Young engineers and people caring unpaid for loved ones are among the beneficiaries of more than £360,000 awarded to deserving causes across Cumbria.

Thirty-nine groups are to share the windfall following the recent Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) grants panel.

The money is from charitable funds set up by the likes of Kendal-based homebuilder Russell Armer, the Cumberland Building Society and Westmorland Ltd, which runs Tebay Services and Rheged visitor centre.

The funds are administered by CCF.

Twenty thousand pounds has been awarded to Appleby Training and Heritage Centre towards vocational courses for young people.

In converted railway carriages at the town's Station Yard, apprenticeships in engineering, motor vehicle and business admin are offered.

Centre manager Mandy Morland said: “We had a demand for local school leavers to access their full-time education through the centre, which we can now provide thanks to the funding and ensure young people fulfil their further education choices.

"We also wanted to expand our offering to students in Year 10 to access vocational courses out of school and this will now allow us to do that. Our facilities are well equipped. Students benefit from small class sizes and the unique setting of converted railway carriages adds to the inviting experience.”

The £20,000 grant is from the Westmorland Family Community Fund.

Meanwhile, Carer Support South Lakes, based at Stricklandgate House, in Kendal. has been given £1,000 towards teaching practical skills, such as household tasks, budgeting, sorting insurance and a Lasting Power of Attorney, and end-of-life care such as organising a funeral and applying for probate.

Mike Seaton, the charity's chief executive officer, said: “The aim is to help carers manage the here and now as well as preparing for life after caring, ensuring things are in place before they are needed.” The money was given by the Johnson Fund.

Grants have also been awarded to groups such as Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service, Glenridding Public Hall, Kirkby Stephen Junior FC, Lower Allithwaite Parish Council, Kendal-based homeless charity Manna House, NSPCC Cumbria and the South Lakeland Hydrotherapy Trust, which runs Sandgate Pool in Kendal.

Ellen Clements, grants and donor services officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “There are many worthy organisations around the county that hold communities together and continue to support the needs of local people.

"We are ever grateful to the generosity of our fundholders to enable us to support these vital services, especially during times when local services are under pressure and struggling to meet local needs.”

The closing date for the next main grants panel is December 20, 2019, with the panel to meet on January 21, 2020.