Over £136,000 awarded to help make a difference to West Cumbrian communities

Community projects across West Cumbria have received a share of £136,000 that will benefit residents in the area, such as improving the life skills of young people and providing sport and recreational activities.

Cumbria Community Foundation awarded £77,144 to more than 20 charitable organisations at its recent grants panel. The money came from 24 grant making funds, including those set up by Nuvia Ltd, Thomas Graham & Sons Ltd and the High Sheriff of Cumbria. 18 people also received a share of almost £14,000 to help towards educational trips.

Thanks to funding of £14,142, the Friday Night Project can continue to offer a wide range of positive activities for young people across Allerdale for another year.

Led by Cumbria Youth Alliance (CYA), seven youth organisations including Wigton Youth Station, Aspatria Dreamscheme, the Castle Hill Trust in Maryport, Kings Church in Cockermouth and South Workington Youth Partnership, give young people a place to go on Friday evening.

Cath Clarke, CYA Chief Officer, said: “Without support from Cumbria Community Foundation and its various funders, none of this would be possible and we are very grateful for the support to be able to continue running the Friday Night Project in Allerdale.”

Cumbria Youth Alliance also received £5,000 from the #iwill Fund to continue its Dreamscheme project, which has been running across Allerdale for the past two years. Young people are encouraged to participate in community-based activity while learning and achieving self-development for themselves and their team.

Juan Shimmin, Project Officer at CYA said: “The social action projects will all be based upon an identified need, for example, a piece of land in need of clearing or an inter-generational coffee morning to address social isolation of an elderly group. By working with a diverse range of groups, we have found out how to engage and motivate young people, by rewarding successful groups with a team-building trip, and by enabling the young people to tell us what they see as needed and how it should be done. A panel will approve their activity when they have planned it, so they need to be able to explain what they intend to do and how and why.”

The WOW (Women Out West) centre, based at Haig Pit Enterprise Park in Whitehaven, received £3,500 from the Brian & Ann Clark Fund to support its volunteers.

Volunteers play an important part of the centre and are involved in all aspects of its programme of events and activities. In the hub area, women can meet, relax, build relationships, watch films, listen to aspirational speakers and live music. There is also a nail bar and hair salon for training opportunities and two meeting rooms where courses are delivered for group and one to one sessions.

Angie Dean, Centre Development said: “This funding means that we can develop our events and activities even further than we had first imagined. I can’t express how grateful we are for the kindness and generosity shown by those involved in the decision to award this fund to us. From all of us here at WOW, thank you very much.”

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “It’s great that so many organisations in the west are tackling issues affecting our communities. Thanks to the generosity of our fundholders, we can support these community organisations and help make a positive difference in the county.”

The closing date for Cumbria Community Foundation’s next West Cumbria grants panel is Friday 6th December 2019. For more information, visit www.cumbriafoundation.org or call a member of the grants team on 01900 825760.

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