THE HIGH sheriff of Cumbria has paid a visit to highlight the work of community initiatives in Brampton and Hallbankgate during the lockdown.

On Monday Julie Barton called in at the Brampton Area Action Group and SHINE (Support, Help in Nourishing Everyone), together with the Hallbankgate Hub.

It's one of the few times she been able to visit projects since the start of the covid-19 outbreak in March.

Julie said she is focussing on social isolation and loneliness during her year in office - issues that came to the fore in March.

She previously said: "The challenge of loneliness is made more acute by the risk of coronavirus and the need for many in our communities to self-isolate for long periods.

"The constraints this poses on tackling loneliness means new, imaginative approaches to assist our fellow Cumbrians at this time are vital."

These organisations have played a vital role during the covid-19 lockdown, which saw them provide a number of services to vulnerable and isolated people.

Brampton Area Action Group was set up in March to help residents in Brampton and outlying areas and ran services such as telephone helpdesk staffed by volunteers,

SHINE's focus was to help get food parcels and meals to those in need.

Carol Bell, from SHINE, said: “Many have found their main source of income cut through job losses.

"Food poverty is real and can hit anyone at any time.”

Hallbankgate's Hub, which runs a local shop, cafe, art gallery and weekly post office for the benefit of residents in the village made getting food to the local community a priority.

During the lockdown its shop remained open, and it started deliveries for those who were shielding and vulnerable.

One customer said: “I live alone and I would have had to go into sheltered accommodation if the hub had not delivered me food during lockdown”.