Fryer Grassroots Fund

John Fryer-Spedding CBE led the creation of the Foundation in 1997 when, as High Sheriff, he recruited a steering group to look into setting up a community foundation for Cumbria. He became the first Chairman.

The founding trustees wanted to create an organisation that would be home to a growing number of charitable funds. These would provide a sustainable source of support for voluntary bodies serving our people and communities.

The Fryer Grassroots Fund was established in 2009 by John and his wife, Clare, to support organisations who work with children and young people, particularly those leaving care. Many young people who have been in care are expected to live independently from as young as 16 years old. They do not have access to the same financial and family support systems that most young people experience.

Care leavers who attended a support group run by Inspira were able to create a recipe book, thanks to a grant from the Fryer Grassroots Fund. The book aims to help people leaving the care system to eat healthily on a budget. Funding contributed towards the production of the book and professional input from Cumbrian celebrity chef John Crouch.

Deborah Naylor, Area Operations Manager at Inspira, said: “Learning the skills of not only how to cook a meal but one that is healthy and cheap can make a big difference.

“One young man who hardly cooked was really proud of the fact that he managed to cook a vegetarian sweet and sour. He also made pasta bake and was surprised at how cheap it was and that he could ‘stick it in the freezer’ to eat at a later date.”

John Fryer-Spedding said: “Helping these young people learn how to make affordable, healthy meals has been hugely rewarding for us. They have been a real inspiration in making this book so others can benefit from what they have learned.

“These grants can make the challenge of leaving care that little bit easier, aiming to give young people a better start in life.”