A CUMBRIAN Museum Consortium is set to receive £490,000 of government investment to support community volunteering opportunities.

The Consortium, led by Tullie House including Lakeland Arts and Wordsworth Grasmere, have received the funding from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, through Volunteering Futures delivered by Arts Council England (ACE).

Cumbria’s Consortium will use the funds to develop Helping Hands, a two year project to transform and improve volunteering opportunities.

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The initiative aims to improve community wellbeing, grow capacity and workforce diversity across the cultural sector, address loneliness and isolation.

The project expects to recruit and support around 500 new volunteers and enable nearly 30 Cumbrian museums, theatres and arts organisations to carry on inclusive volunteering in the future.

News and Star: MUSEUMS: Set for an influx of volunteers. MUSEUMS: Set for an influx of volunteers.

Andrew MacKay, director of Tullie House museum said: “The investment that DCMS/ACE are making in Cumbria to support the Helping Hands project is hugely welcomed.

"Cumbria is the third largest county in England and yet it boasts a very joined up arts and culture network. Given the size of the county and the sparsity of population, volunteering plays a crucial role in both community wellbeing and the sustainability of many cultural organisations – this project will combine, strengthen and accelerate the good work that is currently being done in this area.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: "The Volunteering Futures Fund will deliver a step-change in connecting those who may be isolated, lonely or experiencing any number of potential barriers to get involved in volunteering."


Helping Hands will start in Spring 2022.

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Kate Parry, head of partnership of Cumbria Museum Consortium said: "The arts and culture sector in Cumbria is very well connected and works collaboratively.

"Helping Hands is a great example of all the sector working together with ACE/DCMS investment to deliver a project that will benefit the whole community. It is a brilliant project, and we are thrilled to receive such an award," she said. 

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