THE Westmorland Gazette’s Give Them a Break campaign has been shortlisted for a national award.

The Making a Difference award highlights the power of local media titles to campaign for positive change in the communities they serve.

The Gazette’s Give Them a Break campaigns has been selected to join a shortlist of 24 of the strongest editorial campaigns from titles across the country.

The awards are run by News Media Association in its inaugural Journalism Matters campaign.

Now we are urging our readers to help the appeal clinch the top place.

From Monday (May 13) you will be able to choose your favourite when the public online vote goes live. on

Give Them a Break aimed to raise £20,000 to pay for up to 200 people, who voluntarily cared for a loved-one, relative or friend who was ill or disabled, to have a much-needed respite break.

The campaign also aimed to raise awareness of the work of South Lakeland Carers - a charity supporting around 2,250 unpaid carers aged from six to 98.

Originally it was planned that money raised would pay for one-night breaks for carers and, in some cases, the cared-for person at Lake District hotels.

However, local organisations began offering help, including stays at bed and breakfast establishments, cinema tickets, meals at restaurants, spa treatments and free entry to tourist attractions.

The generous donations prompted by the campaign was a fantastic success, extending its target just before Christmas - a total of £28,000.

The Give Them a Break appeal has also been nominated in the Regional Press Awards shortlist for Campaign of the Year.

And the Gazette is also up for Paid for Weekly Newspaper of the Year.

The winner of the coveted Making a Difference accolade as well as the two awards will be announced at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards in London on Friday (May 17).

The vote will close on Wednesday May 15.