Russell Armer Fund – Cumbria Community Foundation

Posted on July 16, 2018 | Charity, News

The purpose of the fund is to invest in community projects which support people facing disadvantage, in the areas where Russell Armer is developing homes.

Grant Making – 2017/18

Grant Stories

Owing to the closure of several halls in Kendal, community groups are struggling to find venues suitable for their activities.

Castle Street Community Centre provides space to a wide range of groups including seniors, martial arts and fitness, youth offenders and people suffering from multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. The centre was running at full capacity and could not support more groups. Funding has meant that loft space can be converted into another meeting room and one of the existing rooms can be extended.

Centre Manager, Joanne Watson, said: “Over the last two years I have had to turn a few bookings away as the Centre is pretty much running at full capacity. The grant means that the extra space will allow new groups and users to hire the centre at a reasonable cost.”

Dignity in Dementia works with families, health and social care staff and community groups to help people respond more confidently and positively to people with dementia.

The grant contributed towards five two-hour dementia awareness and support classes to families and carers in Grange-over-Sands to give them the confidence and skills to help their relative to live with dementia.

Lesley Gill, Director, said: “We know from all our work with family carers of people with dementia that they often felt frustrated, exhausted and emotionally worn out. With the grant we can help them to get back on an ‘even keel’ so that they can continue to provide care with love rather than resentment.”

EdenSave Credit Union and South Lakeland Credit Union merged to share resources to support more people who are financially disadvantaged by providing fair loans and a simple way of saving.

Eden and South Lakeland Credit Union received the grant to establish an office in Kendal town centre, which opened on 6th November 2017 at Sandylands Methodist Church and is supported by ten volunteers.

Doug Elsby, Board Trustee and Non-Executive Director, said: “The new outreach office, open three days a week, is a forerunner for a planned town centre office in Kendal.

“This is good news for people struggling to raise finance who might otherwise turn to high cost sources like money-lenders, and for people who could just as easily approach their bank or building society. They are often surprised by the competitive rates on offer and choose one of our loans, knowing the interest paid on the loan goes to help those who find credit harder to come by.”

In 2015, the Abbott Hall play area in Kendal was badly affected by flooding. Repair work is still ongoing and access to safe outdoor play space is limited.

Friends of Abbott Hall Playground received funding to remove the existing play equipment and install a new redesigned facility for 0-14 year olds. The new equipment is more stimulating and challenging, and a new safety surface means it is more accessible children with disabilities.

Melissa Lovett, Chairperson, said: “The grant means that we can provide a more exciting playground, with equipment suitable for a wider range of ages, abilities and interests. This allows for more interaction between different ages and abilities within the local community.”

Riversiders Social Club was formed by members of the local community, many of whom were parents of people with learning difficulties who felt that a club of this nature would benefit not just their children but others in the area. In 2010 it became the Riversiders Trust.

The charity runs two groups, one for adults and one for children and young people, with approximately 100 members. A wide variety of activities are arranged with the help of specialist support but are chosen by the members themselves.

The ‘happy project’ promotes healthy living through exercise and a balanced diet. Sessions are held every Wednesday evening between 4.30pm and 6.00pm at Kendal Leisure Centre. Members can participate in football or other sporting activities such as fitness classes, basketball, hockey and boccia.

Kevin Jones, Trustee, said: “We have used the services of specialist health consultants to advise our members on issues such as ageing, failing health and teenage emotional problems to help them cope with changes they are experiencing. We would now like to offer more of these activities on a regular basis so that members have something to look forward to and form stronger, more sustainable relationships that will encourage them to arrange independently.”

Fund Overview


Cumbria Community Foundation connects people who care with causes that matter. We are one of 46 community foundations in the UK. We work with our fund holders to invest in charities and groups across Cumbria directly addressing the needs of our communities.  |  01900 825760