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Three quarters of a million to good causes in Cumbria

It’s a welcome start to the year for good causes across Cumbria and North Lancashire after they received a share of almost three quarters of a million pounds.

The money came from funds set up by local people and businesses including Castle Green Hotel, Herdy and the Westmorland Family, which are administered by Cumbria Community Foundation.

26 community groups received support to deliver activities that will tackle mental health issues, help those with disabilities, provide advice and guidance to people on low incomes, offer hospice and bereavement support, purchase equipment for emergency rescue services, and assist older people who are vulnerable or isolated. 21 people also received financial support to help with further education and training costs.

In Sedbergh, a new ‘Community Maker Space’ will be developed thanks to £3,000 from the Herdy Fund. Settlebeck Parents, Teachers and Friends Association will use the funds to upgrade the design and technology facilities at Settlebeck School so that it can begin a programme of evening classes open to pupils, parents and members of the community who wish to learn more about computer aided design and manufacturing.

Steph Williams for Settlebeck Parents, Teachers and Friends Association, said: “As a very small rural secondary school we pride ourselves in providing pupils with a bespoke educational experience, which is often difficult to find in larger schools, ensuring that every child has the chance to thrive. Alongside this, we continue to seek opportunities to develop our high-quality facilities. We have a close relationship with the Sedbergh community and surrounding area and have been looking for ways to further strengthen those links.”

Diane Hannah, Co-founder Director, Herdy said: “When we heard about the Settlebeck project we instantly wanted to provide the outstanding funds to make it happen. Herdy is a design led business, so this project is very close to our heart. Not only are we happy to contribute financially but there are loads of opportunities for us to work with the pupils too once the facility is up and running. We’d love to share our knowledge and experience with the pupils and work on some live Herdy projects with them.”

The social and economic impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for communities and many of those are also suffering from an increased sense of isolation, poor mental health and increased financial problems. Formerly known as OpShops, Restore based in Carlisle, received £4,913 from the Pappagallino Fund and £3,000 from the Westmorland Family Community Fund towards two projects, which are helping to support local residents.

Chris Harwood, Pioneer Minister says: “This fantastic support will help us refurbish our new warehouse, creating a new community hub for our staff and volunteers. Funding will also help us to develop our community projects that promote social inclusion and care for the environment: ‘Men in Sheds’ and the ‘Community Allotment’.  We plan to use the grant to upgrade and provide more tools, improve our safety equipment, and open the projects up to more people who may be struggling with their mental health or feeling lonely and isolated and in need of a supportive community. Many more vulnerable people will need support after the lockdown is over. Thanks to Cumbria Community Foundation’s generous fund holders we will be in a much better position to be able to offer this help.”

Up to 150 young women aged 14-16 in Carlisle will benefit from a £5,000 grant from Cumbria Young People’s Fund. iCan Health and Fitness based in Denton Holme will use the funding towards a six-week pilot programme offering a variety of physical exercise sessions in addition to promoting positive mental health, wellbeing and positivity through the WOW! iCan Be Me project.

Matthew Wood, Wheels of Wellness Project Manager at iCan Health and Fitness CIC, said: “The young women will all receive training from people with knowledge and lived experience and learn about respect for other people’s identity, culture and beliefs as well as acceptance of self-image, how to be more mindful and sleeping well techniques. This is set to the backdrop of rebounding sessions on our unique Wheels of Wellness facility.”

The Farmer Network works with over 1,150 farmers across Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales. It received £6,500 from the Carr’s Group Fund and the Cumberland Educational Foundation to support its training voucher scheme. The vouchers, worth up to £200, are for young people working in farming to obtain technical training and certificates of competence. These certificates are legal requirements but are particularly expensive for smaller family farms to fund without financial assistance.

Project Manager, Veronica Waller, said: “Farmers need help with affording the cost of training more than ever with the changes to farm payments starting in 2021. This training allows younger farmers to offer their services as contractors in addition to working on their home farm and this additional income is particularly important at a time of unprecedented change.”

Ellen Clements, Senior Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “There are many worthy organisations in Cumbria that are supporting communities during this unprecedented time. We are grateful to the generosity of our fundholders to enable us to support these vital services, especially during times when local services are under pressure and struggling to meet local needs.”

To apply for a grant or for more information call a member of the grants team on 01900 825760.

West Cumbrian causes awarded a share of £280,000

Community projects across West Cumbria tackling a range of issues including anti-social behaviour, health and wellbeing and unemployment have received a share of more than £280,000.

Cumbria Community Foundation awarded the money to more than 50 charitable groups at its quarterly West Cumbria grants panel. Funding was also given to 25 young people towards academic study and foreign travel.

The money came from 23 grant making funds, including those set up by local corporate businesses such as Lamont Pridmore, Shepley Engineers and United Utilities.

Egremont Youth Partnership received £5,000 from the Lord Egremont Fund. James Bowden, Youth Centre Manager, said: “The youth group is grateful and delighted to have received support this year from Lord Egremont towards our core running costs, we entirely dependent on grant aid and fundraising. The need for youth provision within the town is high and the work we will deliver as part of this funding is essential to our young people. Over the next year we will continue to provide a varied programme for the young people of Egremont and the surrounding community with our variety of sessions delivered over 3 nights a week.”

Silloth on Solway Sport’s Association received £10,000 for a planned multi use games area from the Hellrigg Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund. Colin Baty, Assistant Secretary, said: “We are installing a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) in the town and this money will be used in the excavation and preparation of the area before a 3G Astro Turf can be laid.

“The MUGA will greatly enhance the outdoor sport’s facilities in Silloth, especially during the dark winter months as there is currently no provision with adequate lighting for the local community to access.”

Last year, Cleator Moor Celtic Football Club was promoted into the Hallmark Security Football League Division One North, which is Step 6 in the FA football pyramid but needed to undertake pitch improvements work to play in the League. Thanks to a grant of £10,000 from the United Utilities Legacy Fund, work can now begin. David Graham, Project Manager, said: “The aim is to bring the pitch up to recognised Sport of England standards for winter pitch use. The money will also act as match funding when we apply to the Football Stadia Improvement Fund.”

Cumbria Police Community Support Officer said: “The club is an excellent environment for the younger members of the community and it also provides an outlet for their parents who regularly attend the club on a social basis. It plays an important part in the whole community and is an essential teaching tool that provides children with a sense of pride and hopefully inspires them to continue to excel in the field of sports.”

1st Seaton Scout Group can now build a brand-new community facility after receiving £30,000 from the United Utilities Legacy Fund. The current scout hut is nearly 85 years old and has been on the same site in the village for more than 40 years. After successfully fundraising to develop a new facility, the grant from United Utilities was the last bit of funding the group needed to begin the building work.

Mike Ditchburn, Acting Chairman of the Scout Group, said: “It felt like Christmas had come early when we were told by Cumbria Community Foundation that we had been awarded a grant of £30,000 from the United Utilities Legacy Fund on 20 December 2019.”

Brian Hemming, who is working on behalf of 1st Seaton Scout Group to raise funds for the new facility, said: “On telling the group of the good news, it was decided that we should all start the New Year by polishing up picks and spades and start on the site this year. The whole group, including our 70 scouts, wish to thank Cumbria Community Foundation and United Utilities, and the whole community for supporting us in achieving our target.”

The closing date for the next West Cumbria grants panel is 22nd February 2019. For more information, visit or call a member of the grants team on 01900 825760.

Cumbria Young People’s Fund (Individuals)

The fund was created through an anonymous legacy gift of £1.2m – the donor was a retired teacher who cared passionately about helping young people. It aims to support applications which will make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people in Cumbria by supporting study or vocational training.

How much can you apply for?
• Maximum grant will normally be £2,000 and we expect to make no more than three grants but we would expect most awards to be in the region of £500 to £750.

Who can apply?
• Individuals aged 14-22 years living in Cumbria with priority given to young people from Barrow and Carlisle.
• Applicants will need to provide evidence of excellence in their chosen fields and/or evidence of how you will/are raising aspirations for young people in West Cumbria

Please refer to Cumbria Young People’s Fund (Individuals) Guidelines for full criteria before downloading the individual application form.


Hunter Davies Fund

The donor advised fund has been set up by Cumbrian author and journalist Hunter Davies to help young people further their education into University. It also provides funding support to the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards.

The bursaries will support Cumbrian students who attend either Trinity School in Carlisle or Cockermouth School and students are to be nominated by their Head Teacher.

Before considering a nomination to this fund please read the Hunter Davies Fund Guidelines.

This is not an open access fund and is not open to direct applications.

Violet Laidlaw Fund

Funded by a bequest from the estate of Violet Laidlaw, formerly of Scotby and Carlisle. Violet studied home economics and the nursing of sick children. Her philosophy was to be considerate to others, always finding the good points in people and never passing judgement. From a young age she showed a concern for the welfare of the homeless and less fortunate giving support whenever needed and through her gift this will continue.

How much can you apply for?
• Maximum grant will normally be £500 over one year
• Individuals will normally only qualify for one award from the Trust

Who can apply?
• Charitable groups helping homeless people in Carlisle City Council area
• Individuals in need of support

Please refer to Violet Laidlaw Fund Guidelines for full criteria before applying.

Cultural Fund

The Fund is the result of an initiative by Miss Mary Burkett and friends to help individuals in the arts. Its aim is to encourage individuals of excellence in their chosen field of the arts. Individuals are prioritised due to the comparative lack of funding available to them.

How much can you apply for?
• There is no maximum or minimum grant level, but the average grant is expected to be £500

Who can apply?
• Individuals resident in the county of Cumbria.

Please refer to Cultural Fund Guidelines for full criteria before downloading the individual application forms.