TWO South Lakeland charities have been awarded thousands of pounds from the Gannett Foundation.

St Mary’s Hospice, in Ulverston, was awarded £16,200 while Grange and District First Responders will receive £3,550.

The money will pay for two major projects to benefit the health and wellbeing of people in south Cumbria.

The Gannett Foundation is the charitable arm of Gannett Co Inc, owner of Newsquest Media Group, whose titles include The Westmorland Gazette.

At St Mary’s Hospice, which cares for people with terminal health conditions, funds will be used to create a garden, with a water feature and flower beds, in a first floor courtyard.

Chief executive Sue McGraw said they were ‘absolutely delighted’ with the donation.

“I feel like I could cry, this is such a surprise,” she said.

“We want to make our inpatients’ stay a better experience.

“We’re in a lovely part of the world and the gardens near the hospice are lovely but we want to ‘bring the outside in’ for people that can’t get outside.”them out into a beautiful area.”

Meanwhile, Grange and District First Responders have been granted money to help them, and a team of volunteers, treat people who have had a medical collapse including heart attacks before an ambulance team arrives.

The group of 10 responders now has the funds to buy 10 defibrillators to place at strategic places in Grange. These are expected to be situated in church halls, hotels, cafes, golf clubs, and playing fields. Each will have a volunteer trained to regularly inspect the equipment.

Managing chair Jane Strawbridge said the success of their application was ‘wonderful’.