A Cumbrian charity is expanding its base thanks to a grant from a building society.

Charity Chrysalis Cumbria helps 80 people living around the county to access a range of leisure and educational activities through one to one support, group activities and holidays.

It has two bases in Wigton and one in Carlisle and is expanding the range of opportunities it provides and recruiting new staff.

It has been looking at how it could create some additional office space and plans to convert some unused bathroom space at its Wigton headquarters, which was previously a children’s home.

To help meet the cost of the project, it has been awarded a £3000 grant via Newcastle Building Society’s new English Street branch, in Carlisle.

The charity is hoping to have completed the project by the end of the summer.

The funding has been provided by the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, which has been set up to provide grants to charities and community groups in areas served by the society’s branch network and put forward for support by its customers.

Alongside its programme of activities, Chrysalis also runs the Chrysalis Wholefoods Shop, a social enterprise in Wigton which enables people to gain recognised qualifications as well as work experience.

Pam Oddy, business manager at Chrysalis Cumbria, said: “We’ve been expanding steadily over the last few years as demand has grown for our services and needed more office space to accommodate the extra staff we’re bringing in to keep up with user demand. We’ve had the unused space available at our head office, but didn’t have the funding required to convert it into the right type of office accommodation. It would have taken us a lot longer to get this work done without the generous support we’ve had from Newcastle Building Society and having the space for our new staff will mean they’re better able to get on with organising our different activities around the county.”

The building society’s fund has made over £494,707 in grants and partnerships with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Princes Trust, helping an estimated 151,000 people.