Our kind of partners – Cumberland Building Society initiative extended

June 2024

Our funding partnership delivering donations and even more meals to groups across Cumbria has been extended for a second year.

We have agreed an extension of our collaboration with Cumberland Building Society, allowing us to share a six-figure donation and community opportunities with groups we support through our food redistribution work.

The Cumberland’s second six-figure donation, this year worth £223,000, will be shared with all our members in Cumbria along with some in Lancashire. This follows the successes of the first 12 months of The Cumberland’s Kinder Kind of Kitchens initiative.

The building society set out to help tackle the rising problem of food poverty across its operating area, seeking our support as we deliver FareShare Lancashire & Cumbria.

It made an initial £250,000 donation which has been shared out with 52 charitable groups since June 2023. On top of this, the building society has donated fridges and freezers for 66 groups to expand their provision, and enabled its employees to volunteer with member groups.

Alasdair Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Recycling Lives Charity & Social Enterprise, said: “The Cumberland’s Kinder Kind of Kitchens initiative has been a really exciting collaboration. The aim was to support charitable groups to get more food out to people in need across Cumbria and parts of Lancashire, and we’re so pleased that this aim has been met and even exceeded over the last 12 months.
“Many of our CFMs have used the additional funding to expand their provision as well as received new fridge/freezers to store and redistribute more food, and welcomed volunteers from The Cumberland’s branches to help get food out to people in need. It’s been a real team effort right across the board.
“We know the struggles our members have faced in recent years – demand is ever-increasing. Initiatives like this are helping us all to meet that need and make sure people don’t go hungry.
“The CFMs we deliver food to are incredible, making such an enormous difference to their communities. We’re really pleased to have been able to extend the Kinder Kind of Kitchens initiative thanks to the Cumberland’s generosity.”

The Cumberland has also extended its reach this year, making an additional £27,000 donation to FareShare Glasgow & the West of Scotland to help to tackle food poverty in more communities.

Claire Deekes, Chief Customer Officer for The Cumberland Building Society, added: “We know that the cost-of-living crisis has seen an increase in the use of food banks and pantries in the area, with little sign of this declining in the near future, so we want to help where the need is the greatest.
“Over the last year, it has been humbling to see and hear firsthand the vital support FareShare Lancashire & Cumbria’s members provide to local people and how our donation helped continue or even expand this work.
“This year it is clear once again that many people are struggling to afford the basics. That’s why we’ve taken the decision to continue the Kinder Kind of Kitchen initiative for the second year running.”

Among the projects which benefitted from last year’s £250,000 donation is St Barnabas food bank in Carlisle.

Volunteer Diane Johnston said: “I know what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet at times. I have used the foodbank at St Barnabas in the past. It not only gave me vital supplies for me and my teenage daughter, it helped me realise we were not on our own. We don’t just offer food at St Barnabas, we offer support, friendship and care. We are supporting more than 50 families and the donations we receive from FareShare Lancashire & Cumbria are a lifeline.”

Dazzle, a not-for-profit project in Barrow, has been able to extend its work offering low-cost meals to its community thanks to The Cumberland’s Kinder Kind of Kitchen initiative.

Director Damion Burns said: “We provide people with bread, fruit and vegetables. So many have become dependent on the service. It’s not only those out of work. We get people in work who are struggling to make ends meet.”

CFMs who will benefit from this year’s funding will be contacted directly by our teams.


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