The Cumbria Home from Home Fund offers a simple way for holiday and second homeowners in the Lake District and Cumbria to give back and make a difference to local communities and the most vulnerable people who live there. To join the fund, you can make an annual donation of one week’s rent – you pick the week to donate, or donate the equivalent if your property is not rented out – with a minimum suggested annual donation of £500.  Funds raised will help specific community projects in the Lake District and rural Cumbria.

This initiative has been developed by Cumbria Community Foundation, in response to a growing interest from holiday homeowners to support local causes. Cumbria provides a beautiful home from home for those lucky enough to own a second property in the county, and this initiative will encourage holiday homeowners to give the equivalent of a week’s rental income back to local communities.

Donations to the Cumbria Home from Home Fund will support community projects in the towns and villages where many holiday homes are located. The fund will be managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, which for the last 22-years, has given out grants of more than £50 million on behalf of individuals, families and businesses to help strengthen Cumbrian communities.

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, with two of the UK’s leading agents, Travel Chapter and Original Cottages, being the first to back the project.

Jacqui Currie, Head of Development at Cumbria Community Foundation, commented: “The beauty of the Lake District often disguises the fact that too many of our residents are experiencing hardship. The charities and community groups active throughout the area serve both visitors and locals alike. With 2021 having seen unprecedented demand for holiday cottage accommodation, and bookings for 2022 already buoyant, it feels like the right time to launch this fund, which connects holiday and second home owners with local communities.”

The Cumbria Home from Home Fund will initially award grants of up to £10,000 to community projects and initiatives that help people in and around the Lake District, such as helping young people access skills, jobs and build confidence, and supporting older people suffering from dementia, hardship, or loneliness. Grants will also be considered for activities to help people access the outdoors, mental health support, as well as community owned initiatives such as community shops, pubs and village halls in rural areas.

Claire Logan Stephens, who has donated to the fund, commented: “I, like many holiday homeowners, have a deep affection for Cumbria and I really want to help the local communities to thrive. I feel fortunate to own a holiday home in Troutbeck and giving a week’s rent back to help local causes feels like the right thing to do, especially after such a busy year with bookings. This fund provides an easy and transparent way to make a difference and will further enhance the county’s reputation for promoting responsible and ethical tourism. Cumbria Community Foundation also has an excellent reputation for getting much needed support to the most vulnerable. This initiative is good news.”

In recognition of the benefit that the Cumbria Home from Home Fund will bring to communities in and around the Lake District, Cumbria Tourism has offered its support to help promote this initiative. The hospitality sector faced very real difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic, but many holiday lets, when able to trade, have seen some of the first green shoots of recovery.

Gill Haigh from Cumbria Tourism, said: “We are happy to support this initiative from the Foundation, who, along with the holiday let company Travel Chapter, are one of our Strategic Partners. We will be sharing details of the fund with our members and would encourage those who have the means to do so to support it if they can.”

“We are delighted that a number of holiday letting agents, including Original Cottages have expressed their support for the fund and have committed to promote it with their owners,” said Jacqui.

The Cumbria Home from Home Fund also gives a mechanism for second homeowners who do not let their property to show their love of the Lake District by giving back to the communities that host them. Second homeowners are already coming forward to support the fund by donating the equivalent of a week’s rental to the fund to help support the communities that maintain the landscape and lifestyle that drew them to the area.

Emily Brettle, who runs two holiday cottages to the east of the Lake District, said: “I am delighted to support the valuable work of the Cumbria Community Foundation through the new Home from Home Fund.”

You can make a donation here.

To highlight the need for this Fund and how holiday and second homeowners can get involved, the Foundation has produced a short video below.

To find out more about The Cumbria Home from Home Fund grant criteria please click here.