News & Events 2020/2021

Heron Corn Mill
16th 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
2nd 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
30th 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.

Please note that nomination forms can still be submitted up until 31st July 2020. Click here to download a form.


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

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

Ulverston Self Isolation Group
25 June 2020

Julie assisting Ulverston Self Isolation Group as they distribute sweet boxes

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

Kirksanton Village Hall & Millom Network Centre
23 June 2020

Kirksanton Village Hall

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

Millom Network Centre

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

Millom Recreation Centre
22 June 2020

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

Killington Sailing Association
19 June 2020

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

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

Border TV
18 June 2020

Julie speaks to Matthew Taylor from ITV Border

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

Cockermouth Linking Lives
11 June 2020

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

Find out more using the links below.

Linking Lives Facebook here. 

Cockermouth Cumbria Facebook here.

Cumbria Churches Together Facebook here. 

News and Star Facebook here

Spring Mount Walney and Walney Community Trust
10 June 2020

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

Visit to Grange Community Food Store
6 June 2020

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

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

Congratulations to Carlisle Street Pastors
5 June 2020

Julie with cakes she has baked
Homemade celebration cakes

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

 1st June 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Arnside Sailing Club
22 May 2020

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

Heron Corn Mill
19 May 2020

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

Great Community Spirit in Kirkby Stephen
14 and 15 May 2020

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

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

13 May 2020

The Lighthouse, Kendal

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

Find out more here.  

Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team

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

Light Up Lives – Grange over Sands
12 May 2020

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

VE Day Celebrations in Lockdown
8 May 2020

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

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

Read more from the local press here

View VE Day Facebook video here. 

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

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

Read more from the local press here. 

Barrow and District Third Sector
4 May 2020

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

Caldbeck, Aspatria and Wigton
28 April 2020

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

Bay Trust Radio
25 April 2020

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

Longtown and Westlinton
21 April 2020

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


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

Barrow Foodbank Food Challenge Video
20 April 2020

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

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

Cumbria Girlguiding Virtual Guide Camp
19 April 2020

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

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

Visit the Girlguiding Cumbria South Facebook page. 

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

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

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

Read more about the appeal here

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

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

Listen now. (1:02:48)

Installation of High Sheriff of Cumbria
March 2020

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

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

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

Click here to read more about my virtual installation ceremony.

Meet Cumbria's New High Sheriff
March 2020

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

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

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

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

Read the local press article here. 

A Tour of Carlisle and Eden with Cumbria Community Foundation

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

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

To find out more visit and and and