DISADVANTAGED young people from across South Lakeland are set to benefit as leading charitable organisations in the area prepare for a welcome funding boost.
South Lakeland District Council’s Cabinet has approved a recommendation to wind up a Royal Wedding Trust Fund set up in 1982 to commemorate the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
It was also agreed the remaining cash in the fund – standing at £60,023 according to the last audited accounts – should be split between three charities with aims similar to those of the Royal Wedding Fund.
The cabinet has decided half the current assets should go to the Ambleside-based Brathay Trust, a third to the Bendrigg Trust with the rest passing to the Leeds Children’s Holiday Camp charity.
“We are absolutely delighted with this news,” said Brathay Trust’s chief executive officer Godfrey Owen.
“It means that over the next two years around 220 children, from some of the UK’s most underprivileged communities, will get the kind of active holiday that many of us take for granted.
“We know stays at Brathay Hall create a spark that can deliver lasting change and we hope those who come to us will leave more confident.”
The fund was initially established by SLDC to pay for holidays – usually at Lakeside, Newby Bridge or Old Hutton – in South Lakeland for disadvantaged children from all over the United Kingdom.
The level of cash built up over the years, becoming the norm for at least part of the unspent balance of the council chairman’s annual allowance to be transferred to the account each year.
Given the resources and time required to manage the fund, trustees have decided to cease running it with SLDC’s cabinet now transferring the remaining funds to charitable organisations.
The Bendrigg Trust at Old Hutton, Kendal works specifically with disabled and disadvantaged young people, with principal Trevor Clarke admitting the funding boost comes at the perfect time.
“It is particularly welcome at the moment when, despite the upturn in the economy, many visiting groups are finding it harder than ever to find the necessary funds to afford a residential trip to Bendrigg,” he said.
“The money will be used in line with the original intention of the fund, to make it possible for groups of disadvantaged young to afford their visit to Bendrigg.’’
Meanwhile, South Lakeland District Councillor Graham Vincent, portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, added: “The fund was first established to support a cause that was close to Lady Diana’s heart, doing something for disadvantaged children.”