Community projects across West Cumbria have received a share of almost £370,000 to tackle issues such as youth unemployment, loneliness and financial exclusion.
The money was awarded at Cumbria Community Foundation’s quarterly West Cumbria grants panel and will support more than 30 charitable projects, some over several years. Funding was also given to 19 young people towards academic study and foreign travel for school pupils.
The money came from more than 20 funds, including those set up by local corporate businesses, Lamont Pridmore, Shepley Engineers and United Utilities.
Cumbria Youth Alliance (CYA) works with young people from some of the most deprived areas of West Cumbria to help them reach their full potential. The First Steps to Employment project received £8,135 from the Beverley Trust to provide one-to-one tailor-made support for 16 – 24 year olds and help them develop a plan to identify and reach their employment goals.
Sally Scales, NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) Business Development Manager, said: “We are delighted the Beverley Trust supported the programme. The news has been particularly well received as it comes after the funder met with young people and heard first-hand how they have benefited.
“Youth unemployment is a major priority in West Cumbria and is five times higher than the national average in some areas. Young people have told us they feel like they have been ‘forgotten’ and ‘written off’, so this grant will allow us to continue to help them take the steps they need to pursue their chosen path into further education, training and employment opportunities.”
Citizens Advice Allerdale provides free, impartial advice on a wide range of issues to anyone who needs help. £4,500 from the Abbeyfield Carlisle Society Over 55 Fund and the Kipling Fund for Older People will contribute to the running costs of its older people’s benefits project, which gives advice and support to help older people maximise their income, as well as dealing with the underlying issues that lead to older people living in poverty.
Funding Officer, Lyndsay Carver, said: “Imagine being elderly and having ongoing physical or mental health problems. Getting help from other people begins to seem impossible and family and friends may no longer be there or do not have the skills to help with complex benefit problems. Thanks to the funding, our project will aim to provide an additional 100 one-to-one specialist appointments for older people to help them make sure they are getting the right benefits for them.”
Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the many varied and often much-needed projects across West Cumbria, which bring people together while addressing issues such as poverty, loneliness, unemployment and health and wellbeing. We are ever grateful to our fundholders for supporting such worthy causes.”
The closing date for the next grants panel is 23rd November 2018. For more information, visit www.cumbriafoundation.org or call a member of the grants team on 01900 825760.