GOOD causes across South Lakeland have been given a massive cash boost of more than £30,000 from The Westmorland Gazette and its parent company.

Coniston Mountain Rescue Team, The Rainbow Trust, St John’s Hospice and Lakeland Arts Trust have secured the money from The Gannett Foundation, set up to recognise local charities by Gannett, the company which owns the Newsquest Media Group including The Westmorland Gazette.

Play equipment to the tune of £1,000 will be bought by Kendal-based The Rainbow Trust to buy arts and craft materials to enable terminally ill children to take part in creative sessions.

Denise Hyland, of The Rainbow Trust, said: “Most of the termianlly ill children we work with are being poked and prodded most of the time and so it is great for them to have a nice thing to do.

“Giving the children the opporunity to be able to do these activities is priceless and this money wil go a long way to giving terminally ill children and their families the opportunity to have some fun.”

Coniston Mountain Rescue Team was handed £17,000 towards the cost of buying and converting a mountain rescue Land Rover ambulance, which will help volunteers to respond to multiple rescues.

Jeff Carroll, the team’s treasurer, said that the donation meant a ‘huge amount’ to the team and what they could achieve.

"It allows us to complete the replacement of our three Land Rover ambulances and means we have reliable vehicles,” he said.

“The whole team and the CMRT Support group have put a lot of effort into raising the funds for the project, but this donation from the Gannett Foundation brings the whole project to fruition.”

And the local community, visitors and historians are to benefit after Lakeland Arts Trust was given a grant of £7,790 to digitalise a collection of photographs.

The trust will turn a collection of glass negatives by photographer Joseph Hardman into digital images to make it easier for people to access the pictures.

Pam Wright, Development Manager at The Lakeland Arts Trust, said: “It is fantastic news.

"It will mean that the lovely collection of pictures from across the district will be accessible for everyone.”

St John’s Hospice was given the £7,842 it wanted to pay for a bed monitor system to ensure that terminally-ill patients do not fall out of bed if they try to get out unaided, which fund-raiser Catherine Butterworth said was ‘marvellous’.

“The money will mean we can buy the bed monitors which will make a massive difference as they are a preventative measure which will help us helping to protect those who are vulnerable.”