Grant Stories


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As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, we visited 20 organisations that have received grants from the funds we administer to find out how the money has made a difference to the lives of local people.

Read our 20th anniversary grants stories here.

The Cumbria Fund supports around 50 community projects each year. The money helps a wide number of people, including youngsters, vulnerable adults, the disabled, those recovering from illness, the unemployed and low income families.

Read the Cumbria Fund grant stories here.

Healing minds through green fingers

27th February 2019

Thanks to a grant of £15,000 from the Cumbria Fund and Holehird Trust over three years, Growing Well has been able to replace essential gardening items, provide new volunteer safety equipment and to update their onsite storage facilities. Growing Well is an organic farm based mental health charity near Kendal. Operating on 6 acres of … Continue reading “Healing minds through green fingers”

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School students steaming ahead for work

6th February 2019

Volunteers from the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society are committed to preserving the community railway, linking Alston Moor with South Tynedale and the wider North Pennines. Youngsters at the local secondary school are rurally isolated and find it difficult to access work placements without travelling long distances with limited public transport. An employability programme was … Continue reading “School students steaming ahead for work”

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Feeling hot, hot, hot!

17th January 2019

It’s going to be warm and cosy for the members and staff at Chrysalis in Wigton this winter thanks to a £16,272 grant from the Cumbria Fund. The charity, which provides support to adults with learning disabilities, has used the grant to upgrade its central heating system. Now complete, it provides a secure future as … Continue reading “Feeling hot, hot, hot!”

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Bringing the community together

7th January 2019

The recruitment of a Development Worker at Cumbria Deaf Association has increased the confidence of Barrow’s deaf community. Thanks to a £7,500 grant from the Cumbria Fund, 100 people have been able to access a range of community activities and support services. Activities such as weekly information surgeries and one-to-one support have been complemented by … Continue reading “Bringing the community together”

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Open House

18th December 2018

With homelessness on the rise in South Lakeland, a three year grant of £14,608 to Kendal-based charity, Manna House, will ensure vulnerable people continue to receive support. Based on Ann Street, Manna House offers advice, advocacy and a drop-in support centre for those who are homeless, vulnerably housed, lonely or needing help. The facilities include … Continue reading “Open House”

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Keeping healthy with exercise

17th December 2018

Hundreds of people in Carlisle are improving their physical and mental health thanks to a £5,855 grant from the Cumbria Fund. iCan Health and Fitness CIC is a community gym in Denton Holme, open 5 days a week. The development of what was the former Curves building and new equipment purchased with the grant, means … Continue reading “Keeping healthy with exercise”

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The Barrow project where time and skills are money

30th August 2018

A project which sees residents giving up their time to help other people out is building community cohesion in Barrow in Furness. Barrow Timebank, set up by Inspire Furness CIC, received £5,000 from the Cumbria Fund and Barrow Community Trust to help with running costs for another year. The idea of a Timebank revolves around … Continue reading “The Barrow project where time and skills are money”

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Fair and simple financial solutions for Eden and South Lakeland

23rd August 2018

Many households in Eden and South Lakeland are reliant on jobs in the farming and tourism industry, which are often low paid or on zero-hour contracts, and average household incomes are below the national figure. People who struggle financially often turn to high interest lenders for help and end up in more debt. EdenSave Credit … Continue reading “Fair and simple financial solutions for Eden and South Lakeland”

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Cumbria Pride celebrating diversity

16th August 2018

Cumbria’s LGBT community can often feel isolated and excluded, with many people hiding their identity. Others experience discrimination and even violence and this can affect their health and wellbeing. Cumbria Pride, founded in 2010 and based in Carlisle, was set up to promote equality and inclusivity and represent people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and … Continue reading “Cumbria Pride celebrating diversity”

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Creative grief workshops comfort bereaved parents

15th August 2018

Losing a baby is one of the most devastating experiences for any parent to cope with and they often do not have time to collect memories to remember their child by. Communities come together in times of grief and one bereaved mother, Val Isherwood, vowed to help others after losing her baby girl. “Tigerlily Trust … Continue reading “Creative grief workshops comfort bereaved parents”

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East Cumbria Family Support Association – Keeping families together

29th March 2018

Eden is the most deprived district in Cumbria in terms of geographical barriers to services and families living in the area have the longest travel times to key services in the county. There are fewer opportunities for children and families living in rural and isolated communities, who are facing challenges as they try to make … Continue reading “East Cumbria Family Support Association – Keeping families together”

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Independent living for young Cumbrians

Recent government figures show homelessness is on the rise. Carlisle Key on Fisher Street aims to keep local young Cumbrians off the streets. The charity helps 16-25 years olds live independently by providing advice and guidance through its drop-in service as well as one-to-one support. A dedicated staff member with a team of volunteers offers … Continue reading “Independent living for young Cumbrians”

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Community up-cycling project helps locals back to work

26th March 2018

A community project which up-cycles furniture is providing tailored support for people who need more help to undertake active and effective job seeking. The GWK Charity Shop on James Street in Workington was set up by social enterprise, Groundwork North East & Cumbria, to support the long term unemployed and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, through … Continue reading “Community up-cycling project helps locals back to work”

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A fitter future

14th March 2018

Imagine not being able to work, play sport or socialise. There are many people in our community who feel excluded from enjoying these things which most of us take for granted. More than 7,000 adults in Cumbria have a learning disability and a large majority do not take part in sport or physical activity. Carlisle … Continue reading “A fitter future”

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Always Another Way

1st February 2018

Young people in Copeland, struggling with their gender identity or sexuality, are now getting invaluable support to help them and their families understand their needs. Always Another Way received a total of £2,625 from the Cumbria Fund and Shepley Group Fund to set up their ‘Colour Coded’ support project based in Whitehaven. Colour Coded is … Continue reading “Always Another Way”

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Inspiring creativity through recycling

11th December 2017

Kendal’s local community has been having fun gaining new skills and increasing in confidence through recycling, thanks to £5,680 from the Cumbria Fund and the Cumberland Building Society Charitable Foundation. Ragtag Arts encourages local people of all ages and abilities to volunteer in their new Community Scrapstore. An ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of materials and creative inspiration, … Continue reading “Inspiring creativity through recycling”

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Fighting against food poverty

27th November 2017

King’s Food Bank has been feeding vulnerable people in Kendal thanks to £10,000 from the Cumbria Fund. People in the area go hungry every day for many reasons such as homelessness; redundancy; illness; benefit delay and sanctions; domestic violence; debt or family breakdown. The charity provides food boxes containing 3-4 days of nutritional, non-perishable food … Continue reading “Fighting against food poverty”

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Well on the road to recovery

31st October 2017

Vulnerable women in Barrow and South Lakeland now have a safe haven to help them on the road to recovery. The Well Communities, based on Dalton Road in Barrow, has set up a women only recovery house in the town thanks to a £4,000 grant from the Cumbria Fund, the High Sheriff’s Crimebeat Fund and … Continue reading “Well on the road to recovery”

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Young farmers reaping the benefits

30th October 2017

Young farmers all over the county can now afford to get the training they need to be safe at work, thanks to a £7,230 grant from the Cumbria Fund and Westmorland Ltd Fund. The Farmer Network received the funding to provide vouchers worth £200 each year to people aged between 15 and 40 working on … Continue reading “Young farmers reaping the benefits”

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New lease of life for three Barrow men in need

4th May 2017

Three Barrow men, who previously found themselves homeless, have finally found a place to call home. Furness Homeless Support Group received £2,000 from Cumbria Fund to renovate a three bedroom house in Hindpool to provide supported accommodation. The three men will stay in the property until they are ready to find their own tenancy and move … Continue reading “New lease of life for three Barrow men in need”

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Support for seriously ill children and their families

8th March 2017

Families with sick children regularly face long, draining journeys, often by public transport to attend hospital appointments, which can take full days, involve overnight stays and take one parent away from the rest of the family. The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, which has a base in Kendal, supports families who have a child with a … Continue reading “Support for seriously ill children and their families”

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Lifeline for domestic violence victims in West Cumbria

3rd February 2017

On average, it takes 37 incidents before victims of domestic violence ask for help. West Cumbria Domestic Violence Support provides practical and emotional help to victims, survivors and perpetrators of domestic abuse in Allerdale and Copeland. The charity is the only organisation in West Cumbria that provides long term domestic violence support to address the … Continue reading “Lifeline for domestic violence victims in West Cumbria”

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South Lakeland Carers take a well-earned break

26th August 2016

Carers from South Lakeland are being offered relaxation therapies as a focused way to take a break from their caring role. The South Lakeland Carers Association was awarded £4,470 from Castle Green Grassroots Grants, the Cumberland Building Society Charitable Foundation and Cumbria Fund to provide the therapies. Therapists provide treatments that include aromatherapy massages, hot stone … Continue reading “South Lakeland Carers take a well-earned break”

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Lakeland club row to safety with oar-some new boat

11th August 2016

Lakeland Rowing Club received a grant of £3,150 from Cumbria Fund, which was used to purchase a new safety boat to aid with coaching at their base on Derwent Water. The lake can be prone to changes in conditions so the club need to keep a close eye on their rowers, particularly if they are … Continue reading “Lakeland club row to safety with oar-some new boat”

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£5,000 boost for Ulverston Inshore Rescue

4th August 2016

Ulverston Inshore Rescue received a grant of £5,000 from the Cumbria Fund to purchase equipment for their new rescue vehicle. The rescue organisation used the funds to purchase a winch, roof rack, internal storage boxes and a rear access ladder. They also fitted the vehicle with a new radio and GPS gear.  The crew’s previous vehicle … Continue reading “£5,000 boost for Ulverston Inshore Rescue”

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Homeless young people offered a place to stay as charity expands into Cumbria

6th July 2016

An innovative new project to tackle homelessness was established in Cumbria last year with support from Cumbria Community Foundation. Nightstop, run by Depaul UK provides free emergency accommodation for homeless young people aged 16 to 25, in the homes of approved volunteers, on a temporary basis until a more appropriate longer term solution to their … Continue reading “Homeless young people offered a place to stay as charity expands into Cumbria”

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Barrow residents share time and skills

6th June 2016

Barrow Timebank, run by Inspire Furness CIC, received £5,000 in May 2016 from the Barrow Community Trust and Cumbria Fund to help with running costs for another year. Time banks act as a way of harnessing the assets or expertise in the community and involve members of the community registering skills, enthusiasm, talents and time to others. … Continue reading “Barrow residents share time and skills”

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Charity partnership aiming to reduce mental distress

4th March 2016

Funding from the Cumbria Fund fund has enabled Mind in Furness to continue with a project which allows its members to work side-by-side in partnership with National Trust volunteers on conservation projects. Once a month members of Mind in Furness visit High Wray, near Hawkshead, which is the base for the National Trust’s volunteer conservation work. … Continue reading “Charity partnership aiming to reduce mental distress”

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Learning centre’s immediate future secured

25th February 2016

The immediate future of a charity in Dalton-in-Furness has been secured by a grant from Cumbria Community Foundation. Dalton Learning Centre provides a range of services to the local community, including a job club, a homework club, a mindful class and a dementia café, as well as a number of skills classes. The group has proved … Continue reading “Learning centre’s immediate future secured”

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Foodbank Fighting Hunger in Kendal

2nd February 2016

An important community project in Kendal can continue to make a difference to people’s lives thanks to a cash donation. King’s Food Bank, based in the Shakespeare Centre has been awarded a total of £11,000 to keep hunger at bay for South Lakeland residents. £10,000 came from the Cumbria Fund, £500 from the Dowker Bindloss … Continue reading “Foodbank Fighting Hunger in Kendal”

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