Cumbria’s Third Sector: Making a Difference in Cumbria Manifesto 

Cumbria’s Third Sector is something we should all be proud of: it comprises 6000 not-for-profit organisations, with 8000 employees and a staggering 50,000 volunteers. It is a significant asset to Cumbria, delivering over 3.5 million hours of unpaid work each year and attracting over £400 million to the Cumbrian economy each year.

These third sector organisations and the people involved in them make a massive contribution to the life of Cumbrian communities. From the volunteers running our village halls and mountain rescue teams to the specialist staff working in our hospices and children’s centres, life in Cumbria simply wouldn’t be the same without them.

But, just like public services and local families, these organisations are feeling squeezed from the economic crisis of recent years, and often feel taken for granted.

Cumbria Third Sector Network gives them a voice and a mechanism to engage with Cumbria’s strategic partnerships, and to use their knowledge to influence the design of local services, helping to ensure they really meet the needs of Cumbria’s diverse communities.

The national policy environment is also affects how easily Cumbrian third sector organisations can deliver their work, and as a parliamentary candidate, we are asking you to consider how you and your party could support these organisations in power. You may have the opportunity to shape the national policy and financial frameworks, and to do this in a way that enables third sector organisations to deliver more to the people of Cumbria.

We are therefore asking parliamentary candidates to recognise and support the role the third sector plays in creating vibrant and sustainable Cumbrian communities by:

 1.    Ensuring the commitments of the Compact continue to guide the relationship between national government and the third sector.

 2.    Promoting an environment that encourages volunteering, generating benefits for both individuals and communities.

3.    Creating incentives for charitable giving by individuals and companies.

4.    Involving third sector organisations, and their users, in the development of strategy and service design as well as in the delivery of services.

5.    Appreciating the value of the infrastructure organisations that support the development of third sector groups and bring them together to give them a voice.

6.    Ensuring that national policy takes into account the challenges of rural areas as well as reflecting need in more densely populated areas.

7.    Ensuring the recommendations of the Cumbria Commission on Welfare Reform are implemented.

8.    Protecting against poverty by raising the legal minimum wage to reflect the living wage.

Cumbria Third Sector Network – making a difference in Cumbria.


Cumbria Third Sector Network brings together a number of specialist networks, whose interests and work is summarised below. For more information, see our website: http://cumbriacvs.org.uk/giving-you-a-voice/

Generic Third Sector Support - Enhancing the lives of those in need through planning, training, supporting and facilitating the Third Sector organisations and volunteers that deliver local services.

Children and Young People - Enhancing the lives of families, children and young people in need, through collaboration between 200 networked organisations. Providing a range of universal and preventative services to ensure all young people in Cumbria make a successful transition to adulthood

Environment - Protecting and enhancing local environment and their wildlife and providing opportunities for local people and visitors to engage, enjoy and benefit, contributing to community cohesion and local economies.  

Rurality - Sustaining rural communities through collaboration between rural organisations for addressing rural issues such as energy poverty, rural poverty etc and influencing for a better policy and delivery framework.

Equality and Diversity (including BME, Disability and LBGT) - Fostering good relations that is challenging inequality and discrimination and promoting understanding among diverse communities across Cumbria.

Faith - Enhancing community cohesion and supporting the needs of local people through ecumenical community outreach and support 

Arts and Culture - Nurturing and developing the cultural heritage and enriching people’s lives through providing opportunities to appreciate and engage.

Sports and Physical Activity - Increasing participation in community sport for the benefit of individuals and communities.

Economy and Enterprise - Promoting and supporting the development of social enterprises for local services and increasing community sustainability

Transport - Reducing physical and social isolation through promoting and supporting the provision of community transport

Health and Wellbeing - Improving the physical and spiritual health and providing support services including ageing, mental health, learning difficulties and substance use.

Advice and Information - Enabling individuals and communities to secure the necessary advice and information for the support that is available with particular attention to reducing poverty, improving health, housing and employment.

Volunteering - Increasing the capacity to provide invaluable services for the local community and increased community cohesion, together with enhancing the quality of life, health and well being and skills of volunteers

Housing Support for priority gaps in housing and regeneration in communities.

Safer Future CommunitiesBuilding stronger communities, where people feel safe to play an active role in local life.