Cumberland Educational Foundation


There are thousands of small charitable trusts across the UK that are either dormant, inactive, or ineffective. Many have ceased to operate for a variety of reasons, often through circumstances that are beyond the control of the original trustees.

In 2003, The Cumberland Educational Foundation, formerly the Cockermouth Grammar School Trust, was transferred from Cumbria County Council to the Foundation; it was worth just under £500,000 at the time.

The fund was invested and is now worth just under £1 million. It has awarded grants of more than £280,000 to young people, charities and community groups in the former county of Cumberland assisting with further academic study, the development of practical skills or sporting excellence.

Helen Housby, 23 from Drumleaning, near Wigton received three grants from the Cumberland Educational Foundation totalling £4,000 to help with netball training and competition costs as she was clocking up 700 miles a week travelling to Manchester to ensure she was at the top of her game.

A last-second goal by Helen helped England win gold at the Commonwealth Games in April this year. It is the best result in England’s history, having previously won silver at the 1975 World Cup.

Helen said: “It’s every shooter’s goal to score the winning goal in the Commonwealth Games final. I’ve dreamed of this for a long time.”

Helen has since become someone young people can aspire to. She said: “For netball in England, all the little girls at home, I want them to be inspired by this. I certainly didn’t have this kind of success to look up to when I was growing up.”