Lorrainne was appointed as Chief Executive in 2012. Prior to this she worked as Strategic Policy Advisor Community Programmes and Performance Manager at Cumbria County Council where she advised on community engagement and inclusion. Lorrainne's background is in community development, specialising in rural communities. Between 1993 and 2007 she worked at ACT as the Development Team Manager taking responsibility for a variety of projects. She has worked extensively with parish councils, village halls, graduate apprentices and undertaken project development and delivery with communities throughout Cumbria. Lorrainne has also held management positions in private sector training and development companies, local authorities and Third Sector organisations placing emphasis on shared learning and the development process.
Julia joined ACT in 2002 and is the Development Manager. She works part-time for ACT developing new project ideas and identifying funding opportunities.
Previous roles for ACT have included development work with communities in the south of the county and project management. Julia has 20 years experience in the voluntary sector and has worked for the Wildlife Trusts, Cumbria CVS and Brathay Trust.
Hellen joined ACT in 2006. In her role as Development Officer she focuses on the North of the county, supporting communities with Community Led Planning, Village Halls advice, Community Resilience, Emergency Planning and other initiatives.
Prior to joining ACT Hellen established and led a programme for the Princes Trust in West Cumbria, mentoring and facilitating learning for young people.
Fran joined the ACT team in 2015 and is Development Officer working with communities in the south of the county. She supports the work of groups involved in Community Led Planning and offers advice to Village Halls on a range of practical and governance issues.
Fran has over fifteen years previous experience working for a national charity in which she created, funded and managed opportunities to engage volunteers in practical environmental work and training. She has a particular interest in sustainable living and social equity, including community led development, locally-owned renewable energy production and making sure that communities work to meet the needs of those who require support.
Dani joined ACT in 2005 after relocating from Yorkshire where she worked as PA to Chief Executive of a group of international companies. As well as administering the Cumbria Rural Panel, Rebuilding Together and the Community Resilience Network she also provides PA support to the Chief Executive, organises ACT's events and conferences, and is currently mentor for our Business Administration Apprentice. Dani is the public voice of ACT. She is responsible for the smooth running of the offices, finances and support services to the ACT team and all those who call us with enquiries.
Katie joined the ACT team in March 2019 as a part-time Development Officer with a focus on championing community-led housing in Copeland. Katie has a strong background in environmental conservation and an experienced footing with farmers, volunteers and community groups. She has previously worked for West Cumbria Rivers Trust, Lancashire & Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB.
Katie was also a Research Assistant at the Centre for Rural Research (based at the University of Worcester) investigating a broad range of issues from recreational use of protected landscapes to the wider impacts of polytunnel agriculture.
This article contains information on: general guidance; social distancing and stay at home guidance; advice for village halls; advice for community groups; community response and volunteering; protecting the isolated & vulnerable; Cumbria Response Fund; and survey for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations.
Information surrounding coronavirus and COVID-19 may change; ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) recommends that everyone should follow the guidance issued by Public Health England and the NHS and keep abreast of the ever-changing situation.
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The Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) appointed a new Board member as its Voluntary and Community Sector representative at its January meeting.
Lorrainne Smyth, Chief Executive at ACTion with Communities in Cumbria, has been appointed to replace Professor Patricia Allen, Chief Executive of Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw Children’s Hospice, who has stepped down.
Following on from a highly successful Village Halls Week that involved over 700 village halls, actively engaged 18 MPs and attracted coverage from BBC’s Countryfile, national newspapers and resulted in #villagehallsweek trending on Twitter, ACRE has launched a national survey for England’s Village and Community Halls.
ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT), the ACRE Network member and community development charity for Cumbria, is encouraging all of the county’s 300+ village halls and community buildings to take part.
Communities across Cumbria are preparing for Village Halls Week – a national celebration of village halls, their volunteers, and the services they offer their communities. This year Village Halls Week runs from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th January, and begins with a launch event at the House of Commons, hosted by Defra Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble.
ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) are delighted to welcome Gareth Douglas-Brown and Katie Milburn to their growing team as two new Development Officers, this takes the small - but perfectly formed - team size to seven members of staff. Gareth has taken on his home patch of West Cumbria and will continue the fantastic work delivered by his predecessor Rose Lord.
The Lakeland Canoe Club are based in Kendal and has been in existence for sixty-seven years they have fifty-two members from around the South Lakes who regularly paddle with them. Over the past five years they have become much more active in river and sea kayaking, having held club events on 153 days during 2018. Membership is being built slowly through an inclusive calendar of events.
In response to demand from prospective members they were successful in a grant bid to us (ACT) for Cumbria’s pilot Sport England’s Lace Up Project. This funding will provide a facility for those in rural communities to become more active in sport. Lakeland Canoe Club has purchased four new river kayak, paddles, spray decks, helmets and buoyancy aids as part of their 'Be Inspired, Kayaking For All’ project.
Registered in England as Voluntary Action Cumbria. Charity Number: 1080875
Company Number: 3957858
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