

•Prevention of poverty; reduction of distress and suffering.
•Advancement of health.
•Advancement of citizenship or community development.
•Advancement of public participation in sport.
•Advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation.
•Advancement of environmental protection or improvement.

Applications will be accepted from today until 21 February 2014 from registered charities, constituted community and voluntary groups, sports clubs, social enterprises, community interest companies and other not-for-profit organisation.

Funding is available for projects of up to 12 months in length that positively impact their local community. Projects that are creative, far-reaching and will leave a long-term impact once completed stand the best chance of being successful.

Grants of between £500 and £20,000 (up to £2,000 if not a formally registered charity) are available and the deadline is 21st February 2014.

Full details along with an application form can be found on the People’s Postcode Trust website:

Winter Warmth Appeal Raises £50,000 – But More is Needed!

Older people across Cumbria have been keeping warm thanks to Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Fund.

The charity has raised £50,000 so far this winter but it needs more donations to help the growing number of pensioners in need.

Its Chief Executive is calling on brave Cumbrians to join him in a chilly outdoor challenge “The Big Sleep” on Saturday 15 February in a field near the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere.

Andy Beeforth said: “We’re halfway through our Winter Warmth Appeal and it’s great to see we’re halfway towards our target of raising £100,000 to keep older people warm this winter. But, we need to raise the rest. So, I’d like anyone who thinks they can raise £100 in sponsorship to join me for The Big Sleep next month. We’ve kindly been lent a field near the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere, we’ve sorted out a screening of The Goonies and we’re going to brave the elements to raise awareness of the problems older people face in the winter and raise the rest of the money.”

The Big Sleep is an outdoor adventure in aid of Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal. The challenge is to sling on your pyjamas and snuggle down under the stars in front of a fabulous film.

If you could brace yourself to sleep in a field overlooking Lake Windermere, where temperatures may dip as low as minus 11 degrees celsius, and raise £100 – please enter now by visiting

The following people have already pledged to sleep out:

1. Paul Fletcher, Operations Manager at AMEC, West Cumbria.
2. Rob Rimmer, Director at Energy Road Campus, West Cumbria.
3. Simon Gall, Director of Lakeland Asbestos Management, Windermere.
4. Chris and Ian Tomlinson, Langdale Walking and Adventure Holidays, Windermere.
5. Peter Martin, Divisional Director of Brewin Dolphin, Penrith.
6. Diana Matthews, Cumbria’s High Sheriff, Windermere.
7. Martyn Nicholson, Managing Director of Russell Armer.

The reason the charity runs this annual appeal is simple – every winter around 300 elderly people in Cumbria die because of the effects of the cold weather. They have to choose between heating their homes and eating a meal. The Winter Warmth Fund keeps older Cumbrians safe and warm.

Andy Beeforth added: “We can’t be complacent and hope the rest of the cash will come in. All the money allocated for South Lakeland has been spent and all other areas of the county will soon be in the same situation. I want us to keep saying yes to older people who ask for help. I don’t want them to be choosing between eating and heating this winter.”

One couple who have already benefited from the Winter Warmth Fund are Jean and Graham in Coniston. They’re both 67. Jean said: “Since Graham had his stroke two years ago, it is very important that he keeps warm because he really feels the cold now. I think the Winter Warmth Fund is wonderful. Our electricity and gas is such an expensive item and this extra money means I can buy extra wood for the woodburner. It’s really great that people donate. It’s very kind.”

How to donate
The Winter Warmth Fund is open to voluntary donations of Winter Fuel Payments, plus donations from other individuals and local businesses. You can donate to the Winter Warmth Fund in many ways:

Donate online at
Write a cheque payable to: ‘Cumbria Community Foundation’ and write ‘Winter Warmth’ on the back. Send it to: Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Dovenby, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN.
Use your mobile phone. Simply send a text message to 70070 including our code WINT37. You can donate £2, £5 or £10. e.g. WINT37 £5 to 70070.

All of the money raised will be used to provide support to elderly people who are suffering because of fuel poverty. It will be directed to those most in need through voluntary and community groups in Cumbria who are supporting vulnerable older people. It will help older people afford to stay warm, eat well and remain mobile. It will ensure they are getting all the benefits they are entitled to, help them to access grants to improve home insulation or replace old heating systems and show them how to shop around for the best fuel rate. It will also help provide information on how to stay healthy, like getting the flu jab and staying active. And where to get extra support in local communities, such as through lunch clubs and befriending schemes.

Winter Warmth Grants Keeping Older People Warm

Older people around the county are a bit warmer thanks to Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Fund.

The charity has received £34,000 in donations towards its ambitious target of raising £100,000 to keep Cumbria warm this winter.

And, due to the early success of the appeal, the money has already been sent to the most vulnerable pensioners to keep their home fires burning as the temperatures fall.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “It’s so nice to be able to distribute the fund this early in the winter. We know that the Winter Warmth Fund has saved lives over the Christmas period in the past and hope this year we keep some of our most vulnerable elderly people safe and warm. But, having given out the first grants, we need to keep the money coming in to hit our target. If you’re considering donating to charity rather than sending cards of giving gifts this Christmas, there are hundreds of people you can help keep warm.”

In Carlisle, a 72 year old woman who has just received her grant, said: “I am really grateful, I wake up each morning at 6am and take my breakfast back to bed so I can keep warm. If I am going out, I am up and about by 7am and if not, I stay in bed until 8.30am. I try not to put the central heating on and save it until night-time, usually about 5pm and then I head off to bed at 9pm. I can’t sit in the cold, so I’d rather be warm in bed with my blankets and a book. The Winter Warmth Fund helps me an awful lot. I don’t worry as much about putting the heating on.”

Meanwhile in West Cumbria, a 73 year old woman who is recovering from a major heart operation, said: “The Winter Warmth Fund is fantastic. It means I can keep the house warm a bit longer, I don’t have to knock the heating off as much. I can’t move about and I’m quite breathless, so I keep all the doors and windows closed. I really need the help because my bills keep going up and up.”

Anyone can donate to the Winter Warmth Fund. It began as an appeal four years ago to enable people who received the Government’s Winter Fuel Payment – but didn’t feel they needed it – to give it to someone who did. Now the appeal is open to all.

To donate:


By cheque: made payable to ‘Cumbria Community Foundation’ (write ‘Winter Warmth Fund’ on the back) and post it to – Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Dovenby, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 OPN.

Mobile: send a text message to 70070 including the code WINT37. You can donate £2, £5 or £10. Eg. WINT £5 to 70070.

Anyone who fancies a challenge could sign up to take part in THE BIG SLEEP on Saturday 15 February 2014. It’s a sponsored outdoor adventure where participants will sleep out under the stars in February (when temperatures may get as low as minus 11 degrees Celsius). It’s taking place beside the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere and there’ll be an outdoor cinema showing a film to take your mind off the cold. To find out more visit: sleep or ring Daniel Rhodes on 01900 825760.

All of the money raised from the Winter Warmth Fund will be used to provide support to elderly people who are suffering because of fuel poverty. It will be directed to those most in need through voluntary and community groups in Cumbria who are supporting vulnerable older people.

It will help older people afford to stay warm, eat well and remain mobile. It will ensure they are getting all the benefits they are entitled to, help them to access grants to improve home insulation or replace old heating systems and show them how to shop around for the best fuel rate. It will also help provide information on how to stay healthy, like getting the flu jab and staying active. And where to get extra support in local communities, such as through lunch clubs and befriending schemes.

Funding available for groups in West Allerdale

Charitable and community organisations in West Allerdale, from Workington to Silloth and inland to Embleton, are eligible to receive up to £15,000 in grant aid from the Robin Rigg West Cumbria Fund. The fund supports activities which contribute to reducing the effects of climate change and benefit the local community.

Managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, the fund was set up by E.ON for communities located close to the off shore wind farm in the Solway Firth.

The fund prioritises projects that promote sustainable use of energy, energy efficiency measures and, sustainable use of resources. It also supports nature conservation and addresses other community environmental needs identified in the local community.

Tim Morgan, Cumbria Manager for the Robin Rigg Wind Farm said “Since the Robin Rigg Wind Farm was completed in 2009; over £200,000 has been distributed to help the local community. We have funded energy efficiency measures and a wide range of community groups have benefited from the grant aid.”

Annalee Holliday, Grants and Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation said: “Previous grants made from the Robin Rigg West Cumbria Fund have supported a number of different groups in the area. Maryport Inshore Rescue was recently awarded funding towards a rain water harvesting system. Workington Playgoers’ Group received a grant for the installation of a heating system and solar panels which has cut costs and reduced the building’s carbon footprint.”

Applications can be submitted via the Foundation’s website and must be received by Friday 20th December for a decision on 22nd January 2013.

Cumbria Community Foundation Grant Recipients Receive Prestigious Honours

Two people at the heart of organisations the Community Foundation has supported  with grants  have today been acknowledged as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.  Jimmy Lettice and Stella Howarth received awards for the remarkable work they have done for the community.

The ceremony was conducted on Thursday 7th November by Lord-Lieutenant Claire Hensman. Stella, Chairman of Allerdale Disability Association was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to the disabled. Stella has been a volunteer for the organisation for more than 20 years.

Cumbria Community Foundation has made over £100,000 in grants to the Association since 2002.  These have been used for building security, expansion of information services and staffing costs among many other projects.

Jimmy, Director of Silloth Rugby Union Club received a BEM for services to Silloth. For almost 40 years he has been a valued volunteer at Silloth Rugby Club and in the community.

The Club has received almost £25,000 in funding from the Foundation over ten years.  Grants have been put towards projects including the refurbishment of changing rooms, improving energy efficiency and new equipment for the Club.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive at Cumbria Community Foundation said: “I am delighted that Jimmy and Stella have been recognised for their important work in the community.  They are truly deserving of the awards and I hope the Foundation can continue to support their organisations in the future.  It is particularly nice that they should be presented with their honours by our President, Claire Hensman, the Lord Lieutenant and at Dovenby Hall where the Foundation is based.”

Cumbria Community Foundation is a charity dedicated to meeting community need by grant aiding community and voluntary organisations in Cumbria.  It does with the support of its donors which include local businesses, families and other organisations.

For more information on grants visit our website or contact 01900 825760.

£1,000 Schools Essay Competition Deadline Extended

The deadline for an essay writing competition with a £1,000 prize up for grabs has been extended until Friday 29th November.  The annual challenge is aimed at sixth form students who attend any Cumbrian comprehensive school.  The winning entry will be awarded the generous prize through the Hunter Davies Fund via Cumbria Community Foundation.  Half of the reward will to go to the winning sixth former and the other half will be awarded to their school library.

Cumbria Life magazine will publish the winning essay and Steve Matthews of Bookends and Bookcase in Carlisle will design and publish a book containing 30-40 of the best essays.  It is hoped it will lead to an annual collection of the best essays.  The main purpose of the competition is to encourage young people to use writing skills.

The essay will be titled ‘What I did in my summer hols.’  “Yes, it’s a corny title,” says Hunter Davies who is inaugurating the prize, “but that’s the point. It’s slightly ironic, leaving it open to the student to make of it what he or she wants.  It can be any sort of holiday they have had, at any time, and they can have done nothing but stay in bed all the time, helped their granddad or gone off to Thailand.

“It has to be non-fiction, i.e. based on a real event or experience, as opposed to fantasy or science-fiction, but really all we are looking for is good writing – can they write fluently,  amusingly, interestingly,  structure properly, hold your attention, and most of all make you read to the end.”

Steve Matthews, author, publisher and owner of Bookends and Bookcase in Carlisle and Cumbria Life Editor Richard Eccles will be included in the judging panel headed by Hunter Davies.

Julia Morrison, Corporate Director for Children’s Services at Cumbria County Council said: “I think the competition is a great idea and an enjoyable way to promote writing to young people across the county.  I’m sure Cumbria’s talented young people will make the judges’ job very difficult by inundating them with fantastic essays.”

The competition is being organised by Cumbria Community Foundation. For further information contact Annalee Holliday on 01900 825760 or  take a look at the full details of the rules.

National Trustees Week 2013

We’re celebrating the importance of our Trustees during National Trustees Week. The week runs from Monday 4th until Sunday 10th November and highlights the vital work that Trustees do.

Trustees play an important part in charities, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the charity’s work.  Our valued Trustees have a significant role in the success of the organisation. Without the support of our Trustees, we would be unable to help the many deserving causes across the county.

Our Trustees come from all different backgrounds and are dedicated to supporting the local community.  Some explain why they give up their time to help the cause:

Willie Slavin, Chair of the West Cumbria Grants Panel said: “The work of CCF has an impact on every community in Cumbria in one way or another. Engaging in the work of CCF is a uniquely rewarding and satisfying way of ensuring that the invaluable work of so many voluntary organisations is sustained.”


John Whittle said: “Being a Trustee of Cumbria Community Foundation brings rich rewards in volunteering my skills and knowledge to support the needs of my home county. It also allows me to meet and share that process with many great Cumbrians.”

Rob Cairns, Chair of Barrow Community Trust said: “I am proud to be a Trustee of Cumbria Community Foundation as the organisation seeks to help all worthwhile causes in Cumbria by raising money from local businesses and individuals who truly care about their local communities.  We have a superb tem of staff who ensure that any money donated is used in the best way possible.”

To find out more about becoming a Trustee or to check for vacancies, visit the Cumbria CVS website.

Tallentire Wind Farm Fund Community Consultation Events

We are running two community consultation events for people living in the parishes of Blindcrake, Bridekirk, Gilcrux and Plumbland.

Established by RES, the Tallentire Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund has an initial £175,000 grant aid to distribute in its first year. The consultation days are to discuss with the local community how they think the money from the fund should be best spent in each locality.

The first event will take place on Tuesday 5th November at Gilcrux Village Hall from 2.30pm until 4pm.  The second will be held at Plumbland School on Saturday 9th November from 9.30am until 11am.

Residents who are unable to attend either event are welcome to contact Annalee Holiday via email or on 01900 825760 to put forward priorities for their area.

The Fund accepts applications from charitable and community groups, giving priority to activities that are environmental, educational, sporting, amenity or community related.

Cath Howard, Grants and Donor Services Director said: “The community consultation events will give us an important insight into the needs of the Tallentire area.  It also allows the members of the community to voice their opinions on how best to distribute the funds.  We want to make grants to the most deserving causes and these sessions allow us to do just that.”

The thoughts and ideas expressed at the events will be collated to generate a Community Investment Plan for the area.  Applications to the fund can be made via our website from November and should be submitted by Friday 20th December.

Please view our guidelines for more information on the Tallentire Windfarm Community Benefit Fund or contact 01900 825760.

Barrow Community Trust Hosts Event to Celebrate Local Community

Barrow Community Trust will be hosting an event to celebrate community life in Barrow-in-Furness.  The event will allow the Trust to thank its supporters and raise awareness of their work.  The informal gathering will take place at Barrow & District Credit Union, who have benefitted from funding from the Trust, on Tuesday 22 October at 5.30pm.

Rob Cairns, Chair of Barrow Community Trust is due to speak at the event and answer questions from guests.  Attendees will include Jackie Arnold of BAE Systems, Phil Huck, Chief Executive of Barrow Borough Council, Martin Oates and Peter Yates of Poole Townsend, Phil and Jen Collier of Turnstone HR and Julie Kirkham of the Keswick to Barrow Walk.

Ian Quayle, Partnerships and Affinities Manager at Furness Building Society, will be presenting the Trust with their Affinity Account cheque for £2,065.84.  He will also be discussing the benefits of the Barrow Community Trust Affinity Account.  By opening an Affinity Account people can donate to the Trust without spending a penny.  The Building Society will make a cash payment from their own funds and the more saved the more is given.  Savers get a competitive rate of interest on their savings and easy access to their money.

Managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, the Trust provides support to charitable and community groups in the local area.  Since its introduction in 2001, Barrow Community Trust has given out £1,010,380 in funding.  A total of 466 grants have been made to worthwhile causes within the Borough of Barrow-in-Furness.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of CCF, will also be speaking at the event.  He said: “Barrow Community Trust plays an important role in the Borough of Barrow-in-Furness.  The Trust was set up to provide grant support to voluntary and community groups already working to improve the quality of life of the people of Barrow.  So far it has been successful in achieving this and this event allows us the opportunity to say thank you to those who have contributed.”

Barrow Community Trust is a Heart of Barrow initiative.  It was created to provide an opportunity for people and businesses to collaborate in support of the local community.

For further information on the event, please contact