Twenty-six good causes across Cumbria and North Lancashire have shared in almost £750,000.
The money came from funds administered by Cumbria Community Foundation and were set up by local people and businesses including Castle Green Hotel, Herdy and the Westmorland Family.
The 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.
Twenty-one 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 of 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 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 and 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, visit www.cumbriafoundation.org or call a member of the grants team on 01900 825760.