Lifeline for rurally isolated older people

1st February 2016

A vital service providing social inclusion to older people in rural North Cumbria has been given a financial lifeline.

Northern Fells Group was successful in securing more than £175,000 last autumn from Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities Programme. This was only made possible thanks to match funding from the Joyce Wilkinson Trust and the Neighbourhood Care Independence Programme.

Local MP Rory Stewart visiting the Men in Sheds project at Caldbeck
Local MP Rory Stewart visiting the Men in Sheds project at Caldbeck

The funding will enable the charity to continue running a number of services for the next five years, including the Village Action Project – an initiative providing four Village Agents, based in four villages and the popular Men in Sheds workshop and activities in Caldbeck.

The Northern Fells Group was launched in 1999 by The Prince of Wales as one of his three Rural Revival Initiative Projects. It covers seven parishes: Boltons, Caldbeck, Castle Sowerby, Ireby with Uldale, Mungrisdale, Sebergham & Welton and Westward & Rosley.

Jenny Bland, Chair of the Northern Fells Group, said: “We are delighted to receive match funding from the Community Foundation, without which we wouldn’t have secured the significant award from the Big Lottery Fund.

“Our projects deliver essential services to older people by providing companionship, practical support and opportunities to engage in a range of community activities. This award will allow us to meet current and future demands, helping to combat rural social isolation and exclusion, alleviate deprivation, improve access to other services and enable older people to remain independent, living in their own homes.”