High Sheriff of Cumbria

Julie Barton, 2020/2021

High Sheriff Cumbria Julie Barton in her court dress

Julie Barton grew up in Ulverston, attending St Mary’s RC Primary School and Ulverston Victoria High School. She went on to study at Durham University. After graduation in 1989, Julie returned to Furness and started her career as a teacher at Holy Family School, Barrow-in-Furness. Julie and Peter married in 1990 and have two grown up sons.

In 1993 Julie actively supported Peter in setting up Forge Europa, an LED lighting company based in Ulverston and Dalton-in-Furness. They started the business in the spare room at home from a standing start with no customers, no suppliers and no financial backers. Together they led Forge Europa to become an innovative lighting company with customers in over 20 countries. Julie was instrumental in the company winning a Queen’s Award for Outstanding Innovation in 2009. She continues to lead the way on corporate and social responsibilities across an international supply chain and in excellence in environmental management.  

Julie has always taken an active role in community involvement both in her personal and professional life. She led Forge Europa to be the first manufacturing company in the North-West to be awarded the CommunityMark. Julie has many years’ experience as a supporter of various charities, as a governor of Furness College, a parish councillor, a catechist in her home parish, as a supporter of Ulverston’s festivals and as a fundraiser.

As High Sheriff, Julie has chosen to focus on tackling social isolation and loneliness as the theme for her shrieval year. She will also be actively supporting Cumbria Community Foundation. 

News & Events 2020/2021

High Sheriff Charity Cross Bay Walk
31 July 2021

I am very pleased to let you know that the High Sheriff of Cumbria Cross Bay Walk, which was postponed in 2020, will now go ahead on Saturday 31st July 2021 at 10:45am. This iconic 8-9 mile walk across the sands from Arnside to Grange Promenade, Grange-over-Sands, will be led by Guide over the Sands, Michael Wilson, who has guided thousands of walkers safely over the bay. I am delighted that we will also be joined by this year’s High Sheriff of Cumbria, David Beeby.

Tickets are on sale now from the Cumbria Community Foundation  with entry fees of only £13 per adult and £8 for those 16 years and under (minimum age is 9 years). Advanced booking is essential, and tickets are likely to sell out fast. 

David Beeby is installed as the new High Sheriff of Cumbria
31 March 2021

David Beeby
Julie Barton with David Beeby, the incoming High Sheriff of Cumbria.
Julie Barton with Undersheriff, Tim Cartmell

David Beeby is installed as the new High Sheriff of Cumbria in a virtual installation ceremony. Accompanying photos were taken in preparation on 29th March 2021.

Thank you to everyone for sharing in my year as High Sheriff and celebrating all the amazing volunteers, organisations, communities, charities, businesses, frontline workers, faith and church groups and individuals who have stepped forward during the pandemic and helped to make Cumbria a better place. Thank you for liking and sharing my posts, I have reached more people with their remarkable stories, than I could ever have hoped to do on my own.

I have lived in Cumbria for nearly all my life, but in the last year I have gained an incredible and humbling new insight into the county I thought I knew so well. Cumbria is amazing! It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as the High Sheriff of Cumbria.

With many thanks and very best wishes, Julie Barton

29 March to 31 March 2021

I was delighted to meet with the three outstanding award-winning businesses and most of the excellent charities who had received High Sheriff Awards on 24th March.

High Sheriff of Cumbria Awards Celebration Event
24 March 2021

I was privileged to organise and host an online awards event and present awards to three outstanding businesses and fourteen excellent charities. Listening to representatives from each organisation was very uplifting and humbling. Cumbria and its people are truly amazing! Please click on the link to watch the awards event https://youtu.be/75Da8JhJCI4

I can now reveal that …. drum roll … the winners of the three outstanding business award categories are:

Chinty’s of Keswick- Outstanding Micro Business Innovation Award

The Herdy Company of Kendal – Outstanding SME Business Innovation Award

Story Contracting of Carlisle – Outstanding Community-Spirited Award.

The following three excellent charities have worked tirelessly to support others, and each received a High Sheriff Certificate, High Sheriff Shield, and a financial award:

Copeland Age and Advice Service from Cleator Moor

The Well Communities in Barrow

Dignity in Dementia from Arnside

A further eleven excellent charities from across Cumbria each received a certificate and financial award from the High Sheriff Fund. They are:

Love Barrow Families (Barrow-in-Furness)

Outside-In, Cumbria (Kendal)

Women’s Community Matters (Barrow-in-Furness)

Good Enough Start (Millom)

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) from Hensingham, Whitehaven

Northern Fells Group (a 200 sq. mile area of North Cumbrian Uplands around Caldbeck)

Watchtree Nature Reserve (Wiggonby)

Meals on Wheels, Cumbria (Carlisle)

Carlisle Key (Carlisle)

Every Life Matters (Shap)

Heron Corn Mill and its Powsowdie Project (Beetham)

At the Awards Event, I was delighted to share the names of the 54 businesses across Cumbria who have each received High Sheriff of Cumbria Business Innovation Special Performance Certificates for the remarkable ways in which they have confronted the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020. Congratulations!

Click here to view the 54 businesses that received the High Sheriff of Cumbria Business Innovation Special Performance Certificates.

St Mary's Primary School , Ulverston
25 March 2021

Congratulations to St Mary’s Primary School in Ulverston (my old school) who celebrates 50 years today.

Haverigg HMPS
23 March 2021

Haverigg HMPS – Changing Lives and Preventing Victims

Reducing the risk of reoffending, reduces the number of victims! It was fascinating to meet virtually and learn so much about the residents of Haverigg HMPS from Custodial Manager, Dawn Hawthorne. The rehabilitation culture at Haverigg stood out through its shared aspirations of providing residents with the right skills, expectations, social care, and the best attitudes to meet their sentence plans and become ready for release. With many older prisoners, Dawn talked about healthcare provision in prison. Her job satisfaction comes from people successfully integrating back into the community. Thank you to Dawn and her colleagues in the prison service for their frontline work. I thoroughly enjoyed our meeting.

Haverigg HMPS – A Multifaith Chaplaincy

It’s always great to chat with Fr Bob (Fr Robert Halshaw) and hear about his prison ministry. He is the Senior Chaplain at Haverigg, where chaplains of different faiths work together to support residents. Lockdown has paused communal worship in prisons, but pastoral care continues through phone and socially distanced face to face meetings, newsletters, and shared faith materials. With no visitors allowed due to Covid, the chaplaincy facilitates Purple Visits (approved meetings for residents with their loved ones via the internet). Listening to how the chaplains of different faiths support anyone who asks, regardless of their religious preference, reflects the chaplaincy’s collaborative work, respect and understanding.

Civil Nuclear Constabulary in Cumbria
22 March 2021

Cumbria is one of only 10 areas with a Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) and with hundreds of officers, the Cumbrian Unit is the largest in the UK. Based at Sellafield, they are patrolling 24/7 with authorised firearms officers, armoured vehicles, and specialist police dogs to protect our communities. Their ethos is Deter, Defend, Deny and Recover. Some of their highly trained officers can be deployed to where there is an immediate need; G7 Summit, Olympics, party conferences, or potential threats in our cities. Training and retraining are key. At Sellafield, the CNC has one of the best indoor firearms ranges in the world, where 360-degree live firing skills can be practised. The CNC also provides armed escorts for nuclear materials around the UK and the world. Its police medics and community engagement efforts help to save the lives of locals every year. Thank you to Superintendent, Tim Needham for a fascinated virtual guide to our Civil Nuclear Constabulary and a big thank you to all the CNC officers, who operate on the frontline to keep us safe.

Thanksgiving Mass, St Mary's of Furness RC Church
21 March 2021

Pictured with the High Sheriff is Ulverston Mayor, Cllr Sharon Webster and Chaplain to the High Sheriff, Canon Paul Embery

It was very special to attend a Thanksgiving Mass in my home parish of St Mary’s of Furness RC Church in Ulverston today, to celebrate my shrieval year. Thank you to my chaplain, Canon Paul Embery and to my fellow parishioners for their support and prayers.

Cumbria Criminal Court Swearing In Ceremony
19 March 2021

It was a privilege to observe the swearing in of new magistrates this morning. Congratulations to all those who have joined the Office of Justice of the Peace. They have generously volunteered for this ancient office that plays an important role in today’s Justice System. Thank you.

High Sheriffs historically enforced law and order in their counties. If you look closely, at the centre of the High Sheriff’s Badge of Office are crossed swords; one is sharp for justice and one is blunt for mercy. I wish all our new JPs good judgment and wisdom in their new roles.

Egremont – Kind-hearted and close to the stunning Lakeland Fells and Coastland
17 March 2021

As well as Egremont’s beautiful location, the town is so fortunate with its fantastic community volunteers and generous community-spirited businesses. I enjoyed meeting with Sam, Michael and Neil yesterday from Egremont Town Council and hearing about places to visit as well as the hopes for the future for Egremont. The town has exciting ideas and is putting together a town team to draw up plans together to maximise potential for residents and visitors. I look forward to visiting.

Zoom Meeting with Cumbria Chief Constable, Michelle Skeer
16 March 2021

It was a pleasure to catch up with Michelle Skeer, to hear about the increase in community policing in Cumbria and gain an understanding of the role Child Centred Hubs play in prevention intervention.

The last 15 months have been a time of unprecedented change and challenge, but some positives to come out of this time are an increase in collaboration across strategic organisations in Cumbria and through more online meetings, a greater reach across communities. Many more people are now engaging in online support forums and meetings.

Michelle is proud of both the agility in working that her constabulary has achieved, and the level of support given to home workers, which is embedded in Cumbria Police’s culture and processes. The importance of staying in touch to support wellbeing is so important.

Our Chief Constable is a Cumbrian who is proud of her home county. Cumbria has weathered many challenges from Foot and Mouth to floods and Michelle has been impressed by how quickly communities across Cumbria adapted to the current pandemic and supported others.

Cumbria Police is hopeful that later this spring, we will be moving forward from acute response to recovery. Our constabulary is looking forward to working with many organisations across the county to continue to protect and help Cumbria to recover and thrive.

Tea and Biscuits in Kirkby Stephen and Brough
12 March 2021

I enjoyed meeting today with people from Kirkby Stephen and Brough for a chat over tea and biscuits (via Zoom.) Their beautiful area is full of generous volunteers who find lots of creative ways to support others. They are also looking to work collaboratively to develop more exciting community spaces and projects for the future.

Wigton and its Wonderful Community Spirit!
9 March 2021

I enjoyed chatting with Wigton Mayor, John Crouch and finding out more about this welcoming community, with its Wigton Covid-19 Mutual Aidits Free4All Community Recycling Group, its Early Intervention Programme, its Fair Share, and the Nelson Tomlinson School. Asking John what makes Wigton special, he answered, “the community spirit, with people working together, the friendliness and that there are so many talented local people.”

International Women's Day - Women in Justice, Women's Injustice
8 March 2021

I have just spent an uplifting afternoon, listening to a range of inspiring speakers including CC Michelle Skeer from Cumbria Police, Sarah Ward and Rachel Reed from HM Prison and Probation Service, Rachel from Women Out West, Rachael from Women’s Community Matters and Vanessa from Gateway 4 Women. It was a privilege to speak alongside such awesome women. It was so good to see women celebrated and to witness the care and concern shown for others. Going forward, the group shared a commitment across the justice system in Cumbria to drive improvement and to continue to develop a more equal future for all.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service
5 March 2021

Ulverston's new Blue Light Hub

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is serving our communities in so many vital ways.

Meeting virtually with Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer, John Beard and hearing his vision for the service was inspiring. Not only has our Fire and Rescue Service already trained ten firefighters in administering Covid-19 vaccinations, but it has also helped schools with lateral flow test training, and collected, arranged the refurbishment, and delivered a large number of laptops to young people to support their learning, as well as delivering hundreds of food parcels across Cumbria during the pandemic.

HMP Haverigg – Keeping Spirits Up during the Pandemic.
5 March 2021

HMP Haverigg is Cumbria’s only prison and changed to Category D ‘Open’ status in December 2019.

Did you know that HMP Haverigg was the first prison in the world to introduce a park run for staff and residents? Did you know that HMP Haverigg has a Cancer Research shop for residents, which will reopen when restrictions permit? These are some of the insights I gained during discussions with Head of OMU, Governor Karl Moir, in the first of a series of virtual meetings with prison staff. It is certainly helping me to better understand and appreciate their strategies and frontline work during the pandemic.

HMP Haverigg is a large site, where some of the land has been turned into a nature reserve, vegetable allotments, farm, and a memorial to former prison officers. In normal times, groups of residents work in the community with litter picks, path restoration, cutting grass in churchyards and gardening at a local hospice, but this is on pause currently. Governor Moir said that the struggles caused by the Covid-19 restrictions had enhanced the culture between staff and residents. He was impressed by the mutual empathy shown for the challenges each faced, which has helped keep spirits up. He felt residents had been appreciative of the support prison staff have provided throughout the pandemic.

Prison officers work towards enabling residents to be recommended for temporary release, and towards successfully integrating people back into the community. Their work makes a positive difference to individuals, their families, and the public. They work closely with Cumbria Police and the Probation Service to protect and support our communities. Thank you to all the staff at HMP Haverigg for their frontline work.

Magistrates are Key Workers and Vital Volunteers
4 March 2021

In Cumbria, our courts have never closed. There are 79 Magistrates on the North and West Cumbria Bench. They have kept serving the community throughout the pandemic and are pleased to welcome 15 new magistrates this month to serve in our county.

I was delighted to meet with Chris Drouet, JP who is Chair of the North and West Cumbria Bench today and gain a greater insight into how magistrates make a difference in our communities. Chris also acknowledged the excellent work carried out by HMCTS court staff in Cumbria throughout the Covid-19 Crisis. Thank you to all these unsung heroes. If you are interested in becoming a magistrate, please visit https://magistrates.judiciary.uk/

Meeting with the Buddhist Community in Cumbria
26 February 2021

I had the privilege of meeting virtually with Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa who is head of the Ketumati Buddhist monastery in Manchester and has been teaching and supporting the Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) and the Keswick Buddhist Group for over twenty years. During our meeting, Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa shared much about the precepts and teachings of the Buddha. Also attending the meeting were Venerable Galpottayaye Pemananda from Ketumati and Jacquetta Gomes from BGKT.

Did you know that Cumbria is likely to be the only county in England where Buddhism is the second largest religion?

As High Sheriff my role includes lending support to all recognised church and faith groups. Increasing my own appreciation of how much church and faith groups contribute to our communities has been one of the highlights of my year in Office to date.

Saving Lives with the Gift of Time
24 February 2021

Meeting virtually with North West air Ambulance showed me how they bring the hospital to the patient whether that is at a roadside or on a fellside. They fly at 140mph to save lives. Lead paramedic, Andy Duncan named his favourite piece of kit as a portable ultrasound machine, which is used to penetrate trauma, aid diagnostics, and help treatment. North West Air Ambulance believes that their biggest impact is in rural areas such as Cumbria, which are further away from major trauma centres. NWAA is not part of the NHS and relies on fundraising. Each mission costs £3,000 on average. To find out more visit their website at https://www.nwaa.net/

24 February 2021

Lovely Rookhow is now welcoming subsidised bookings for groups working with people with mental health issues. Rookhow is an idyllic, peaceful place set in a picturesque rural location near Colton. In the past I have enjoyed walks and concerts there. Today, I met virtually with Sue Nicholls, Rookhow’s Development Manager who is brimming with enthusiasm and ideas to make the place accessible. Rookhow has a bunkhouse, Meeting House and woodland. There’s even a yurt, being renovated thanks to Cumbria Community Foundation

They host All Age Zoom Socials and a Zoom Cafe and are supported by Colton Parish Council and the Quaker Mental Health Fund UK. To find out more about this hidden gem, visit www.rookhow.org.uk

Congratulations to Lauren Boow!
23 February 2021

Lauren Boow

I was delighted to join Cumbria Girlguiding Awards to present the High Sheriff Girlguiding Cumbria South Shield Award to this year’s worthy recipient, Lauren Boow. Lauren has been outstanding in her creative hard work with Crosscrake Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. Her engaging zoom meetings are a real highlight. She has also planned and delivered large events at county level and taken on the shared role of Division Commissioner for Kent Lune Division.

Congratulations to Girlguiding across Cumbria. They have adapted so successfully and still run so many great events for hundreds of members and their families during the past year. Their Virtual Guide Camp was one of my favourite events of 2020.

A Wonderful Community Welcome from Dalston
23 February 2021

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with Dalston Parish Council today. I was treated to a virtual tour of beautiful Dalston with its square, river walks, community gardens, wildflower meadow, Rose Castle and Forge Green. What shone through was the whole council’s pride and affection for their parish. I was really interested in the way the community has developed the Dalston Neighbourhood Development Plan. This is a parish that is planning for its future with its electric charge points for cars, play areas and conservation plans.

Most of all, I was impressed by the neighbourliness and support for others shown during the pandemic. It was so heartening to hear of the many ways in which volunteers in the Dalston community have helped others.

Cumbria Neighbourhood Watch High Sheriff Shield awarded for Outstanding Neighbourliness and Selfless Acts of Support
22 February 2021

Today I was very pleased to attend Cumbria Resilience Forum. At the meeting I had the privilege of presenting the High Sheriff of Cumbria Neighbourhood Watch Association Shield to Community Resilience Coordinator, Carolyn Otley on behalf of all the volunteers and NHS, care sector and frontline workers.

I am very pleased to announce that this High Sheriff Shield is awarded in 2021 to celebrate the neighbourliness generously shown by so many people across Cumbria towards others, often complete strangers, during the pandemic. It also commemorates the selfless efforts of NHS, care sector and other frontline workers. Congratulations and a huge thank you to everyone who is working to support others, especially the vulnerable.

Workington - Ancient Market Town and Fascinating Industrial Heritage
18 February 2021

Today, I enjoyed meeting virtually with the Mayor of Workington, Janet King. We discussed the important support West Cumbria Carers provide to young carers and the incredible Hospice at Home, West Cumbria.

Thank you to both for the vital way they help others in our community. As Janet said, what makes Workington a great community is the people.

Meeting virtually with Allerdale Mayor, Cllr Hilary Harrington
17 February 2021

I enjoyed a very positive meeting today. What shone through was as Hilary put it, ‘the great people of Allerdale, their resilience, resourcefulness and sense of humour.’ It’s what makes Allerdale such a special place. It was so good to hear about the work of the Mayor’s chosen charities; Allerdale Disability Association and We Will, Ewanrigg.

Westmorland County Show and Agricultural Society
13 February 2021

It was very heartening to attend Westmorland County Agricultural Society’s AGM via Zoom this morning and see their fantastic ‘can do’ attitude, flexibility and positivity in action. Congratulations to all on what they have still managed to achieve over the past, difficult year. I wish them all the very best for the year ahead.

Celebrating Windermere and Bowness
5 February 2021

It was wonderful to meet virtually with town mayor, John Saunders today and hear about fabulous community groups and businesses and the amazing acts of kindness, neighbourliness, adaptability and resilience going on in Bowness and Windermere.

This small community rose to the challenge of a first lockdown followed by a period of unprecedented visitor numbers and two subsequent lockdowns. They have come together to support the socially isolated and those shielding with shopping, prescriptions and food parcels. They have generously volunteered to support the vaccination programme.

John and I discussed the wonderful local attractions and businesses who are ready to give a warm welcome to visitors after lockdown and when restrictions permit.

Carlisle Key
3 February 2021

I would like to highlight the work of Carlisle Key who work with young people 16-25 in Carlisle, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. No referral is needed. Anyone who is experiencing problems related to housing and is 16-25 can access their drop-in service by calling in or phoning 01228 595566.

Meeting with their CEO, Clare over Zoom this morning, I was very impressed by how Carlisle Key empowers young people by giving them knowledge, support, counselling, skills and confidence to help them move towards independent living. I was also very impressed at how they have adapted to the challenges of Covid-19 to keep on supporting young people throughout the pandemic. Their mix of good quality housing and one to one support is helping to alleviate hardship for around 300 young people in our community.


Cumbria Neighbourhood Watch Association
1 February 2021

I enjoyed talking to Joe Murray, Chair of Cumbria Neighbourhood Watch Association to better understand how the association supports our communities, especially the socially isolated. It was good to find out about their use of Alert System to ensure the vulnerable are supported and about how they keep others informed of potential scams and risks. CNWA has also been working with Cumbria Constabulary’s neighbourhood policing teams, as well as Victim Support, Crimestoppers and Ring.com to provide victims of crime and domestic abuse with video doorbells for reassurance and an element of safety. For more information, visit their website here

Meals on Wheels, Cumbria
29 January 2021

It was heartening to meet virtually with Trish from Meals on Wheels, Cumbria, and find out more about how they are regularly delivering meals to over a hundred people. They are happy to welcome more customers who struggle to cook for themselves. They provide nutritious meals five days a week to people’s homes in Carlisle, Brampton, Longtown, High Hesket, Wigton, Thursby and everywhere in between. They can be contacted directly here

Their wonderful volunteers operate 8 regular rounds of deliveries. Trish says they are also looking for generous businesses or individuals who would be willing to sponsor the travel costs of each round of deliveries. Anyone able to help, please contact Meals on Wheels, Cumbria. Thank you to all involved in making a fantastic difference to the lives of those who are often most isolated in our communities.

The Great Border City of Carlisle
29 January 2021

Today, I should have been enjoying a walking tour of Cumbria’s only city, Carlisle, with the Mayor, Marilyn Bowman. Fortunately, we were still able to meet virtually and discuss the amazing communities and innovative businesses of Carlisle. As Marilyn says, “it is the people of Carlisle that make it the wonderful place it is.”

Carlisle is over 2,000 years old and has a fascinating history, and in non-lockdown times has some great places to visit, like Carlisle Cathedral, Carlisle Castle and Tullie House

High Sheriff Association Webinar
27 January 2021

I was delighted to be a panellist at the High Sheriff Association Webinar for those in nomination for 2021. It was a pleasure to be able to share about my year in Office to date and emphasise how there are still so many opportunities, even during a pandemic, to lend support, get to know your county better, and enjoy the privilege that is being a High Sheriff.

Dianne Oxberry Trust
15 January 2021

I had a fascinating meeting online this weekend with the Dianne Oxberry Trust. They raise awareness and hope in tackling ovarian cancer. Early diagnosis is so important, and I recommend following and sharing their Facebook page to ensure as many women as possible know the symptoms to look out for. Ovarian cancer is not picked up by a smear test so recognising symptoms early on and seeing a GP can help saves lives. The Dianne Oxberry Trust is a small charity operating across the North West to support women in Dianne’s memory.

National Probation Service in Cumbria
15 January 2021

I just had an enjoyable ‘virtual’ meeting today with Emily and Lisa from the National Probation Service in Cumbria. As we all know the world has changed in the last year, but our probation frontline workers have kept going throughout to keep us safe. Their work often goes unseen by the public, but I was hugely impressed by their dedication, adaptability and commitment as well as their collaborative work with other agencies and third sector groups in the criminal justice system. They safeguard and support our communities.

Silverdale and District Woodbank
8 January 2021

It was a pleasure to talk with Lesley from Silverdale and District Woodbank today and learn more about how this volunteer community group are dedicated to helping look after lots of different local woodlands.

High Sheriff of Cumbria Covid-19 Business Innovation and Community Awards
January 2021

The High Sheriff of Cumbria, Julie Barton, is launching the High Sheriff of Cumbria Covid-19 Business Innovation and Community Awards to recognise the incredible ways businesses across Cumbria have confronted the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020. The communities of Cumbria rely on their businesses and these awards aim to thank, acknowledge, and celebrate those business teams who have demonstrated great resilience.

The benefits of the awards can be to raise a business’s profile, to receive recognition from the ancient Office of High Sheriff and to thank and acknowledge the efforts of a great business team. The High Sheriff plans to work with local and social media to celebrate Cumbria’s businesses. Find out more here.

Carlisle Cathedral
24 December 2020

Festival of Carols, Carlisle Cathedral

I was delighted to attend the Festival of Carols and Readings at Carlisle Cathedral today. What a fantastic start to Christmas!

Barrow Magistrates Court
22 December 2020

It was a privilege to visit Barrow Magistrates Court. Magistrates are volunteers who play a vital role in our justice system and support our community. They come from all walks of life and need no legal background. They decide cases in family and criminal courts. Thank you to this very special group of volunteers. To find out more visit the website

High Sheriffs Go21 Challenge for North West Air Ambulance
19 & 20 December 2020

I have just completed the High Sheriffs Go21 Challenge in all weathers for North West Air Ambulance. They save lives 365 days a year in all weathers and have been called to over 22,000 missions since 1999. I’ve walked a long way (22.5 miles) from Coniston to Furness General Hospital in Barrow around the time of the shortest day to highlight how our Air Ambulance gives advanced medical care and relies on donations. Best parts of the walk were the beautiful landscape, the sandwiches (obviously) and the company. Thanks Peter and John! The worst part was the weather, especially the large hailstones at Lowick.

I am part of a Posse of High Sheriffs across the North West each walking to raise awareness and funds. Good luck to the High Sheriff of Merseyside, His Honour John Roberts, and to the High Sheriff of Lancashire, Catherine Penny, who are both undertaking their respective Go21 Challenge Walks.

Update – Thank you to everyone who supported the fundraising – around £13,000 has been raised – a terrific effort!

Barrow’s Financial Wellbeing Virtual Summit
16 December 2020

Today, I was so pleased to open Barrow’s Financial Wellbeing Virtual Summit. It was a great collaborative and open forum, involving law enforcement agencies, emergency services, local authorities and the third sector working effectively together and sharing information about all the services available with those who need to access them. The pandemic has changed lives and been very challenging, especially for the financially vulnerable. Innovative and proactive ideas flowed during the summit with the aim of ensuring no one falls through the gap and that information, money advice, courses and help reach those who will most benefit from them. As communities we are stronger together. Thank you to everyone involved for a great collaborative forum.

Women's Community Matters, Barrow
15 December 2020

I’m definitely feeling festive after spending the morning delivering Christmas parcels with Women’s Community Matters in Barrow.  They are helping to ensure lots of people have a better Christmas, thanks to generous donations from local people. They are a one-stop shop giving all sorts of support to all women of any age so they can move forward with their hopes and dreams. Thank you to their team for the fantastic difference they make to the lives of others and the kindnesses they share.

Carlisle Combined Court
14 December 2020

It was a privilege to spend the day at Carlisle Combined Court with HHJ Barker. Historically, the role of High Sheriff held law enforcement powers and judged cases in court. Today, the role is about lending active support to the principal organs of the Constitution within Cumbria which of course includes the judiciary. Spending time gaining a better understanding of our justice system has increased my admiration for the vital and difficult role the judiciary plays within our communities.
To find out more about our justice system and how our country’s constitution is unwritten but found in the statutes passed by Parliament and in the common law, click here. 

The Well Community, Barrow
11 December 2020

Some days as High Sheriff are amazing. Visiting The Well Community in Barrow was one such day. Together, The Well Community support people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. What a vibrant and supportive group!

I listened with admiration to Mark and Leon’s stories which were full of hope and resilience, as they had both come so far to get their lives back on track. It was also good to film my positive thoughts on Barrow’s exciting New Constellation – a project for the people of Barrow to co-create a great future.

I can recommend The Well-Fed Community Grocers on Dalton Road. All the money made goes back into supporting The Well Communities. Thank you to all the team at The Well for the support they give to others.

Charity Auction Thank You
7 December 2020

Thank you to everyone who supported the High Sheriff of Cumbria Online Charity Auction and Prize Draw which raised a fantastic £8,310 for the High Sheriff Fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation to support charitable organisations across Cumbria

Ulverston Rotary Zoom
30 November 2020

It was a pleasure to be the guest speaker via Zoom at Ulverston Rotary. I enjoyed sharing a little of the history and modern role of a High Sheriff. It was also a pleasure to join in a quiz and finding out more about their charitable projects both locally and internationally.

Suicide Awareness Course
17 November 2020

I completed the Suicide Awareness Course online today with www.every-life-matters.org.uk. It’s effectively a first aid course to keep people safer and I now feel better informed. My theme for my year in Office as High Sheriff is ‘tackling loneliness’ – the offer of a chat not only tackles loneliness, but listening could also help someone find that glimmer of hope. Importantly, the course shows how we can all play a role in helping people whose mental health is at risk. Showing you care, offering support and a listening ear can all go a long way. Talking about suicide saves lives. Trust your gut instincts. If you are at all worried that someone is having thoughts of suicide, ASK them. And Ask directly. “Are you thinking about suicide?” It won’t put ideas in their head and being there to listen could be a lifesaver. Thank you to all at Every Life Matters.

St Mary’s RC Primary School, Ulverston
13 November 2020

It was lovely to return to my old primary school and meet virtually with Class 4. The pupils asked such great questions and had prepared so well for our meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

Cumbria Virtual Business Awards
12 November 2020

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated, shortlisted, or won at the In Cumbria Virtual Business Awards. It was wonderful to see the Cumbrian resilient spirit in action, adapting to these most challenging of times, and finding opportunities and ways to be innovative.

Interfaith Week
11 November 2020


I had the pleasure of taking part in Interfaith Week by meeting virtually with members from South Lakeland Equality and Diversity Partnership and the South Lakeland Interfaith Forum.

What a great group of people working together to promote tolerance, understanding and awareness between people of religious and non-religious beliefs. It was a real celebration and a welcoming space to listen, share ideas, and help each other as one community.

As High Sheriff, my role includes lending support to church and faith groups though I feel at this meeting I was the beneficiary, as I developed a better understanding from those I met. Thank you especially to Michael, Jacquetta, Karen and Saimma.

Remembrance Day
11 November 2020

Julie lays a wreath at Ulverston's Market Cross

It was an honour and a privilege to privately lay a wreath in Ulverston today to acknowledge and thank so many for their service and sacrifice. We will remember them.

Cumbria Young Farmers AGM – Virtual
6 November 2020

Congratulations to Cartmel YFC for winning the High Sheriff Award this year for the best community project. Young Farmers play a generous and active role in our communities across the county, thank you. It was a pleasure to join the AGM, even if it was only by video.

Health Watch Cumbria
5 November 2020

It was fascinating today to meet virtually with members of the public and health professionals who together shared ideas and concerns to improve support for all, especially during the second lockdown. Feedback was welcomed.

Healthwatch Cumbria is there to help people in Cumbria get the best out of local health and social care services by talking and listening to people in every part of Cumbria and then telling local services about people’s experiences.

Maryport – A Great Community in a Stunning Location
28 October 2020

It was a privilege to visit Maryport with Mayor, Peter Kendall.

I enjoyed learning about The Settlement at Castle Hill which is run by volunteers for the benefit of the local community. So many of their groups and activities work to tackle social isolation, but they need more volunteers please. I did not meet any of the groups, but I was delighted to visit their outside accessible gardening project.

I was so impressed to hear about the commitment and achievements of Maryport Sea Cadets. Despite the current pandemic, they have supported young people to achieve 127 hours of sailing time this summer. In fact, Maryport Solway Sea Cadet Unit gives over two thousand hours in volunteer time each year to work with young people. Congratulations and thank you to all involved. Pictured are some of the cadets’ boats.

Another great group of dedicated volunteers is Maryport Inshore Rescue. Their amazing team aim to be launched and on the water within ten minutes of receiving an emergency call out. That is so impressive and makes all the difference in saving lives. A huge thanks to all involved. Maryport Inshore Rescue would welcome more volunteers.

I’m looking forward to returning to Maryport post lockdown to show my family the many interesting sights such as the historic Golden Lion Hotel with its impressive guest list from previous eras (Charles Dickens, William Wordsworth, George Stephenson and more), the wonderful Maryport Aquarium, the picturesque Maryport Marina and have the opportunity to visit together, Senhouse Roman Museum with its 17 Roman altars.

Maryport is a Cumbrian gem with a great community. A fascinating place for a post lockdown family day out! Thank you to all.

Cumbria Police Domestic Abuse Surgery Online
26 October 2020

It was good to see Cumbria Police and many other organisations working to support male victims of domestic abuse. Confidential support is out there. If you, or anyone you know needs support, there are organisations who can help.

Mankind https://www.mankind.org.uk/

Cumbria Police https://www.cumbria.police.uk/home.aspx

Victim Support https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/

Men’s Advice Line https://mensadviceline.org.uk/

Respect https://www.respect.uk.net/

Refuge https://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/help-for-men/

24 October 2020

Ulverston 1

Thank you to Ulverston’s many local businesses which have supported the local community throughout the pandemic.

It was so good to have the opportunity to visit lots of local Ulverston businesses with Mayor, Sharon Webster and acknowledge all their hard work in ensuring people were supported, especially during lockdown. Thanks to all of them. My hometown of Ulverston is a great place to visit and shop local. Not only has it a huge array of community spirited food shops, but it also has gift and special interest shops galore for those special Christmas presents. This is a great year to shop local for Christmas.

Mayor Sharon Webster and I enjoyed a walking tour of Ulverston. This included my first visit to Base Restaurant by Elite Dining at Ford Park. They have the best macaroons I have ever tasted! (Thank you Mark) We also saw the award-winning gin making process at Shed 1 Distillery. (Thank you Zoe and Andy). There’s plenty of interesting stalls in Ulverston Market-Hall, stunning hats by designer, Tracy Wells and some fascinating reads at Sutton Books as well as lots of other great shops.

Great Community Spirit in Aspatria
22 October 2020

I so enjoyed visiting Aspatria with Acting Mayor, Alan Maxwell. Highlights included a visit to Aspatria Dreamscheme with Linda Hunter. What a great community youth project! Linda and Alan introduced me to the lovely volunteers at Aspatria’s Food Pantry who have supported so many people locally during the pandemic. Other highlights were Aspatria Hornets Rugby Club, Aspatria War Memorial Recreation Ground with its newly renovated play area, the town’s new Memorial Garden and a delicious lunch at the old Bank Tearooms. Then I was off to Beacon Hill Community School for an introduction to their amazing, inclusive cycle club with Headteacher, Danny Gee.

Suicide Prevention Leadership Group
20 October 2020

It was a real privilege to meet virtually with Cumbria’s Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, linking with NHS, public and third sector organisations. We discussed the myths and facts surrounding suicide and how everyone can play a part in suicide prevention.

Judges Service, Liverpool Cathedral via live stream.
18 October 2020

I attended the service to mark the beginning of the Legal year virtually. Watch it here.

CCF 21st Annual Showcase Event – Online
15 October 2020

The Stronger Foundations event was fascinating. I particularly enjoyed hearing from food initiative, S.H.I.N.E. (Support, Help in Nourishing Everyone), which was established during the pandemic to support vulnerable people in Brampton, and the inspiring Love Barrow Families who shared their experiences of how their organisations are supporting their local community.

Visit to CAP, Whitehaven
13 October 2020  

St John’s, Hensingham operates a free Debt Advice Service, open to everyone through CAP. There are Christians Against Poverty UK Centres in Eden (Penrith), Carlisle and Copeland (Hensingham). Their experienced teams offer quality debt counselling, budgeting advice, and other support. They work with partners such as Fareshare. Debt affects mental health and relationships and can lead to social isolation, but the good news is that CAP is there to help and they make such a positive difference to people’s lives.

If you know anyone struggling with money, CAP’s phone line is 08003280006.

Cafe West, Whitehaven
13 October 2020

It was a pleasure to meet some of the team from West House and enjoy a delicious lunch at their wonderful Cafe West Whitehaven. West House is a leading care and support provider for adults and children with learning disabilities in West Cumbria. Their vision is for children, young people, and adults with learning and other disabilities in Cumbria to live a fulfilling life, in the way they want and with the support they choose.

Haig Angling Club, Whitehaven
13 October 2020

Haig Angling Club has been busy redeveloping Mirehouse Ponds, Paths and Woodlands in Whitehaven. This has improved accessibility for all as well as drainage of paths, wildlife conservation of the site and visibility for traffic. The club has worked hard, actively encouraging people of all ages to get involved in angling. It was very enjoyable walking round this beautiful site and meeting so many enthusiastic anglers. Thank you to everyone.

Cleator Moor
13 October 2020

It was a great pleasure to meet the team at CAAS (Copeland Age and Advice Service CIC). They have achieved so much in such a short space of time and creatively supported others. I also enjoyed visiting Home to Work to see all the ways they support people and improve the health and well-being of service users. The practical skills people develop there are so valuable.

Cumbria Police HQ, Penrith
12 October 2020

Cumbria Police HQ 1

Thank you to Chief Constable Skeer and the Officers at Cumbria Constabulary for making my visit to Police Headquarters today so informative and interesting.

I enjoyed observing the Firearms Officers from the Force Operational Support Groups undertaking qualification shoots as well as observing the Officers from the Constabulary Police Support Unit undertaking Public Order Training.

6th October 2020

Grange Shed

I have always enjoyed visiting Grange and this week’s tour with Mayor, Cllr Pete Ensor and town clerk, Claire Benbow was another great pleasure. Our walk included a visit to Thornleigh Grange-over-Sands and its beautiful garden. The hotel is kindly allowing the community support group, Grange Fareshare and Grange Over Sands Community Lunch to use its garden.

As always, I enjoyed a walk along the Promenade. We next visited Grange Plant Centre with Abi & Tom. The shrubs and plants available are gorgeous and the team’s knowledge and enthusiasm is clear to see. Thank you to Brian and Glyn for a great introduction to Men in Sheds, a community group supporting its local community. It was good to see how The Victoria Hall has opened to many different groups as a venue enabling social distancing. It is a lovely theatre building.

There are so many more shops and restaurants, exciting projects, community support groups and places to visit in Grange. I also recommend a trip to Grange’s ornamental gardens when you explore all this lovely town has to offer.

3 October 2020

Julie with Penrith Mayor, Councillor Doug Lawson, at The Salvation Army Penrith.

Penrith – Great Shops, Wonderful Community Groups and even a Giant’s Grave

It was a privilege to visit Penrith with Mayor, Councillor Doug Lawson. Everywhere we walked had been turned into beautiful gardens or had cheery pots of flowers on each corner, thanks to Penrith’s community gardeners. No wonder Penrith won Cumbria in Bloom last year and their station has recently been named nationally ‘station of the year.’ From the Musgrave Monument to Great Dockray and the town’s museum, there are lots of places to visit. Our tour included the lovely The Lemon Tree Cafe Bistro Penrith, community-minded Tattie Tim’s (World famous) Baked Potatoes, the stunning, new food store – Chopping Block Penrith, J & J Graham of Penrith, environmentally friendly Another Weigh – Penrith, and The Hedgehog Bookshop, Penrith. In fact, with so many interesting shops I could not resist starting my Christmas shopping really early this year– a first!

Highlights of my tour included meeting Paul Donald from Here and Now , a friendly drop-in group who together help support better mental health, the wonderfully enthusiastic Joan Robinson and her fellow community gardeners who tackle isolation and loneliness whilst transforming the streets into places in bloom and Heather, Alan and Carole from The Salvation Army Penrith. They have been working tremendously hard running a foodbank and a meals on wheels service during lockdown and beyond.

Thank you to Doug, Ros, Carol, and everyone who made my visit such a good day. Good luck with all your projects and do enjoy shopping local.

1 October 2020

Whitehaven Harbour
Beacon Museum
Visit to the Beacon Museum

It was good to visit Copeland today and discuss social inclusion and tackling loneliness. There have been so many groups and organisations across Copeland who have supported others so generously during the pandemic. Thank you to all of them for their great service. Cumbria has such an outstanding community spirit. I met Mike Starkie, Amanda Starr and Jenny Brumby at the fabulous The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven where the views are amazing. Afterwards, I enjoyed a visit to the Whitehaven harbour and a tour of some wonderful local shops.

Kendal Visit Strong in Community Spirit
30 September 2020

Julie visits the People's Cafe, Kendal

It was a pleasure last week to visit Kendal People’s Cafe and learn more about their valuable Waste Into Wellbeing project and how they have supported so many people during the pandemic. I enjoyed visiting the Mayor’s Charity Space2Create who help transform people’s mental health through involvement in art and creative activity in the community. Another highlight was a visit to Age UK South Lakeland. They dynamically support so many people (not just the elderly) and help to tackle social isolation and loneliness across the area. I also enjoyed visiting Stricklandgate House, a great centre for so many voluntary organisations in South Lakeland. Thank you to Mayor, Alvin Finch and everyone involved for such an interesting visit. Good luck with all your future community projects.

Kendal – Shop Local
30 September 2020

A visit to Herdy UK
Kendal Joeys
Enjoying a cup of tea at Joey's Cafe

I had a fantastic visit to Kendal last week, and was kindly shown around by Mayor Alvin Finch.

Kendal has some great shops, restaurants and businesses. Firstly I met with Miriam at The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, toured their beautiful, newly renovated restaurant and saw how they are adapting to the challenges brought about by the current pandemic. Our Kendal tour included a visit to Joey’s Café for a great cup of tea and a warm welcome at both Farrers Cafe and Kendal’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Fleece Inn – Kendal.

Another highlight of the tour was Herdy UK, the flagship store that celebrates the iconic Cumbrian Herdwick sheep and has some beautiful and innovative gifts for Christmas.

I enjoyed a visit to Waterstones with local author Simon Kurt Unsworth, and a trip to Penningtons Spirits & Liqueurs to find out about their award winning local gins and liqueurs.

Whilst Kendal has great shopping, my tour was a blend of business, community and history. Thank you to town crier, John Bateson for his fascinating historical walking tour and to Alvin for spotting an otter in the River Kent, right in the centre of Kendal.

It was really interesting to spend time finding out about Kendal’s ground breaking Citizen’s Jury and how it aims to improve the town and the lives of the people who live there.

Outside-In, Kendal
30 September 2020

Julie exploring Outside-In play centre

Exploring the new play centre at Outside-In, in Kendal with Annie and her mum, Mhairi was great fun. Luckily I wasn’t wearing an ostrich feather hat when I went down the slide!

The play area is so imaginative, safe and interactive, an inclusive place where friends can be made. The centre also plans to offer children’s art workshops. Good luck to everyone for its reopening very soon.

Outside-In is family focused but also caring for the wider community with the first fully accessible changing places facilities in Kendal. Its accessible toilet, trackable hoist and full adult-sized changing table are available to the public – a great asset!

The volunteers at Outside-In provided excellent support within the community during lockdown. Thank you to them all.

Kendal – Charity Visit to Space2Create
30 September 2020

It was great to see the valuable work of Space2Create in Kendal in action today. Their support online during lockdown and now in person is so helpful in improving mental health. Their creative artwork is great and their support for others so vital.

29 September 2020

Community Theatre at The John Peel Theatre, Wigton

I enjoyed a tour of Wigton’s lovely community theatre and finding out about its theatre skills classes, how the group has delivered affordable and accessible live theatre, their regular open mic sessions (now adapted to online) and plans for the future. Dennis, Connie, Aaron and the other members of this community theatre group are so committed, hard working and enthusiastic and are looking forward to more great productions.

29 September 2020

Bowness-on-Solway has been a fantastic example of community support and generosity.

Bowness on Solway Community Group has coordinated an outstanding support network during the pandemic. Listening to Samantha enthusiastically share stories of kindness, buddy systems and the baking of huge quantities of scones was really good.

I also got chance to visit the parish’s amazing new skiff – a five crew boat built and run by local volunteers. It’s a real parish community effort.

The English can now re-enact with their Scottish neighbours the sailing across and stealing of church bells which originally took place in 1626. I’m hoping as High Sheriff that nowadays, this will be without taking any bells!

Caldbeck - Visit to Northern Fells Group
29 September 2020

I very much enjoyed meeting the hard working team from Northern Fells Group, a community owned, volunteer led charity which supports those who are socially isolated or in need of a little help in one of Cumbria’s most isolated areas. With only 4,200 residents across a 200 square mile area, the charity does an amazing job with its ‘lend a hand’ service, newsletter, minibus, villages agents, Men in Sheds Group, play schemes and many other social inclusion events including virtual art classes. This dementia friendly community is so inspiring.

Watchtree Nature Reserve
29 September 2020

Cycling around Watchtree nature reserve

Watchtree is a 205 acre fully accessible nature reserve situated on the Solway Plain, 6 miles south west of Carlisle, powered by its members and volunteers. It’s a wonderfully special, inclusive place where there’s a bike for everyone. What could be nicer on a sunny day than cycling round Watchtree? Well may be cycling round in the right shoes! Nothing could reduce my enjoyment however, as it’s a fantastic place open every day.

Thank you to Ryan and everyone at Watchtree.

29 September 2020

Building campfires with 1st Wigton Baden-Powell Scouts

Spending time yesterday with Beavers and Cubs from 1st Wigton Baden-Powell Scouts on a sunny evening in woodland round a camp fire was a pleasure. The group, led by Julie Bryceson gave me a tour of their beautiful piece of woodland, 2 acres in size, on the edge of Wigton for use by Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

The woodland is used to accommodate the ever-growing number of children in its group and allow them to offer many outdoor activities, in a safe environment.

The Scouts are grateful to Cumbria Community Foundation for helping them access funding from the Joyce Wilkinson Trust to help them buy the woodland.

Thank you for welcoming me to such a special place and as the Cubs say, BRAVO.

25 September 2020

Julie pictured with Town BID Manager, Colin Garnett
Dock Museum
Socially distanced selfies from the Dock Museum

It was great to visit Barrow-in-Furness town centre on Friday with Barrow Mayor, Kevin Hamilton and Town BID Manager, Colin Garnett. Barrow’s Town Hall must be one of the most fascinating town halls in the country. It was also really enjoyable to visit the busy Barrow Indoor Market, as well as The Owl Sanctuary and Furness Home Interiors in its new shop. I can recommend the cafe at The Forum. No visit to Barrow should miss out The Dock Museum with its great play area and fabulous boat models. Thank you to everyone for a very enjoyable tour.

25 September 2020

Julie pictured with Dalton Mayor Nick Perie

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Dalton yesterday with Dalton Mayor, Nick Perie. I know Dalton well and always enjoy visiting, but it was good to meet with so many great businesses as well as with individuals who have supported others during the pandemic. It was a pleasure to meet Lee from The Co-Op Dalton In Furness and hear how supportive of the community they have been. I was pleased to meet Revd Canon Ruth Crossley from St Mary’s Church, Dalton-in-Furness who with other volunteers has provided excellent support by setting up a food hub during the Covid-19 Crisis. The Hub has been grateful for support from the Covid-19 fund from Cumbria Community Foundation and Dalton Community Action has also supported local people so well.

Dalton has some great local businesses including; Flowers by Aimee, Rig Out. Quality SchoolwearSherie’s Fruit and Veg, Nicha’s Thai Kitchen, The Full Octave, and the Chocolateroombyanthony with the most delicious homemade chocolates. No wonder a colleague of mine, always refers to Dalton as ‘God’s Green Acre.’ It’s a lovely place to visit. Thank you to everyone for such a warm welcome.

22 September 2020

I was so fortunate to visit Keswick with Mayor, Paul Titley and meet the most amazing group of people from Keswick’s businesses and from Keswick Community Emergency Recovery Partnership.

I can highly recommend a visit to Chinty’s Eco Café for its relaxed welcome and great menu, Friars with its fantastic homemade chocolates (the vegan truffles are delicious), Fultons Lakes Jewellery Works where Master Goldsmith, Brian Fulton makes stunning bespoke jewellery for special occasions, Hope Park Games and Cafe to enjoy a cuppa on their patio, Laura in the Lakes for amazing pies and cakes, Northern Lights Gallery for its solo exhibition of Alan Stones’ lithographs and original work by various artists, and to the beautiful Fitz Park to meet park keeper, Christine.

Thank you, to Keswick’s Mayor Paul and to Chinty from Chinty’s Eco Cafe, Richard from Ye Olde Friars of Keswick, Brian, Zoe and Karen from Fulton Jewellery, Stuart, Helen and Kimberley from Keswick Community Emergency Recovery Partnership, Laura from Laura in the Lakes, Tim from Northern Lights Gallery, and Christine from Fitz Park for making me very welcome and my day so fascinating. As a walker I can be drawn to look at waterproofs and socks in Keswick’s many excellent outdoor shops, but today I discovered so many other shopping gems.

There is a very special community spirit in Keswick. The community has responded so well to support others during the pandemic.

21 September 2020

Caption to go here

Congratulations to Lacey and Orion O’Neill – this year’s fantastic recipients of Cumbria Scouts High Sheriff Shield awarded for their outstanding contribution.

I was so pleased to present Lacey and Orion with their award in Whitehaven. They have worked so hard to support others during the pandemic by making over a thousand packs of PPE and by fundraising for excellent causes. They so strongly reflect the scouting value of Care.

I also enjoyed attending Cumbria Scouts AGM virtually this week. Cumbria Scouts have been so proactive and creative in adapting their ways of operating to continue to support young people in their personal development during lockdown. Thank you to the 700 Scout Leaders across Cumbria who have worked hard and not given up. Scouting offers young people so much and I encourage young people to join 3000 Cumbrian Scouts and ‘do more, share more, be more!’

Grow Well, West Cumbria
21 September 2020

Grow Well Gardener
Vulcan Park community garden
Julie picture with Workington’s Mayor, Janet King, Reverend Peter Powell and Patrick Leonard.

I enjoyed visiting the team from Grow Well in Workington. There was even time to enjoy the vegetables, and flowers and to get an entertaining lesson in natural composting from volunteer, Patrick.

Grow Well’s trusted volunteers provide garden maintenance and restoration to those unable to do this for themselves. They support others to enjoy their own gardens again. They are looking for more volunteers. If you can help, please contact them. Their community garden in Vulcan Park is lovely. 

Visit to Workington
21 September 2020

Julie with Canon John Watson and Miss Jacky Kennedy, headteacher of St Joseph’s Community High School.

It was a pleasure to attend Mass today at Our Lady’s and St Michael’s Church in Workington. This is a church I know well but have never visited in person until today, as I enjoyed attending their livestream services during lockdown.


St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Workington
21 September 2020

Julie with Sandra and her team.

Thank you to headteacher Miss Kennedy and all the staff and pupils for welcoming me today. I enjoyed a tour of your school and particularly liked meeting the pupils and seeing progress being made on your fantastic Creative Media Hub which will enhance both their GCSE Photography and Year 9 Media Studies with access to the latest technology.

It was also a pleasure to meet Sandra Spedding and her team who have provided so many food parcels during lockdown. St Joseph’s received a High Sheriff Special Recognition Certificate this summer for their excellent community support activities. 

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

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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