Students and staff at University of Cumbria’s Ambleside campus are throwing lifelines to struggling communities threatened by coronavirus.
Campus director, Professor Lois Mansfield, said in these extraordinary times there was a big need to pull together and pay back some of the help and support local people had given them.
She explained: “We are determined to do our bit and are particularly grateful to Melvyn Bragg, who agreed to donate his fee from a recent talk to North Lakes Foodbank, which has fed over 6,200 people in the last year.
“Our students have also helped distribute leaflets across Ambleside offering to help with groceries, prescriptions, welfare phone calls, or whatever else might be needed as people become more isolated in their homes.
“We have always been made to feel very welcome and part of the community and this is our chance to give something back in such difficult times. We have been working with Ambleside Parish Centre to do what we can.”
Project manager for North Lakes Foodbank, Adrian Cozens, paid tribute to ‘critical support’ from Ambleside campus in helping feed some the county’s most vulnerable communities.
He added: “It’s always humbling when anyone thinks about foodbanks and we are grateful too to Lord Bragg who always remembers his roots and local people. This £300 donation is a huge help.
“Over a third of those we have helped in the last 12 months have been children; as we see an increase in demand there is a reduction in donations.
“Operating in Allerdale and Copeland, North Cumbria is heavily dependent on hospitality and tourism, a sector now in a really difficult time, and we expect to see people from this and other sectors who have never needed our service before.
“Quite simply, if people don’t donate, we can’t support those who need us and are extremely vulnerable. We’re in our eleventh year, an example of communities helping each other. We’ve shown our resilience through floods, foot and mouth and now need to do it again.”
Ambleside Parish Centre, a hub for information and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak, operates a Trussell Trust Foodbank supporting South Lakeland. Contact 015394 34172, or email email@example.com