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The Glenmore Trust wins Big Society Award

North Cumbria charity The Glenmore Trust wins Prime Minister's Big Society Award.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Glenmore Trust, a charity which provides support for people in North Cumbria with learning disabilities, is the latest winner of the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award.

Offering a broad range of services, including supported living, community support and respite care, The Glenmore Trust aims to give local people the choice to decide where and with whom they live while being valued as citizens in the community.

Their day service, The Heathlands Project, provides a broad range of skills training and brings service users and the local community together with activities such as school visits, art exhibitions, performances, horticulture and outreach projects to improve open spaces.  

Congratulating The Glenmore Trust on the award, the Prime Minister said:

The Glenmore Trust gives individuals with learning disabilities based in North Cumbria the independence to make the decisions that affect their day-to-day lives.

Members of the local community can get involved with the charity in numerous ways: from arts and crafts projects and sponsored events to volunteering opportunities that make a tangible difference to local people’s lives. These activities give people a chance to develop a broad range of skills and make new friends.

I would like to congratulate all the staff and volunteers involved for their excellent work. This Big Society Award recognises their hard work and dedication, successfully promoting social action through community involvement.  I wish them every success with continuing their mission.

Accepting the award, the Trust’s Chief Executive Andrew Shekell, said:

We are delighted to receive this award as recognition of our work in the local community since 1989 providing support for people with learning and other disabilities. The award also reflects the tremendous help we have had over the years from so many people and organizations in the North of Cumbria.  Our progress is a tribute to them.

Our overarching principle is that people with disabilities have the right to participate fully in the community and be respected and valued as citizens. Promoting social action through community involvement is a key way in which we put this principle into practice. The interactions break down barriers, improve public understanding of disability, and help to bond the local community.

Opportunities for individual and corporate volunteering, working with schools, inclusive social events, fundraising for other charitable organisations, organising community events, working with the police to combat disability hate crime, providing community facilities… these are just some of the ways we can make a difference.

Ritchie Bowman, a service user at Heathlands, said:

The Glenmore Trust gives you somewhere to go where you learn new skills, meet new friends, build confidence and be part of the local community.  I particularly enjoy being part of the teams that work on projects helping others as I like to be around and chat to new people. 

The staff at Heathlands are so supportive and help you be the best you can be.

Community involvement is embedded throughout The Glenmore Trust’s work. Successes include:

  • setting up a team of 5 service users to deliver free human rights training to over 135 adults with learning disabilities and their supporters in the North of England
  • organising more than 60 inclusive social activities and events for service users in 2011
  • holding artist-led workshops, leading to performances of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with an audience of over 200 people
  • staff raising over £2000 towards a hardship fund for service users by organising a sponsored abseil

Notes to editors

On The Glenmore Trust:

  • For more information on The Glenmore Trust go to
  • For press enquiries contact: Andrew Shekell, CEO. Phone: 01228 522448.

On the Big Society Awards:

The Big Society Awards were set up by the Prime Minister in November 2010. The aim is to acknowledge individuals and organisations across the UK that demonstrate the Big Society in their work or activities. In so doing, the aim is also to galvanise others to follow.

The award focuses upon three specific areas:

  • Promoting social action - people being, and being encouraged to be, be more involved in their communities through giving time, money and other resources.
  • Empowering communities - local people taking control of how things are done in their area and being helped to do this by local government and others.
  • Opening up public services - public sector organisations and individuals demonstrating innovative ways of delivering public services and charities, social enterprises and private companies showing new ways of delivering public services.

Launching the awards, the Prime Minister said:

There are some amazing projects and remarkable voluntary work going on in towns and cities up and down the country, by all kinds of organisations from large enterprises to tiny grassroots schemes and inspirational individuals.

These awards are a chance to pay tribute to those making a valuable contribution to their community, the real champions of the Big Society, but perhaps more importantly, I hope they will motivate many others to take action, get involved and drive change in their area.

Nominations come in from the general public after which there follows a process of scoring and short-listing by officials and a further short-listing by a Panel of Ministers and independent external experts. This Panel makes recommendations to the Prime Minister who then presents the final award. Around twelve winners are decided each quarter meeting and then announced throughout the year.

For more information visit: /bigsocietyawards

Thirty-eight winners have been announced to date:

  • Make a Difference South East - a project that inspires young people in Milton Keynes to better their lives and those around them through positive action and volunteering
  • Why Not Change North West - a social enterprise which builds the confidence and capability of individuals and organisations to make a positive difference
  • HERO North West - a project that inspires an enterprise culture amongst young people in Blackpool and beyond
  • Food Cycle London - a project that brings together young volunteers, surplus food and free kitchen space to create nutritious meals for people affected by food poverty in the UK
  • Biddick Hall Community Focus Group North East - a project that has transformed the community through local action on health, crime, employment and activities for young people
  • Altogether Better Yorks & Humber - a programme involving volunteer Community Health Champions engaging with communities to help them lead healthier lifestyles
  • Greenwich Leisure Limited London - a social enterprise that manages over 70 public leisure centres in partnership with 20 councils across the South East
  • Kendray Initiative Yorks & Humber - a project that has transformed the community through local action on housing, crime, employment and activities for young people
  • CREATE Yorks & Humber - a not-for-profit company which delivers innovative training and employment opportunities for people who have been homeless, marginalised or vulnerable
  • Central Surrey Health South East - a social enterprise providing community nursing and therapy services on behalf of NHS Surrey and other partners
  • The Old Vic Tunnels South East - A unique performance space offering opportunities for young people to gain experience in production and be part of an innovative and diverse arts venue
  • Shelley Community Association Yorks - Shelley Community Association, a voluntary organisation that represents and brings together village residents
  • The Sweet Project A social enterprise that develops and trains students while supporting families in deprived areas
  • Bevendean Local Action Team A volunteer run initiative that aims to reduce anti-social behaviour and promote pride in their local community
  • Disability Challengers South East - A children’s charity offering exciting activities and play opportunities for disabled children and young people
  • Higher Croft Action Group North West - A group of volunteers making a difference to the lives of young people in Blackburn
  • Wotton under Edge Swimming Pool South West - Wotton under Edge Swimming Pool Club, a group of volunteer swimming enthusiasts who mobilised the whole community in support of their local pool
  • Christine Gibson East - An individual who brought together people from her community and worked with her housing association to make a real difference to her fellow residents
  • Digi Steps South West - a social enterprise run by school pupils who wanted to share their internet and computer skills with senior citizens in their area
  • Anfield Breckside Community Council North West - an umbrella group that works with 14 residents associations, linking different groups together, providing training and advice, assisting with securing funding, helping the community with planning and regeneration and resolving issues such as anti-social behaviour
  • The Children’s Forum South East - offering children the chance to play an active role in developing and improving local services for young people
  • The Welcome North West - a community centre which has been providing activities and vital services for the local community in Knutsford for over 15 years
  • Magic Breakfast National - A charity dedicated to ensuring every child starts the school day with the right breakfast
  • Orange RockCorps National - inspires people to volunteer within their community by producing concerts for which you can’t buy a ticket as a reward
  • Blacon Community Trust North West - a social enterprise in Chester offering a wide range of community-based activities and services, all focused on ‘Building a better Blacon’
  • Sports Traider/ Lance Haggith East - Lance Haggith runs a chain of charity sports shops offering affordable sporting goods and employment opportunities for the long-term unemployed and ex-offenders
  • Mitzvah Day National - a national day of social action where thousands of people take part in hands on projects top support charities and build stronger communities
  • Creation Development Trust Wales - a social enterprise set up to revitalise the local area in Bridgend which has become the largest timebanking scheme in Europe
  • UBS Bridge Academy London - The UBS Bridge Academy partnership, where UBS employees work with the Academy to support and inspire students
  • Gateway 97.8 East - a community radio station in Basildon which aims to enrich the lives of young people and to tackle anti social behaviour
  • Waitrose Community Matters Scheme National - an innovative scheme which allows shoppers to choose three charitable causes each month to receive a £1,000 donation from their store by voting at the check-out and has given over £10 million to good causes
  • Social Media Surgeries West Midlands - Nick Booth started up ‘social media surgeries’ to help local community groups to make the most of the internet to support their work. He developed this into a network of experts helping groups all over the country
  • Linklaters LLP ‘Learn for Work’ London - employees of the law firm go in to local schools to help give children the aspirations, skills and experience they need to fulfil their potential
  • Christian Nightlife Initiative National - a community group that has helped to reclaim no-go areas of their town once blighted by binge drinking through night-time weekend patrols by volunteers
  • Cool2Care Nationwide - Social Enterprise helping parents of disabled children to recruit fully screened and trained Personal Assistants
  • BT National - employee volunteering scheme which offers all staff three days of work time a year to volunteer in an activity of their choice with over 49,000 days of time donated in the 2011 financial year
  • Serve East Midlands - a local charity which provides care and support services in the Northampton area to around 60,000 vulnerable older people and adults with disabilities including; day and home care, community transport and hospital after care
  • City Gateway Tower Hamlets, London - provides training to disadvantaged young people and women to help them progress towards employment and higher education
  • The Glenmore Trust, North Cumbria - provides a range of support services for people with learning and physical disabilities
Published 23 July 2012