News & Events 2020/2021

High Sheriff Launches Online Auction to Support Local Communities
Live 15 November 2020

As High Sheriff of Cumbria I am holding a charitable auction and prize draw online here.  It will launch on Sunday 15th November at 10am and will run until Sunday 6th December at 9pm. The money raised during the online auction will go to the High Sheriff’s General Fund which is administered by Cumbria Community Foundation

For more information and a preview of just some of the amazing lots available to bid on read the press release now

The full list of lots and prizes can be found here from Sunday 15th November where you can also place your bids, make donations, or enter prize draws.

Graduates of 2020

I would like to celebrate all our new Cumbrian graduates who have studied at universities across the country and abroad and together create the first ever Cumbria Graduation Gallery on the High Sheriff of Cumbria website. I feel the Covid-19 Crisis has been very challenging for you and I want to capture and celebrate your fantastic achievements.
Here are just some of Cumbria’s finest that graduated this summer. Visit the gallery here to find out more about these graduates.

SHINE, Brampton and Hallbankgate
14 September 2020

Julie meeting volunteers and chefs from the SHINE team

I was delighted to visit SHINE in Brampton and beyond. It was wonderful to see community in action, making such a positive difference to local people’s lives. Established during the pandemic, SHINE’s food initiatives and its volunteers’ cooperation across organisations within the Brampton area have been excellent at ensuring food parcels and meals reach those most in need. I was particularly impressed with how SHINE’s team is flexible and ready to adapt to emerging and changing needs in this most unusual of years.
I enjoyed chatting with volunteers, visiting the Hub store, meeting the amazing chefs and seeing the detailed planning that goes into delivering food parcels and hot meals. Congratulations on all you have achieved.
SHINE has been supported by Cumbria Community Foundation Brampton Action Area Group, Brampton Churches Together, Brampton Community Centre , Carlisle Foodbank and local businesses. I hope you can tell that Ellen and I are smiling under our masks. Thank you for making us welcome.

Susan's Farm, Carlisle
14 September 2020

Susan’s Farm is a care farm charity, transforming the lives of children and adults through vocational farming activities. It was great to visit their site at Carlisle and meet Susan, Ruth, Don, Alec, Matthew and Martin, and Bill, the sheepdog. I enjoyed being shown around the farm and could see the difference the support Susan’s Farm makes in transforming the lives of others including those with mental health challenges. Thank you for your enthusiasm, delicious lunch and arranging such lovely sunshine. Do visit their Facebook page to find out about booking an enjoyable self guided tour. 

Eden Valley Hospice
14 September 2020

Julie visits Eden Valley Hospice

Eden Valley Hospice, Carlisle is an amazing place, providing expert care and support to Cumbrians and their families. The team I met today were full of enthusiasm and compassion for the excellent services they offer to help others. I thoroughly enjoyed a tour of Jigsaw, Cumbria’s only children’s hospice . The imagination and creative approaches they take to giving stimulating experiences and making wonderful memories for all the families who rely on Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice. Their biggest challenge is fundraising. 80% of costs are through donations. If you are able to support them , please do. Visit their Facebook page for more information. Thank you to Patricia, Jenny and Stephanie for making me welcome.

Tour of Appleby
10 September 2020

Julie on a fascinating tour of Appleby with Mayor Gareth Hayes

Appleby in Westmorland – a Cumbrian gem of beauty and community. I enjoyed a fascinating tour of Appleby with Mayor Gareth Hayes and visited some excellent shops and cafes. Thank you to Low Howgill Butchers & Deli, Sugar and Spice, Appleby Age Concern, Courtyard Gallery, Castle Fine Arts Gallery & Art ShopH Pigney & SonNFU Mutual(Appleby), the Moot Hall and Appleby Tourist Information Centre and so many others for making me welcome. I can highly recommend the paradise cake at the friendly Bojangles Bistro Appleby and a visit to the charming St Anne’s Hospital where I met some amazing residents. It was wonderful to hear how so many businesses in Appleby have been supporting their community during the pandemic. Local shops are so important to our communities. I also enjoyed a bit of train spotting at Appleby Station to visit Staycation Express which has provided a great visitor service this summer. 

ReLove - Shop opening Barrow
8 September 2020

Julie with Caroline Welch (St Mary's Head of Retail) and Graham Jowett (St Mary's Chair of Trustees).

Re:love by St Mary’s Hospice in Portland Walk, Barrow-in-Furness. I was delighted to cut the ribbon and declare Re:love – a first class, stylish, shopping experience – open for business. I’m sure shoppers will enjoy the quality stock, value for money and knowledge that sales are supporting their local hospice. It was lovely to meet Tracy and Sarah from the hospice team, Colin Garnett from Barrow BID and many hospice volunteers. Congratulations to everyone for all their hard work in making Re:love possible.

Gateway for Women, Carlisle
4 September 2020

Julie visits Gateway 4 Women

Congratulations to Gateway 4 Women in Carlisle who have made some fantastic changes to their premises, so that they can welcome back everyone and meet the requirements of the new Covid-19 restrictions. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting  and finding out about all the support they have continued to give to the community throughout the pandemic. I so admire their flexibility and resilience. The team at Gateway 4 Women appreciates the vital support they have received from Cumbria Community Foundation

Walking tour of Millom
28 August 2020

Millom 2
Julie meets Millom Mayor, Cllr Angela Dixon

This morning I enjoyed a walking tour of Millom with Millom’s Mayor, Cllr Angela Dixon. It was good to visit Millom Community Market, as well as see the many individual and excellent shops on offer. Thanks to Koralily Rose and Nicky Armstrong of The Bloom Room- amazing places. I found out that Millom’s Park has some of the best views around and can recommend the Bridge Cafe for an excellent cup of tea. Afterwards it was really interesting to meet with Paul Stewart from Millom Network Centre which is a great community facility. Thanks to everyone for making me so welcome. There’s a wonderful sense of community across Millom.

Swearing in of family magistrates
27 August 2020

Congratulations to Cumbria’s New Family Magistrates. It was a privilege to attend via video link the swearing in ceremony for family magistrates. They provide a vital role in our legal system. If other people are interested in finding out more about becoming a magistrate, please visit the website here

VJ Day Celebrations, Whitehaven
15 August 2020

Celebrating and paying tribute to Forgotten Army with the residents of Johnson House, Whitehaven

I was pleased to join the residents of Johnson House to pay tribute to the Forgotten Army and together remember their service. Thank you to Mark Harding for his thoughtful words about those who served in the Far East. Afterwards we celebrated their hard earned peace with music from Miss Cindy Hoten and afternoon tea. Thank you to everyone who made it a lovely occasion.

75th Anniversary of VJ Day,
15 August 2020

Laying a wreath in remembrance at Market Cross, Ulverston

I was honoured to lay a wreath in Ulverston this morning to remember the service and sacrifice of ‘The Forgotten Army.’ Today we celebrate their hard earned peace. My father-in-law as a young man from Ulverston fought in the Burma Campaign. He was in the Reconnaissance Corps. I laid the wreath in thanks to him and a generation of other young Cumbrians, many of whom served in the Far East.

The Lighthouse, Kendal
14 August 2020

Caption to go here

I enjoyed an interesting visit to The Lighthouse Community Mental Health Charity at Kendal. Thank you to Maddy and all the volunteers for making me welcome. It was lovely to meet you all at what would normally be a ‘drop in’ peer support session but due to guidelines is now a ‘drop out’ session in the grounds of Stricklandgate House. The Lighthouse has been supported by Cumbria Community Foundation

Growing Well, Low Sizergh
11 August 2020

Julie meets Mary Smith from Growing Well

Growing Well is a mental health charity, an organic farm and a training centre. It was really interesting to meet Mary Smith, James Smith and Richard from Growing Well and see for myself how this charity helps people learn how to manage and recover from depression, anxiety and other mental health symptoms.The charity has received vital support from Cumbria Community Foundation to deliver its services. They have responded quickly to the pandemic and welcomed back volunteers since June.
The charity relies on donations and on selling veg boxes. To find out more the website here

If you’re feeling depressed, anxious or are finding everyday life difficult, then they may be able to help. For free effective support for your mental health call 07903 013648.

Good Enough Start Project, Millom
7 August 2020

I had a great meeting with Janice Brockbank from Good Enough Start Millom this morning, regarding the exciting launch this autumn of an innovative project to help parents who experience difficulty to connect emotionally with their baby. Janice is grateful for the support the project has received from Cumbria Community Foundation

The foundation of a baby’s social and emotional wellbeing begins during pregnancy and continues throughout the first 1001 days of life. It is the special parent-infant relationship that is crucial to a baby’s developing mind. This special bond helps generate the necessary brain development needed to become social and emotionally resilient throughout life. Sometimes a parent’s life experiences create a psychological barrier making it less easy to connect emotionally with their baby. Good Enough Start’s core purpose is to support parents who experience difficulty creating a secure parent infant relationship. Click here for more information.

Cowran Estate at Pennington, Ulverston
6 August 2020

Julie pictured with Solo the Muscovy duck

Cowran Training is a working farm and rural training centre offering young people land-based vocational qualifications, life and foundation skills. It was great to see their learning in action and meet the team, those learning new skills and of course the farm animals. Cowran has gratefully received vital support from Cumbria Community Foundation . I was so impressed by their can do attitude to adapt to current guidelines and continue their training operations. Cumbria Together We Can Cumbria CVS

Carlisle Crown Court
4 August 2020

I was privileged to spend a day at Carlisle Crown Court and observe HHJ Barker. As High Sheriff, one of my duties is to support Her Majesty’s High Court Judges and the judiciary. It was fascinating to gain a greater understanding of our justice system and to see how they have adapted to the challenges of Covid-19 and carried on with great integrity and diligence. Thank you to HHJ Barker and A Robinson for their support. If you would like to find out more about our justice system, visit the website here

Kirkby Stephen Bench Walk
3 August 2020

Julie launches the Kirby Stephen Bench Walk

I was delighted to help officially launch Kirkby Stephen Bench Walk. I think everyone involved, especially Nateby and Wharton WI and Walkers are Welcome, Kirkby Stephen Community ArtsWestmorland Dales Landscapes Partnership, Kirkby Stephen Town Council and Cumbria County Council have achieved something incredibly special in completing and launching their beautiful bench walk. I love the idea that the benches are only a short distance apart, so they provide confidence and gentle encouragement to those with physical challenges to get out in the fresh air, enjoy the views and exercise. I am particularly impressed by the Happy to Chat benches which I think are a fantastic idea. They will help to connect people at a social distance, reduce loneliness and raise spirits.
Kirkby Stephen looked fantastic in the August sunshine so afterwards, Peter and I used the fabulously illustrated map to complete a walk around this picturesque town and enjoy lunch at the The Pennine Hotel. There is so much to see in Cumbria beyond the Lakes. This is the perfect summer to explore all Cumbria has to offer

Good News – Special Recognition Award Update
Summer 2020

Emma Dixon and Paul Musgrave with their Special Recognition certificates

Many volunteers, voluntary groups, and individuals in Cumbria have given such outstanding support to others during the Covid-19 Crisis.

It has been a privilege to be able to acknowledge and honour those who have done so much to help others. View the growing list of certificate holders here and see just how they’ve been helping the community. Thank you to everyone. We can all be so proud of our community spirit in Cumbria.

Sunrise at Wetherlam
1 Aug 2020

Julie takes part in the first day of the AHP Wainwright Challenge, pictured with Sue and Mark

An early start to Saturday with Sue, Joanna and Mark, as we climbed Wetherlam on the first day of the AHP Wainwright Challenge. It was a great walk with a beautiful sunrise, good company and even a breakfast of eggy bread cooked at Levers Water on the descent.
During August and in aid of The Cumbria COVID-19 Response Fund, Cumbrian Allied Health Professionals will aim to climb all of the 214 Wainwright Fells in the Lake District at least once whilst also cleaning them of litter as they go. Good luck to everyone involved.

You can follow their adventure here and read stories of how the fund is supporting communities in Cumbria.
If you can, please support them here.  

The Moon at The Coro, Ulverston
31 July 2020

Julie visits the moon

Fantastic visit to the moon last night. What can I say? It’s out of this world!

This awe-inspiring installation is an exact replica of the Moon we see in the sky at night and has been seen by over 3 Million people world-wide. Measuring seven metres in diameter, the inflated Moon features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.

Do book a visit this August to The Coro in Ulverston and explore the far side of the moon. Book here. 

Age UK Barrow and District
28 July 2020

Vickie Martin receives her High Sheriff of Cumbria Special Recognition Certificate
Lorna Simpson receives her High Sheriff of Cumbria Special Recognition Certificate

It was a pleasure to visit Age UK Barrow & District this week to find out more about the excellent support they provide in the local community. I was particularly pleased to meet and thank Vickie Martin together with some very special volunteers, Lorna Simpson, Barbara Wild, Stuart Walker, Naomi Doherty, Neil Ward and Sandra King. It was great to put faces to the names of those whose acts of kindness have been brought to my attention. The organisation, Age UK Barrow and District also received a certificate as their volunteers have assisted the vulnerable via a helpline and befriending service, as well as coordinating volunteers to ensure shopping, hot food deliveries, hearing aid battery collections, prescription collections and reassurance have been provided to those who are vulnerable. Thank you to Marie Connor for arranging the visit.

Eden Rivers Trust
27 July 2020

Julie meets Elizabeth Radford of Eden Rivers Trust

Thank you to Eden Rivers Trust for some fascinating site visits to Bessygill site, Lowther Estate and Greystone and Little Beck on the Lyvennet, to understand their work on natural flood defences and creating habitats for wildlife.

Eden Rivers Trust works on river restoration, natural flood management, water friendly farming and engagement activities. Some of its more community-based projects are supported by Cumbria Community Foundation. To find out more and for volunteering opportunities click here 

I enjoyed meeting Elizabeth Radford of Eden Rivers Trust and David Bliss (Lowther Estate Manager) at the Bessygill site on the Lowther Estate, which is a tributary of the River Leith. We saw a fascinating stage zero restoration (where a modified channel is blocked and the river is left to find its own way in the line of the historic channel) and a pond which is for off line storage. It fills in flood conditions and temporarily slows the flow, so reducing peak flow on the River Leith in heavy rain. We also saw the habitat for wildlife on the wetland created by stage zero and the pond. The wetland also cleans and filters the water. Lowther Estate is planting a thousand acres of trees and reducing stock.

At Greystone and Little Beck on the Lyvennet ( which joins the Eden at Temple Sowerby), Elizabeth and I met Chris Addison who farms the land there and visited three rapids built in the river to create new habitats, rapids and pools. These raise water levels so in heavy rain the three ponds or ‘scrapes’ either side of the river fill with water and hold it back to slow peak flow. It amazing how something so natural can ensure water empties more slowly and help protect communities further downstream from flooding. I really liked the pond on the left bank which had vegetated up well and had an amazing ‘crop’ of butterflies!

The Fratry, Carlisle
21 July 2020

Coffee at the Fratry gathering

I was delighted to attend coffee at the Fratry at Carlisle Cathedral. The restoration work is outstanding and has created a world class space. The new cafe is so light and attractive and after all, Carlisle Cathedral is just stunning with so much history. If you have not seen it yet, do make a visit!

Ian Gaynor and St John’s Ambulance
17 July 2020

Ian Gaynor receives the High Sheriff Special Recognition Certificate

Supporting the NHS – Thank you to Blood Bikes Cumbria and Ian Gaynor from St John Ambulance.

I’m so pleased to acknowledge all the volunteer support given to the NHS by the people of Cumbria during the pandemic. Some recipients of the High Sheriff Special Recognition Certificates have made huge amounts of PPE whilst others such as Blood Bikes Cumbria and Ian Gaynor and his fellow volunteers at St John Ambulance have helped the NHS directly and protected lives across the region. A huge thank you to all of them.

Heron Corn Mill
16 July 2020

Julie pictured with the fabulously named, Buttie and project volunteer Nell.

I was delighted to meet the team at Heron Corn Mill on Thursday and help deliver Powsowdie boxes to older people in the community. The Powsowdie Project is a fantastic example of adapting and thriving under lockdown. Normally, this older group would meet at the Heron Corn Mill and share a meal, music, themed activities and reminiscences. Instead, with support from Cumbria Community Foundation and the Papagallino Fund, they have creatively combined all these aspects into a box containing delicious fresh food, a CD of music and poems, activities, a newsletter, interesting resources for reminiscence, and even a stamp and paper to share their stories. Members told me time and again how much they looked forward to receiving their boxes and how much fun the contents were. This project certainly raises spirits, especially for those with memory issues or who are digitally isolated.

Powsowdie is just one of many community groups that are part of Heron Corn Mill. I recommend everyone to visit this Living Heritage site when it reopens. Thank you to Creative Project Manager, Audrey Steeley and her team of volunteers.

The Beggar's Theatre and Moore Arts Millom
2 July 2020

I very much enjoyed meeting virtually with Jakki Moore to understand about all the ways young people in Millom engage in drama and theatre. I was impressed by the way they tackle difficult subjects through drama, such as bullying and isolation. Drama can so help build confidence, help people make friends and develop so many transferable skills. Good luck to Jakki as she plans and prepares for reopening. She certainly has a lot of exciting and creative ideas. Visit the Beggar’s Theatre Facebook page here

Love Barrow Families
30 June 2020

I was so impressed by the charity Love Barrow Families when I met virtually with Alison Tooby this week. They bring support under one roof, with adult and children’s health and social care services working together to meet the complex needs of some families in Barrow. The kindness, pragmatic support, and active citizenship they promote is very impressive. Thank you for all they do in the community. Do visit their website to see the inspiring difference they make. 

Good News – Special Recognition Award Update
30 June 2020

Greysouthen Village Hall Committee with their Special Recognition certificate

Tuesday 30th June marks the hundredth day since the UK went into lockdown. The good news is that many volunteers, voluntary groups, and individuals in Cumbria have given such outstanding support to others during the Covid-19 Crisis.

It has been a privilege to be able to acknowledge and honour those who have done so much to help others. View the growing list of certificate holders here and see just how they’ve been helping the community. Thank you to everyone. We can all be so proud of our community spirit in Cumbria.

Rotary Club of Bassenthwaite - 30 Years' Charter
29 June 2020

I had an enjoyable ‘virtual’ evening at the Bassenthwaite Rotary Club’s Charter Celebrations on Zoom. President Albert Johnson was joined by 55 members from across Cumbria, Lancashire and over the border in Scotland. It was good to hear of their activities to support communities both locally and internationally. They are great community volunteers.

Ulverston Self Isolation Group
25 June 2020

Julie assisting Ulverston Self Isolation Group as they distribute sweet boxes

What could be nicer than enjoying the Cumbrian sunshine with volunteers from Ulverston Self Isolation Group and giving out sweet boxes to some of the amazing children in the town? Hearing different children’s stories of resilience and acts of kindness under lockdown was very inspiring. I hope they enjoyed the sweet boxes. Thanks to the group for their kindness.

Kirksanton Village Hall & Millom Network Centre
23 June 2020

Kirksanton Village Hall

Yesterday I ‘zoomed’ across to Kirksanton and met with their village hall committee members, Helen, Vicky, and Anne. Together with their other committee members, they have worked tenaciously to raise funds to renovate their village hall. They have received a number of vital grants including one from Cumbria Community Foundation and successfully completed the building upgrade last year. It is a fantastic community facility.

Millom Network Centre

I so enjoyed a virtual tour of Millom Network Centre and meeting virtually with so many volunteers including Mayor Angela Dixon, Paul Stewart, Tony, Richard, and Terry. The Food Pantry based at MNC is providing great support to the local community during the pandemic. The facilities at the centre also support those trying to get back into the workplace, businesses, and community groups.

Millom Recreation Centre
22 June 2020

This morning it was a pleasure to meet virtually with Marion Giles from Millom Recreation Centre. I was so impressed with her enthusiasm and long service. Under normal circumstances, the Millom Recreation Centre committee ensures that so many different groups are able to use the centre from gymnastics and youth clubs to carpet bowls, tumbletots, gym membership and badminton. The committee members are currently busy getting the centre ready with social distancing measures in place, so that when they can reopen, they will be able to welcome people back to the centre safely. I wish them all the best in their preparations.

Killington Sailing Association
19 June 2020

Julie with Geoff from Killington Sailing Addociation
Julie meets Geoff from Killington Sailing Association

It was lovely to visit stunning Killington Reservoir today and meet Geoff from Killington Sailing Association. KSA plays an important role in our community, enabling 4000 people to access the sailing and lake facilities. They encourage and support groups, including those working with disabled and disadvantaged young people, to have access to water and sports facilities.

Border TV
18 June 2020

Julie speaks to Matthew Taylor from ITV Border

ITV Border featured the High Sheriff of Cumbria Special Recognition Award on 19th June 2020. It was interesting being interviewed at home in the garden by Matthew Taylor. Fortunately, the rain held off …just!

Cockermouth Linking Lives
11 June 2020

This morning, it was so interesting to discuss with Terry from Linking Lives Cockermouth about their volunteer telephone befriending service, Two’s Company that currently supports 43 people. In the wake of Covid, the group’s home visiting service has been stopped temporarily, but their 28 volunteers are still busy supporting those who are lonely and isolated by regular phone calls. Your support makes such a difference, thank you. Volunteers need to have good listening skills, but it sounds really interesting and rewarding work. If other parts of Cumbria are interested in setting up similar support services do get in contact with Terry or visit the Linking Lives website.

Find out more using the links below.

Linking Lives Facebook here. 

Cockermouth Cumbria Facebook here.

Cumbria Churches Together Facebook here. 

News and Star Facebook here

Spring Mount Walney and Walney Community Trust
10 June 2020

Today I joined Ros Harrison from Spring Mount Walney via Skype and so appreciated hearing about all the amazing ways that Walney Community Trust and its team of volunteers have tackled the challenges of lockdown. Six days a week their team is helping in their community from providing food supplies, shopping and collecting prescriptions to helping house those released from prison and supporting families in crisis. Spring Mount have helped 1325 households to date. They have also collaborated so well with other organisations across Barrow. It’s one of the things I love about Barrow – great cooperation and community spirit. Thank you to everyone for all you do.

Visit to Grange Community Food Store
6 June 2020

Julie visits Grange Community Food Store
Julie visits Grange Community Food Store

What a wonderful time I had visiting Rahina Borthwick and the team. Not only did I get to put on an apron, lend a hand and see how FareShare ensures food that would have gone to landfill is instead shared amongst those in the community who will benefit most, but I also got to meet and chat with lots of residents. As volunteer, Natalie Beadle said, ” this little ex-bank does so much more than redirecting bags of rescued food- it’s touching to see it forming a pillar in a fair few calendars.” Thank you for the support you give. See the latest updates from the Food Store here.

Congratulations to Carlisle Street Pastors
5 June 2020

Julie with cakes she has baked
Homemade celebration cakes

Congratulations to Carlisle Street Pastors on their 10 year anniversary of giving support, through patrolling our great border city of Carlisle late at night each weekend and keeping people safe. The kindness, care and help you have given over such a long period is commendable. I’m so sorry your tenth anniversary dinner celebrations this weekend could not go ahead as planned due to the current restrictions, but I wanted to nevertheless mark your achievements and say thank you. I’ve therefore baked some celebration cakes to remember your ten years of service. Congratulations and thank you! Find out more about Carlisle Street Pastors here.

 1st June 2020

I am delighted to launch The High Sheriff of Cumbria Special Recognition Award.

There are so many amazing stories of acts of kindness and selflessness made by local people who are supporting their fellow Cumbrians during the Covid-19 Crisis and I want to honour those who are making an outstanding contribution in our community. This new award is being launched at the start of Volunteers’ Week UK to honour volunteers and individuals across Cumbria going above and beyond in their work, who give outstanding support to others during the current pandemic.  Anyone can nominate an exceptional volunteer or voluntary group or individual they feel deserves their amazing acts of kindness and generosity to be uniquely acknowledged and thanked. Each nomination will be reviewed carefully by a selection panel and successful nominees will receive a certificate and personal letter of thanks. Nominate someone now.  

Thank you to everyone who has shared news of the award especially Cando FM and Radio Cumbria for their interview coverage. It was lovely to join your shows. Thank you also to The Evening Mail for their support, read more here

Live Chat with Dave and Kerrie from The Well Communities in Barrow in Furness
25 May 2020

It was a new experience joining on Live Chat and great to hear about the fantastic support they give to people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Arnside Sailing Club
22 May 2020

Today I met virtually with Alasdair from Arnside Sailing Club. It was great to hear how Arnside Sailing Club is a thriving community club which promotes sailing through training schemes available to everyone. Grants from Cumbria Community Foundation have helped it purchase a catamaran suitable for older teenagers enabling them to continue sailing with the club as they grow older and progress their skills. I was also interested to hear of their new plans to offer paddle boarding to local children; a sport that can be taught and enjoyed whilst maintaining social distancing. Considering the strong winds today, for once I was happy to meet virtually and appreciate from a distance all the good work their volunteers do. I plan to rearrange my postponed visit in the future. 

Heron Corn Mill
19 May 2020

I should have been visiting Heron Corn Mill, but instead I had a really interesting phone call with Audrey from their organisation. They are finding lots of ways to support their local community remotely with their Make Yourself at Home newsletter initiative, Powsowdie Special Boxes for elderly, vulnerable people, volunteering and Zoom meetings for their 808 group. I hope to have a Mill and Hydropower Tour later in the year but in the meantime thank you for sharing your positive story and good luck with all your fantastic work.  Find out more by visiting their Facebook page here. 

Great Community Spirit in Kirkby Stephen
14 and 15 May 2020

There is so much great community spirit going on in Kirkby Stephen. On 14th May I was so pleased to meet virtually with Kate from Kirkby Stephen Community Arts and hear more about the creative support they provide and then today I was delighted to meet virtually with Anne and Sarah to find out more about all the ways the Wharton and Nateby Women’s Institute lends support to others. Whether it is making face masks, knitting hearts, check and chats or planning for the launch of the Bench Walk, their support sounds so helpful. I even found out about Boccia. What a great sport!

I look forward to visiting Kirkby Stephen in July but in the meantime thank you to everyone who is contributing so positively to the community in Kirkby Stephen. For more information, please visit the Community Arts Facebook page here, and Wharton and Nateby WI who are part of a Federation of Women’s Institutes website here.  

13 May 2020

The Lighthouse, Kendal

Today I met virtually with Maddy Iddon in Kendal and found out about the peer support and mental health charity, Lighthouse. They make such an important difference to so many lives.

Find out more here.  

Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team

I also discussed with John Barstow, the challenges of the pandemic on Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team. You can keep up to date with them and the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association here  and here.  Follow their latest advice on Facebook too.

Light Up Lives – Grange over Sands
12 May 2020

It was lovely to meet virtually with Janet Carter from Light Up Lives and hear about the work going on in Grange and Peninsula to support others, especially in assisting those in the shielded group. 

VE Day Celebrations in Lockdown
8 May 2020

High Sheriff Julie Barton lays flowers at Market Cross VE Day
Ulverston Mayor Cllr Sharon Webster and High Sheriff Julie Barton lay flowers on VE Day
VE Day flowers and wreath at Ulverston Market Cross
VE Day flowers and wreaths at Ulverston Market Cross

This morning I privately laid red, white and blue flowers at Ulverston Market Cross to remember and celebrate the service and sacrifice of the wartime generation. Getting flowers in lockdown was not possible, but the local garden centre helped out by making me a planter, however I still couldn’t get any Union flags. Croftlands Junior School came to my rescue and made me some flags. They look fantastic and add to the VE Day Celebrations.
It made me feel that the spirit of wartime of helping one another, creative problem solving and tenacity, lives on in lockdown. Thank you to all the pupils who helped.

Read more from the local press here

View VE Day Facebook video here. 

Forge donates Oxygen Concentrators to St Mary’s Hospice
4 May 2020

Cumbrian businesses are really stepping up and supporting Cumbrian charities during lockdown despite it being an incredibly difficult time for everyone. Thank you to all of them.
I am incredibly proud of my own company Forge in Ulverston and include them in these thanks. My husband Peter and CEO, David have tenaciously sourced and donated two much needed oxygen concentrators to St Mary’s Hospice. To quote Joanne Blake, who is the Head of Clinical Care at St Mary’s, ‘We are so grateful to you for donating these to us. The model is just right for our hospice environment.’

Read more from the local press here. 

Barrow and District Third Sector
4 May 2020

My visit with Cumbria Community Foundation to a group of Barrow charities and projects this week was cancelled due to Coronavirus. I am delighted to say that I did however have a virtual meeting with over twenty Barrow charities entitled ‘Love Barrow.’ I have already got to know so much about these organisations from being part of the Barrow Community Resilience Group and seeing their care and concern in action. What is fantastic in Barrow is the cooperation and collaboration between organisations. They work so well together to help and support others. Very inspiring and special! I am so proud of Barrow!

Caldbeck, Aspatria and Wigton
28 April 2020

This week I was looking forward to visiting various projects and charities in Caldbeck, Aspatria and Wigton. These visits all had to be cancelled, but instead I’ve been busy by phone or online platforms meeting and talking where possible with their representatives.
Good luck to Northern Fells Rural Development Group – Men in Sheds, Watchtree Nature Reserve Limited, Chrysalis (Cumbria) Ltd and Beacon Hill Bike Club. Each organisation is helping to tackle social isolation and loneliness in different ways. I thank all of you for the support you give to your fellow Cumbrians and hope to rearrange my visit to later in the year.

Bay Trust Radio
25 April 2020

It was lovely to chat to John Williamson of Bay Trust Radio. You can listen to the interview here. 
Bay Trust Radio is a community station. Their volunteers do a fantastic job supporting our local NHS Trust and connecting patients with their families and friends at a time when normal visiting is not permitted.

Longtown and Westlinton
21 April 2020

This week I should have been visiting various projects and charities in Longtown and Westlinton. These visits all had to be cancelled, but instead I’ve been busy by phone or online platforms meeting and talking where possible to their representatives. I was so impressed to hear more about the work of Longtown Memorial Hall Community Centre, Dementia Action Alliances, the Rotary Clubs of Brampton and Longtown, Cathy’s Lunch Club, Learning Forest and Westlinton Parish Council. They all make such a positive difference, serving their communities. Each organisation is helping to tackle social isolation and loneliness in different ways.  I thank all of you for the support you give to your fellow Cumbrians and hope to rearrange my visit to later in the year. 


Find out more about the Countryside Classroom and check out their great learning resources.

Barrow Foodbank Food Challenge Video
20 April 2020

High Sheriff Julie Barton films her contribution to the Foodbank Challenge
Julie Barton preparing for making the Barrow Foodbank Challenge Video. Not an easy feat in an ostrich feather hat!

Barrow Foodbank are working so hard to support their community during the lockdown period. The High Sheriff was delighted to contribute to Barrow Foodbank’s Food Challenge Video.
Donations can be made at the centre (collection point outside) or through supermarket collection points. Find out more here

Cumbria Girlguiding Virtual Guide Camp
19 April 2020

High Sheriff Julie Barton ready to attend a virtual camp with Girguiding Cumbria South
The High Sheriff enjoying Virtual Guide Camp. Julie is pictured ready for camp, with her tin cup, plastic plate, midnight snack and welly sticks.

Congratulations to the Girl Guides in South Cumbria for their wonderfully successful and fun Virtual Camp last weekend. I’m so impressed with their creative and can do attitude during this time of lockdown. Thank you for inviting me along.

Visit the Girlguiding Cumbria South Facebook page. 

High Sheriff of Cumbria appeals for Barrow Foodbank donations
8 April 2020

A huge thank you to all the volunteers at Barrow Foodbank who continue to work so hard to ensure those in crisis in our communities receive the food parcels they need. During the current COVID-19 restrictions, the Foodbank is experiencing a large uplift in demand and would appreciate your support through donations at this time please.  They are currently short of UHT juice, UHT milk, tinned spaghetti and tinned carrots.

Donations can be made at the centre (collection point outside) or through supermarket collection points. 

Read more about the appeal here

Cumbria's First High Sheriff from Furness
BBC Radio Cumbria, 27 March 2020

BBC Radio Cumbria reports on Julie’s plans for the year ahead. Julie’s theme of tackling social  is more important than ever under current circumstances. Julie will be lending active support to those helping those in need.

Listen now. (1:02:48)

Installation of High Sheriff of Cumbria
March 2020

Marcia Reid-Fotheringham at the installation of High Sheriff of Cumbria
Marcia Reid Fotheringham and her husband, Jim Fotheringham
Julie Barton & Canon Paul at the installation of High Sheriff of Cumbria
Canon Paul Embery with High Sheriff, Julie Barton
John Barton reading the installation of High Sheriff of Cumbria
John Barton reading for the Undersheriff Tim Cartmell
Imelda Wheeler chats to guests via Skype during the installation
Imelda Wheeler talking to online guests via Skype at the installation
High Sheriff Julie Barton giving a speech at her installation ceremony
High Sheriff, Julie Barton speaking at the installation
Peter, Julie & John Barton at the installation of High Sheriff of Cumbria
Peter, Julie and John Barton during the installation

My installation was originally planned to be in the magnificent Barrow-in-Furness Town Hall.  Sadly we realised it was necessary to cancel this due to the Covid-19 crisis.  Instead, I held a tiny but unique event outside on the patio of my garden at Rosside, Ulverston. The Lord-Lieutenant, the Undersheriff, my son Joseph and a few other guests all attended virtually via Skype. All Skype guests were dressed in suits and Claire Hensman (Lord-Lieutenant) wore a lovely hat. I could see them all on the screen as I made my declaration. Marcia Reid Fotheringham (outgoing High Sheriff), Canon Paul Embery (Chaplain) and Les Johnson (Justice of the Peace) were present, though at social distancing lengths of course. Fr Paul brought the church lectern to add to the formality (well, he did ask if he could bring anything) and we took some photos.

It was not the big installation I had planned originally but it went well, nonetheless. Peter, my husband read a paper on behalf of Claire Hensman, Lord-Lieutenant. Our younger son, John stood in and read the script in the place of the Undersheriff, Tim Cartmell under his instruction. My older son, Joseph stayed online after the ceremony to join us for a virtual fizz and canapes reception and we chinked glasses virtually and toasted the occasion. All very 21st century and special. By the day of the installation, I had changed the date to much earlier, the venue and was on version 7 of the Order of Service but I was also extremely lucky. It may well mean that I am one of the only High Sheriffs in the country to have been able to hold an installation so far this year.  

Click here to read more about my virtual installation ceremony.

Meet Cumbria's New High Sheriff
March 2020

The Queen has given her official approval at a Privy Council meeting at Buckingham Palace for the new High Sheriff of Cumbria to take up office.

On the 26th March 2020 Julie Barton will be appointed as High Sheriff of Cumbria for the next 12 months. 

“The role of High Sheriff may be a very old one, but I hope to play a modern, proactive and positive role in today’s Cumbria and to promote my county during my year.”

“It is an honour and a delight to serve as High Sheriff of Cumbria.”

Read the local press article here. 

A Tour of Carlisle and Eden with Cumbria Community Foundation

Julie visits not for profit social enterprise, Rebike in Carlisle
Julie with Rebike Cumbria
High Sheriff Julie Barton visiting Upfront Gallery
Julie at Upfront Art Charity
High Sheriff Julie Barton with the Farmers Network
Julie with The Farmers Network

In preparing for my year in office I was delighted in February 2020, to visit some of the charities and not for profit organisations that make such a difference to many in Carlisle and Eden Districts. I am grateful to Cumbria Gateway and Gateway for Women, Rebike Cumbria, The Farmers Network and Upfront Arts Charity for taking the time to show me all that you do to help fellow Cumbrians to thrive. Throughout the day I was met with enthusiasm and creative ideas that support others in such contrasting and valuable ways.

To find out more visit and and and