The following information is provided to help holiday homeowners and owner relationship managers from holiday let agencies to better understand the aims, objectives and practicalities of the Cumbria Home from Home fund.

Any queries should be directed to jackie@cumbriafoundation.org

What is the Cumbria Home from Home Fund?

It is a fund, set up by Cumbria Community Foundation to encourage holiday homeowners to donate the equivalent of one week’s rent. The owner can choose which week. Having a fund dedicated to this initiative means we can track how much holiday homeowners are raising for the local community and evidence their support to charitable causes in and around the Lake District.

Why is it called the Cumbria Home for Home fund?

Holiday homeowners could have a house anywhere in the world but have chosen to have one in or around the Lake District in Cumbria because they love this part of the UK and for them it is their “second home” – their home from home.

Why has the Cumbria Home from Home Fund been set up?

Several holiday homeowners in the Lake District wanted to support the local community but were not sure how best to do so. The idea has worked successfully in Cornwall, where holiday homeowners felt privileged to own a holiday home there and decided to give the equivalent of a week’s rent back to help the local community. There is a lot of support for the idea in Cumbria, from both holiday homeowners and the agents who let them on their behalf, so the Cumbria Home from Home Fund was set up as a mechanism to allow them to do so.

What exactly are the issues facing the rural communities here in Cumbria?

In contrast to urban areas where the issues may be more apparent, hardship and inequality is often hidden in the rural communities of the Lake District and Cumbria. Official figures in Cumbria show that many families are struggling i.e.

  • the Covid-19 pandemic has widened inequalities across the region. The impact locally has been particularly pronounced with areas of the Lake District experiencing the nation’s highest furlough take up rate (19%) and the Universal Credit and Job Seekers Allowance claimant count doubling across Cumbria since March 2020
  • thousands of people are using food banks and signing up for benefit payments
  • there’s an increase in people seeking help for mental illness.
  • many young people are struggling to start their careers.
  • there is a disproportionate amount of elderly people and 32,000 of them live alone, with many isolated and facing huge increases in their energy bills.
  • there is a lack of affordable housing, coupled with low wages and a high cost of living, which means many of the working age population can’t afford to live in the Lake District itself, which leads to a shortage of available workforce in tourist facing industries.
  • transport links are limited and expensive
  • there is a decline in community facilities and activities for all ages as the local population dwindles

Why is this fund necessary when holiday accommodation providers are helping to keep the area going by bringing in visitors and using local suppliers?

We know holiday homeowners use local suppliers and employ gardeners and cleaners, and visitors help to support those who work in the tourist economy. However, for the whole community to thrive and to maintain the environment and surroundings that attracted the holiday homeowner to the area, all sectors of the local community need to be supported. Thriving Lake District villages are good for business and giving back to those communities with a donation of a week’s rent will help maintain them. This Fund will also help to build relations and a better understanding between the tourism sector and the local communities who host them.

What is Cumbria Community Foundation?

Cumbria Community Foundation was set up in 1999 to alleviate poverty and disadvantage in Cumbria and the Lake District by making grants to individuals and organisation who are most in need. The Foundation manages over 100 funds, including the Cumbria Home from Home Fund and each fund focusses on different sectors and areas: over the last 22 years it has distributed more than £50 million to projects and charities that support local communities. There is no other organisation in Cumbria that has the same knowledge, passion, and expertise to move quickly and direct funding to the areas and individuals most in need.

How will the donations from holiday owners be used?

Through the Cumbria Home from Home Fund, donations will be earmarked for 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, and community owned initiatives such as community shops, pubs and village halls in rural areas.

How much should I donate?

The Foundation is asking for an annual donation of the equivalent of a week’s rent. It is for the owner to decide which rental week to use as a marker, but we would ask for a minimum of £500.

How do I donate?

Click on this link to find further information on the Fund and an easy way to donate. A donation can be made as one payment,  or a standing order can be set up. There is also a facility to generate a receipt which may be appropriate for use on your tax return.

What do I get out of donating?

It’s good for the community and therefore good for your business plus:

  • Automatic enrolment in the Cumbria Club, a UK-wide group of Lake District/Cumbria lovers
  • Invitations to exclusive events
  • Monthly newsletter with the latest news on how grants are helping those in need (opt-in required during sign-up to the fund)
  • Access to the Cumbria Home from Home Fund logo for use in your marketing and/or on your website
  • A window sticker can be provided for your property to highlight your commitment to the community
  • The knowledge that you are helping the local community so we can all enjoy and appreciate our home from home for many years to come

For holiday let agencies – Why has the agency chosen to support the Cumbria Home for Home fund?

  • Cumbria Community Foundation has over 20 years experience directing money to projects that support the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our communities: they know where the need is so working with the Foundation is an efficient mechanism for us to support our communities.
  • The Foundation operates a transparent and rigorous application process and is a trusted at all levels in Cumbria.
  • The Cumbria Home from Home Fund has been designed for our industry, guided by research with our sector
  • Publicity will be ongoing and will ensure that information circulates on how donations are being used
  • It’s the right time to support the local community after a very successful season for the self-catering industry, and
  • It will enhance the Lake District and Cumbria’s reputation as a responsible and ethical tourism destination