A CHARITY has been granted funding from the National Lottery for their upcoming project 'Reconnect Cumbria'.

Age UK Charities in Cumbria have received £500,000 over three years to help communities across England rebuild after challenging two years.

April will see the launch of 'Reconnect Cumbria' in collaboration with the Age UK charities across Cumbria.

Last month, AgeUK announced the return of social clubs after they were all shut down at the start of the pandemic. This funding will help AgeUK and its partners to get these social clubs up and running again.

Chief Officer of AgeUK South Lakeland, Hugh Tomlinson said: "This funding now allows us to hire someone full time to help organise and set up the different groups and that is the case for the other partners as well.

"Prior to Covid, we had two people focused on delivering the groups and we just can't afford that now but this funding allows for us to have one back and another one on staff which is fantastic."

Collectively the AgeUK groups across Cumbria applied to The National Lottery Community Fund for funding because as restrictions have eased from Covid the group 'needs to try and get back to where we were'. 

Hugh said: "Part of the work that AgeUK provide is about providing social engagement opportunities for older people, we all have a different mix of social engagement opportunities and we need to open them back up again."

"The challenge for charities was to survive through the pandemic because a lot of our income came from our retailing operations and they were shut and we lost a significant amount of income from that.

"Any funding to help us get the opportunities back to older people is great and fantastic."

his significant investment, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has been awarded to more than 2,700 community groups and projects across the country. 

John Mothersole, Chair of England Committee at The National Lottery Community Fund, says: “Thanks to National Lottery players, this funding is going to make a difference at an important time.

"As the country leaves the pandemic behind and begins a year of national celebration, communities are working hard to reconnect, rebuild and grow."