A NUMBER of Cumbrian charities are delighted to benefit from money granted by the Gannett Foundation.

Carlisle Mencap have been awarded £4,360 to purchase sensory equipment for working with people with learning difficulties.

A spokeswoman for Mencap said: "We are delighted to receive this substantial gift from the Gannett Foundation. This will be used for sensory equipment and toys to support children and adults with complex disability and anxiety. A gift like this will really enhance the lives of this very vulnerable group of people. The fact the equipment will be portable means we can take it to where it is most need. A financial gift like this is a great boon in these difficult times for charities like who ours who are affected by austerity."

Hospice at Home, West Cumbria will use the £8,710 grant towards internal alterations to the ground floor to create a drop-in hub for parents and families to receive support and information.

CEO, Julie Monk, said: "We are absolutely delighted that The Gannett Foundation will be making such a generous grant towards the refurbishment of the ground floor of our therapy centre on Finkle Street in Workington. This funding will help us to re-model the space and create a drop-in hub for patients and their families so they can receive support, and for members of the public to visit and learn more about Hospice at Home West Cumbria."

Every year Newsquest Media Group support charitable community projects all over the country. The awards are made through the Gannett Foundation UK. Decision are made entirely on merit and the extend to which the trustees think an awards will deliver a real and lasting practical benefit to the communities served by those print and online services.

Sight Advice South Lakes, based in Kendal, helps blind and visually impaired people across the South Lakes region. The Gannett Foundation granted the charity with more than £2,000.

Sight Advice South Lakes, which was formed in 1956, will use the funds to buy a Synapptic TV Box and an Orcam My Eye for use in its resource centre.

Tynedale Talking Newspaper in Hexham are "really pleased" to have been granted £1,140 that will purchase memory stick players at the charity that provides access to audible newspapers for the blind and partially sighted.

Dr Tony Newton, the organisation's chairman, said: "I am really pleased on behalf of the talking newspaper with this wonderful grant from Gannett Foundation which will help us bring the spoken version of the Hexham Courant to as many visually impaired listeners as possible.

"We are currently upgrading the free loan service of MP3 players to our listeners and this grant is a major contribution to that upgrade process."

Chairman of the trustees, Simon Westrop, said: "It really is a pleasure for us to find and help people who are giving up their own free time to help others in inventive ways that answer very specific local needs in the community, because this is where our newspapers are too and we want to support what is good about the places we live in and make them even better if we can."