Cumbria Community Foundation
Project: Cumbria Revealed – Let’s start a conversation
About: Cumbria Community Foundation exists to address poverty & disadvantage and to strengthen Cumbria’s communities by inspiring philanthropic giving and by connecting people who give money with inspirational, life-changing projects. They provide philanthropic services to individuals, families and organizations and manage 90 grant making funds, supporting around 500 community projects per year on behalf of their fund holders. Since 1999, they have invested more than £42m into more than 3,500 groups and 6,000 individuals across Cumbria.
Challenge: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Specifically the organization wants to address the challenge to strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol. A crucial challenge facing communities in Cumbria is the growing number of deaths linked to substance abuse. According to Government statistics, a total of 77 people died after misusing substances in the county between 2015 and 2017 with Carlisle and Barrow districts suffering the largest loss of life. Not only can drug and alcohol abuse cause a wide range of harms to the individual, it also has an adverse impact on local communities, affecting crime rates, hospital admissions, child abuse & neglect, and is rapidly consuming limited public funds.
Solution: Cumbria CF has conducted a desktop study which included reviewing existing evidence and data to understand and provide an overview of the scale of the problem in Cumbria. This also included a review of existing provision of drug and alcohol services and interventions where substance misuse is a problem. Informal interviews have been carried out with key statutory and non-statutory organizations working with people affected by drug and alcohol problems to identify opportunities and constraints when implementing services. Two roundtable conversations have been held to share knowledge and experience.