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Sunday, 31 August 2014

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Cumbrian charity may miss out on £100,000 as it struggles to find donors

Cumbria's Community Foundation has issued a bleak warning that it could face losing £100,000 as it struggles to find donors.

Andy Beeforth photo
Andy Beeforth

The charity, which supports projects across the county, has to raise £180,000 by the end of March to trigger a matched-funding pay-out from the Government.

The charity, which has handed out grants of £16m since its launch in 1999, supports a range of community projects from the Winter Warmth Appeal to help the elderly heat their homes to helping flood victims get back home.

A spokesman said they have to raise nearly £1m by 2015 and had set themselves yearly figures. They managed to raise last year’s amount but this year’s total – of £180,000 – was much higher and they were struggling.

Director Andy Beeforth said they were pleased to have secured £100,000 but still needed to find another £180,000 in just over a month.

“We are continuing to speak to prospective donors and supporters,” he said.

“This comes at a time when our communities need more support than ever. We are appealing to both local businesses and individuals who want to help their community to come forward now so they can benefit from the scheme and help Cumbria claim its share of government funding. We are the only charity in the county able to offer this cash incentive to donors and there are considerable tax benefits too, particularly when donating shares.”

The Government-backed scheme aims to encourage more charitable giving by businesses and individuals.

Earlier this month, the Foundation announced grants totalling £867,000 had been awarded to projects that support people in communities across Cumbria who need extra help to remain independent.

They have been funded by Cumbria County Council and the county’s new NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

The money will be used to deliver a range of activities, such as befriending services and support for people who return home from hospital from April this year.

Around 23,000 people in the county will receive support through the programme each year. More than 1,000 extra community volunteers are also expected to be recruited over time to help deliver the programme.

A directory of the assistance available around the county will be sent to homes, published online and made available to GP practices and other caring organisations.

James Airey, county council cabinet member responsible for adult social care, said the programme would help people retain their independence.

“The new programme marks our on-going commitment to neighbourhood care,” he said. “It’s about working in different ways to make improvements to people’s lives home by home, street by street and community by community.”

For details see www.cumbriafoundation.org.

Opinion: page 12

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