Needy families across West Cumbria enjoyed some Christmas cheer thanks to a significant donation from LLWR, who also ensured the scheme guaranteed small independent local retailers a timely boost.
The company gifted shopping vouchers to Copeland communities and ensured they could only be redeemed at local stores.
Jenny Brumby and Jenn Jakubowski, of Around the Combe Community Group, coordinated the assistance in the Millom area, where LLWR’s funding helped supply families with Christmas Day lunches.
“It was absolutely amazing to have LLWR offer support at this time of great need in the community,” said volunteer Jenny, also Copeland Borough Council’s Shop Local Coordinator.
“The need is huge and we’re very thankful. The support we’ve been able to give families has been life changing for some.”
Some £2,500 went to families in toy vouchers, to ensure youngsters had presents to open on Christmas morning, whilst 60 care parcels, including toiletries, were distributed, plus 30 baby parcels, including nappies.
In all, around 300 families in the Millom area have received help in part due to LLWR funding, with grants from other sources also playing a major part. Some funding has been held back by the Community Group, so they can continue to provide food parcels for those in most need.
The spark for LLWR’s campaign came from Egremont Town Council, who made a successful bid for funding to help support its aim to fund shopping vouchers for 105 struggling families that could only be redeemed in the town, thus also supporting local business.
Cath Giel, LLWR’s Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, opted to extend the scheme to also include the wider Copeland area, including Millom and Whitehaven.
She said: “We realised there was a great need right across the borough. Deprivation is an issue further exacerbated by Christmas, so we were happy to bring smiles to faces at what should be a joyous time of the year.
“Our donations also gave us the chance to support local businesses who have also been impacted by COVID, so this was a double win for our community.”
In addition, the West Cumbria Community Action Trust had identified 100 families who would struggle to fund the festivities, and each was gifted £50 in vouchers from LLWR to spend on meat, fruit and veg in local Whitehaven shops.