Rory Supporting Local CharitiesCumbrians have a genius for voluntary work and community action. I would like to pay tribute to all those volunteers and local organisers that help to run a seemingly endless number of local community initiatives, from credit unions to care at home. Too often it can seem as though society is set in an immovable – if slightly wobbly – jelly of conventions, regulations and procedures that makes change feel almost impossible.

The solution in my view is to rediscover the energies of the local. If Cumbrians do not generally seem powerless, it is because they are often changing or protecting their surroundings. When I visit the village of Bampton, I am struck that nearly everyone seems to be involved in some local volunteer scheme or community initiative, be it a community library or a recycling scheme – and they are not the exception.

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local alzheimers society

  Rory  met with volunteers and managers at the Alzheimers Society’s base in Penrith to discuss the charity’s vital ongoing work in the community. He met with volunteers Mike Godridge and Jean Bradshaw, local manager Rebecca Colpus, locality manager Fiona Moncur and campaigns manager Amy Martinez over tea and learned about current developments at the […]

eden assessment service

Rory officially opened the new Eden Assessment Service at Penrith Hospital at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday January 28th, and met patients and staff as he was given a tour of the new unit. The new service provides room for GPs to refer patients for further diagnostics, tests and short-term treatment, allowing more space and […]

the small charity our big society is failing

The small Charity our Big Society is failing   Libby Purves has written an excellent article on how the emergence of large charities throughout the country are putting smaller ones out of business. Iceni, a small charity, working on a shoe string to help addicts in Ipswich has been swamped by the rules and bureaucracy […]

only connect: creating opportunities for our rural communities

Two weeks ago, on a mizzening Saturday morning in Mungrisdale –  having just cut the ribbon of the Northern Fells Group’s new fell-runner community bus – I visited the house of an elderly woman living on a state pension, whose cottage lay at the end of an unpaved track. The charity’s founder, Dr Jim Cox, […]


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the voluntary sector & charities in cumbria

Some of you may have seen a letter in the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald from the Chair of Eden Carers raising a question about my support for Cumbrian voluntary organisations. As someone who established and built a charity from scratch to 650 people, raising 12 million pounds, I would like to reassure you that the […]