New fund support disabled people to gain employment and independence

Community groups supporting disabled people are due to benefit thanks to a new grant making fund.

The creation of the Disability Fund for Cumbria, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, will support practical interventions that promote the inclusion and integration of disabled people into employment and independent living.

The new fund was set up following the closure of Disability association Carlisle & Eden (DaCE), which had been supporting disabled people in Cumbria for more than 20 years. The charity transferred its residual funds to the Foundation to help other organisations providing services and support for disabled people.

Fred Wilenius, Chief Officer for DaCE, said: “For over 20 years, DaCE worked to provide disabled people in Cumbria with the support they need to live independently. So we are very pleased that we have been able to donate DaCE’s residual funds to the Foundation to help establish the Disability Fund. We believe this means that for years to come, Cumbria will have a source of designated funding aimed at encouraging and supporting independent living for disabled people. Our hope is that others will also make donations, so the fund grows and flourishes.”

The money will support initiatives, projects and activities that aim to help disabled people become as independent as possible so that they are able to lead the life they choose in the way they prefer. The fund will prioritise local organisations that employ disabled people and where disabled people are involved as trustees.

Grants for individuals will be available for specialist equipment or training in support of employment and independent living.

Cumbria Community Foundation has been building philanthropic support for communities and grassroots groups for 22 years. In that time, working with individual donors and businesses, it has invested more than £56 million into local communities.

Kevin Walsh, Trustee of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to be able to continue DaCE’s legacy and support projects on their doorstep to improve lives and enable local people to realise their potential.

“The Foundation understands that people with disabilities face many challenges and must be able to fulfil their role in society and participate on an equal basis with others. This new fund is a great example how we can work with community groups and charities that make a big difference to the lives of people with disabilities in Cumbria, helping to improve their lives.”

The Disability Fund for Cumbria has been created with the expectation that people will choose to donate to the cause and grow it over time.

To apply for funding, visit or contact Sarah Thompson, Grants & Programmes Officer via or on 01900 825760 to check eligibility.

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