Funds donated by award-winning housebuilder Russell Armer Homes have provided a much-needed boost for two worthwhile projects in Cumbria, benefiting young people involved in sports and outdoor pursuits.
Russell Armer directs thousands of pounds’ worth of funding every year – some donated directly to local clubs and organisations like the Cumbria U18 Rugby Squad, and some channelled through a special trust managed by Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) to support grassroots groups in the towns and villages where the company is building new homes. Recent recipients of a CCF grant include a bursary fund at Queen Katherine School in Kendal to help disadvantaged students take part in Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions.
The Cumbria U18 Squad used its grant to fund a professional-style pre-match event ahead of an important match against a team from Northumbria. A total of 20 players were able to enjoy an away-day at the Daresbury Park Hotel in Warrington that included rehab treatments, team meetings and video analysis sessions, as well as a meal with colleagues and coaches.
Team Coach Chris Downham emphasised the importance of giving young players a semi-professional experience in the world of rugby. He said: “We want to make the U18s something for young players to strive towards, to give them further incentive to work hard and challenge themselves. Our goal has always been to develop players to the best of their ability but also demonstrate to young people the important value of what it means to be part of a team.”
At Queen Katherine’s School, the opportunities afforded to students via the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme are highly valued. The Russell Armer Homes grant helps more young people access expeditions and activities, regardless of their personal circumstances. The money is used to pay fees and to provide some equipment, as well as to provide additional support for students with disabilities.
In a recent CCF report, a spokesperson for the school said: “This year we had a visually impaired student complete her Silver award. Her expedition group received guided sight training by QKS staff in order to assist her on walking on rough ground. She did amazingly well and says her self-confidence has massively improved.”
Martyn Nicholson, Managing Director at Russell Armer Homes says: “We are delighted to be able to aid local communities, especially where clubs and organisations help disadvantaged groups or encourage young people to explore new activities. We’re looking forward to supporting more worthy local causes in 2020.”