A North Cumbria community fund has received a healthy financial boost to help with the setting up of a new wellbeing project.

This week, the Copeland Community Fund have awarded £24,635 to employ a Project Worker for Home to Work's new 'Goodlives' project to support the fresh produce growing project which will be located on Westlakes Science Park.

The project has also been made possible by the funding from Gifts in-kind from: British Energy Coast (BEC), Sunbelt and Vinci.

Karen Jones, Home to Works Director explained that the various lockdowns during the past 12 months, the value and importance of nature has never felt more apparent to people in our region.

She stated: "The national lockdowns have shown, and it has been widely reported, that the value of being close to nature and being outdoors has enormous benefits for our physical and mental well-being by getting away from the day-to-day stresses of every day life, and just having space to breathe.

"This is especially true if we have no direct access to open/green space at home such as a garden or local park.

"We have seen a growing need for food banks and other ways of getting food to those who need it. This project will address this and provide good, healthy food to the local community."

The project also aims to make an educational difference, help mental wellbeing, as well as making a positive environmental impact.

Karen stated: "Most commercial food provision comes with the heavy carbon footprint. This project will grow local and provide local - reducing the carbon footprint.

"This will give an opportunity for skills development, potentially leading to employment. Raising and increasing confidence will be a key feature of this.

She added: "The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic are widely reported to have a detrimental effect on everyone's mental health. This project will provide the ability to get out and mix socially whilst observing safe practices improving mental health making a worthwhile contribution."