What We Do
ACT’s website needed to be temporarily re-instated in early March 2020 with a previous version. We’re working to get everything up to date again and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Any queries, please contact us.
ACT works on a diverse range of projects often in partnership with public sector and other third sector organisations. Follow the links below to find out more about particular projects and areas of work we're involved with.
Community Buildings, Village Halls and other assets owned by the community are at the very heart of villages and neighbourhoods. ACT supports the volunteers who manage these facilities through the Community Buildings Service and the Community Buildings Directory.
We are now working on the Big Lottery funded Rebuilding Together project. As part of the Rebuilding Together programme ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is supporting communities across the county with Community Emergency Planning and resilience activities, to help them prepare for, respond to, and recover from an emergency.
ACT is hosting the Community Led Housing Hub for Cumbria and Lancaster, providing support and access to technical expertise for groups developing new affordable homes for their communities.
Community Led Planning, Neighbourhood Planning, Emergency Planning, and Valley Planning help local people to explore their needs, set priorities, and plan actions. ACT provides support and access to a wide range of resources, including access to completed plans from across the county in the Community Plans Database.
The Cumbria Rural Panel was established following a review of the Cumbria Rural Forum, providing organisations and individuals with a place to come together and discuss issues of concern to rural life. The Panel is intended to provide a balance of interests and expertise across different sectors of our rural county to: engage in meaningful debates; identify solutions; disseminate information; and promote action.
Good Neighbours Schemes match people who can give some time with people who need some help. Lots of people help each other out already but a Good Neighbours Scheme is a way of giving casual help more structure so that: people who need help don’t feel they’re bothering their neighbours if they need to ask for help frequently; and people who don’t know each other, or who are new to the area, can be matched up to help or be helped.
Hallmark is a nationally recognised award, promoting good management and practice by Community Building Management Committees. Community Buildings with Hallmark can benefit from insurance discounts and gain recognition on funding applications as the award acts as evidence of the high standard of the committee members and the merit of the hall. There are 3 Hallmark awards covering: 'Charity administration and management'; 'Health, safety, security and licences'; and 'Community & social awareness, communications, forward planning and development'
Support for new and established groups in Cumbria, from choosing an appropriate legal structure to business planning, fundraising, and recruiting and managing volunteers.
This Big Lottery funded project ran in partnership with Cumbria Youth Alliance and Young Cumbria between 2009 and 2013. The purpose was to strengthen the specialist infrastrucutre services that the partners provide to the voluntary and community sector organisations supporting children and young people and rural communities throughout Cumbria.
The Big Society is the Government's vision of a society where individuals and communities have more power and responsibility, and use it to create better neighbourhoods and local services. Three groups of communities in the Eden Valley were included as a rural pilot in the Big Society Vanguard programme in 2010. ACT observed and recorded the work of local residents, producing a range of written resources and full report of the findings.
ACT coordinated the Cumbria Calor Village of the Year competition between xxxx and xxxx. The competition recognised and celebrated vibrant, enterprising, and caring communities making the most of local opportunities in Cumbria. County competition winners went on to have further success at regional and national level.
ACT encouraged volunteer Energy Champions to pilot a new Community Energy Champions Toolkit in their communities and develop plans for community-led solutions to Fuel Poverty.
Providing advice, support and grants for community-led health and wellbeing projects.
Energy Best Deal is a national campaign run by Citizens Advice providing information and advice to support those finding it difficult to deal with high energy bills. ACT delivered Energy Best Deal workshops to community groups and front line staff / volunteers in Cumbria between 2011 and 2012.
Fresh Start was a 2 year project, ending in March 2015, which encouraged groups of women around the county to plan for the future and develop ideas. The Fresh Start workbook and events helped them to: think about their skills and achievements; help them to set some goals; and decide on their next steps.
FREE was a 3 year rural energy advice programme, aimed at communities off mains gas, across England. The programme aimed to bring practical independent advice and information regarding fuel choices, energy efficient technologies, and carbon reduction measures, helping to reduce households’ energy consumption and fuel costs. In Cumbria, FREE was delivered by ACT in partnership with NEA (National Energy Action).
The Hill Farming Systems project was developed by the Cumbria Fells and Dales LEADER + Programme in partnership with ACT, in response to concerns about the future of hill farming. The aim of the project was to investigate the environmental, economic and social value of hill farming systems in Cumbria. This project ran between 2006 and 2008, please note the website is no longer being updated.
This programme was last run between 2008 and 2010 in the market towns of Alston, Appleby and Kirkby Stephen. The aim was to support retailers in facing the challenge of: reduced customer numbers; supermarket competition; rising operating expenses; improving their viability and long term sustainability.
The Rural Women’s Network was established to help women in Cumbria realise their full potential through business support and the development of personal and workplace skills.
Free business support for new and recently formed social enterprises in Cumbria, including village halls.
This three year project was coordinated by ACT, working with the communities of Tebay and Orton between 2010 and 2013 to provide training, events, and raise awareness of, and pride in, cultural and environmental heritage.
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.
Subscribe to email alerts for your area at: cumbria.gov.uk/coronavirus/communities.asp
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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