More than 1.5 million has been awarded to a range of good causes in Cumbria, helping to tackle issues including loneliness, unemployment, mental illness and fuel poverty.
115 community organisations received a share of £1.4 million and more than 80 people received grants totalling £54,352, including support to young athletes, refugees, and survivors of domestic violence.
The money came from funds set up by local people and businesses including Carr’s Group, Lamont Pridmore, English Lakes Hotels, Lakeland Ltd, Thomas Graham & Sons and Herdy.
Ulverston Resilience Group received £10,536 from ENWL Storm Arwen Community Resilience Fund, set up to help communities provide support to vulnerable residents during adverse weather causes conditions. The group was able to purchase 10 additional two-way radios and increase the number of volunteers carrying out welfare checks.
Neil Fleming, Chair, said: “In the weeks following Storm Arwen, Ulverston Resilience Group made around 1,000 welfare visits to domestic properties across Furness and Cartmel, in support of ENWL and Cumbria County Council.
“At that time, there was little or no mobile phone coverage in many of the areas visited, and it was difficult to keep in contact with volunteers. The grant means we can now operate safely in the event of a major incident and make a real difference to the effectiveness of the service.”
Cumbria’s first wheelchair rugby club, Penrith Pumas, received £10,000 from the GVC Fund to purchase bespoke wheelchairs and cover venue hire costs.
The club offers individuals with any form of physical impairment, long term chronic health condition or disability to come along and participate in the sport. Megan Petit, Club Manager, said “For many of our members, living with life changing injuries, or long-term health conditions can leave them feeling angry and caged in a body that they’ll never be satisfied with. We strive to provide an all-inclusive environment where their impairments are not the elephant in the room.
“Physically, wheelchair rugby impacts on player’s strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Mentally it helps their resilience, improves their mood and reduces stress which can directly improve family life. Many players come from a pre-disability occupational background in the forces involving strategy, power, competition and teamwork. Wheelchair rugby provides these areas and gives players an outlet to practise them which aids continuation of skills from one are of life to another.”
£2,500 was awarded from Hellrigg Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund to set up Silloth Parkrun, a free, community event where all ages can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate.
Geoff Toogood, Event Director, said: “Once established, the weekly 5km run will take place every Saturday morning at 9am. The course will use Silloth Green and the promenade. Participation is free to all who want to jog, run or walk. We hope to attract members of the local community as well as holiday makers and parkrun tourists.”
£500 was awarded from the William Milburn Charitable Trust Fund to a team of volunteer ‘bus buddies’ who help people using public transport for the first time or are nervous about navigating the routes and timetables.
Brampton Bus Buddies was set up in 2014. Harry Urwin Simpson, Treasurer, said: “We help people overcome isolation and enjoy the company of other people. For some it’s about getting their independence back after losing their driving license due to ill health. For others, it’s simply about having a friend to travel with. This generous grant will allow us to treat our members to a meal out on one of our outings especially in this current climate.”
About one in five women have mental health struggles when pregnant or after giving birth. The Happy Mums Foundation runs support groups for expectant mums and parents experiencing mental health problems.
The award-winning social enterprise received £9,246 from Moorhouse Grassroots Fund to offer support to mothers of underrepresented groups, such as refugees and ethnically diverse, by running engagement events in partnership with other agencies.
Katherine Dalgliesh, Managing Director, said: “It is vital that we work harder to reach those who are marginalised. For example, we know that women from Black, Asian or ethnically diverse backgrounds are 13% more likely to develop postnatal depression or anxiety.”
The Reanella Trust received £15,000 from Live the Dream Fund and Thomas Milburn Fund, to provide a virtual learning course to help young people with mental health issues in Copeland.
Marcelline Menyie, Trustee, said “The Resilience, Recovery, Re-engagement programme offers therapeutic services, advice, support, and skills training and helps young people on their journey to improving their mental health and developing the skills necessary to engage in employment, education, and training.”
Youth Engagement Service based in South Lakeland was awarded £3,900 from myLakeland to support additional activities for its Friends Club and LIFESTEPS members.
Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We are grateful to the generosity of our fundholders to enable us to support these worthy organisations that are working hard during these difficult times to meet local needs.”