Former Eden District Council Chair Hands Over Covid-19 Hit Charity Donation

The former Chair of Eden District Council has handed over a donation to one of his chosen charities.

Councillor Andrew Connell presented the Chief Executive of The Oaklea Trust with a cheque for £285.00, along with the Mayor of Appleby, Councillor Gareth Hayes.

Eden District Council’s former Chair, Councillor Connell, said: “Covid has interrupted our fundraising plans, but we were still able to hold two church services at St Andrew’s in Penrith and they generously agreed that all donations should go to the Chair’s nominated charities, so we’ve divided what we received between the Oaklea Trust and The Great North Air Ambulance.

“I’ve been familiar with Oaklea Trust, ever since they took over the Appleby Hub and converted it into a headquarters for their activities in Eden.

“They’ve also taken on the abandoned Edenside residential home home, with plans to convert it into an Extra Care Home for local elderly people.

“However, I’m particularly interested in the work they do with young people with learning disabilities, providing job opportunities, building confidence and giving them love and belief in themselves.

“I’m glad we’ve been able to support some of that work.”

The Oaklea Trust is a charitable organisation and community enterprise whose purpose is to give vulnerable people the opportunity to live and work as independently as possible within their community.

The Trust’s Eden headquarters are based in the Right2Work Hub Cafe and Community Enterprise Centre, a former Methodist Chapel, in the heart of Appleby-in-Westmorland, where they also run the Eden Workshop, offering workshops and drop in crafts, developing craft kits for sale.

Oaklea Trust’s Chief Executive, Clive Wigley, said: “Councillor Connell has been a long-time supporter of the work that we do here at the Trust and it’s fabulous that he’s continued to support our work while Chair of Eden District Council.

“These welcome funds will be split between our planned new project at the Edenside residential home and helping young people in the area, with particular emphasis on green issues.”

The Trusts ‘Work & Learn’ Team in Eden also provide schools with pastoral support, extra-curricular activities and alternative provisions to promote young people’s personal and social development and enable them to have a voice, influence and place in their communities and society as a whole.

Working with all young people, whatever their personal circumstances and whatever challenges they may be experiencing, the Trust offers a positive accessible experience free from stigma or barriers to re-introduce disengaged young people back in to the school environment.