Ambleside Parish Centre provided and delivered a total of 2,368 hot lunches during lockdown between April up until the end of June, to anyone vulnerable, in need or self-isolating. The service ends on Friday July 17, and included weekday lunches prepared in Windermere School kitchens and delivered by volunteers as well as soup lunches from Kysty’s café at weekends. Funding to provide free or subsidised meals was made possible through generous local donors and a grant from the Prince’s Countryside Fund.

The Parish Centre, hub for all Covid-19 voluntary services, closes completely on Monday July 20 for one week. From Monday July 27 the Centre will open only on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am-1pm for the Foodbank and remains closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays throughout August. The Centre hopes to re-open in September with some alterations for usual activities.

Learning Plus have restarted their English Language classes for non-English speakers on Thursdays, 5.30-7.30 pm, upstairs at Ambleside Library, although the Library itself remains closed for general lending.


Discussions will be taking place tomorrow morning (August 7) at White Platts between Lakes Parish Council, Cumbria CC Highways and SLDC on how best to enable safer social distancing for pedestrians along narrow pavements outside shops in the centre of Ambleside. Original proposals by SLDC and Cumbria County Council to take out on-street parking spaces in Compston Road and Lake Road and convert them into extra pedestrian space were objected to by a strong majority of members and rejected by many local businesses, but enthusiastically supported by a number of residents. Parish Clerk Michael Johnson said this had resulted in a huge conflicting post bag, and SLDC decided not to do anything until local representatives could form a consensus.

Tomorrow’s discussion meeting will take place between Lakes Parish ward members, SLDC Councillors Malcolm Lamb and Vicky Hughes and County Coun Will Clark to try and agree a way forward. Mr Johnson said that both SLDC and CCC were aware of all the differing views and thought this might be the best way forward: “The purpose of the meeting is so that Ambleside councillors can sort out what is acceptable to the local community and what is not and report back to SLDC, before they then discuss with the County what can actually be done,” he said. The idea of converting parking spaces and bays into extra pavement space was part of SLDC’s initiative to encourage local people and visitors to feel safe and confident while enjoying what local towns have to offer. Lakes PC councillors fully supported the introduction of a 20mph speed limit through Ambleside.

However, opinions were divided about the proposed removal of the short-term parking spaces used particularly by older and infirm residents from outlying areas of Lakes parish including Langdale, Rydal and Troutbeck to access essential food shops and chemists. Using Rydal Road car park would involve accessing shops walking along crowded pavements on either side of the A591 which are even narrower than Compston Road pavements and make social distancing virtually impossible. Other UK towns with similar problems have resorted to one-way pavement systems and street marshals to promote social distancing.

SLDC agreed to adopt a new pavement licencing policy valid until the end of September next year, giving food and drink businesses the right to apply for a temporary licence to locate counters or stalls selling food or drink on pavements, as well as tables, chairs and benches, umbrellas, barriers, heaters and other items used in outdoor eating and drinking. All pavement furniture has to be removed each night. CC Highways and police will be consulted over all applications, and SLDC will notify parish and town councils so they can register objections or support during the 5- working days consultation period. If no determination is made within ten days, the licence will be automatically granted.

SLDC has set up a third consultation about the proposed removal of local BT Payphones, after the first was delayed and the pandemic interrupted the last consultation. Those under threat are at Skelwith Bridge, with an average of 0 calls a month; Red Lion Square Grasmere (3 calls); Swan Hotel, Grasmere (5) and the following Ambleside payphones at Blue Hill Road, (0); Kelsick Road, (17); Waterhead, (1); and Clappersgate, (0). Consultation notices are displayed on each payphone and anyone who already submitted a response during the two earlier consultations and who still shares the same views on any payphone listed is asked to state this in their latest response and the same comments can be used again. Your response here Include which should be removed or retained and why, or if any interest in adopting the kiosk, see The consultation ends on October 18 2020 and SLDC will include all comments in its final response to BT. Councillors previously supported retaining all payphones in case of emergency or limited/no mobile access.

Parish Centre praised

Ambleside Parish Centre received two special accolades this week. The High Sheriff of Cumbria, Julie Barton, honoured it with a Special Recognition Award for an outstanding contribution to the community during the difficult circumstances brought about by Covid19. The citation read: “Together you have provided support communications, reassurance and lots of assistance to local people, especially the vulnerable. Your active service has made such a positive difference to the lives of many local people.” Thanking all those involved, Centre Manager Caroline Gunning said: “This recognition is a real testament to the way the community has come together, rapidly finding practical solutions to support businesses and individuals alike. The dedication and commitment of over 100 volunteers has enabled us to provide a range of support throughout the community.”

The Centre and its volunteers also received a congratulatory letter from Claire Hensman, Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, praising it for “providing outstanding support for vulnerable people…the Centre is setting a wonderful example”. Centre staff attended the Lord Lieutenant’s reception in February as runners-up for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, for which they had been shortlisted.

Lakes Parish Council’s decision to keep its public toilets open won special praise during lockdown for those on essential journeys, and even more now, as lockdown is easing and shops and businesses gradually re-open but are not yet offering toilet facilities. One visitor was so impressed, she congratulated Lakes Parish Council in an email for “having these toilets open, and also for the sanitizer on the outside and for the soap, water and toilet paper provided. Your Council is one of the few being sensible about this issue – you put others to shame…” Lakes Parish Council’s decision was contrary to others in the immediate area, and Clerk Michael Johnson praised his Council for their decision: “The foresight the Council had in enabling contactless entry combined with the professionalism of our cleaning team proved invaluable in being able to keep our toilets open. Other positive feedback has also been received from Lake District National Park employees out in the district, and as well as people with medical needs. I am very pleased we were able to help.”


From now on Stagecoach buses will not be offering change, so passengers are asked preferably to pay by card, or to have the correct fare. Any money not given in change will be donated to NHS Charities Together. A new summer timetable operates from June 8 with more frequent services, with further additions to the timetable in July.

A) Community hubs for telephone support / volunteer recruitment
Ambleside Parish Centre Team 015394 34172 Mon to Thurs 10:00am until 2:00pm, or
Grasmere; Nicola and team 077250 57153.
Langdales/Skelwith Bridge/Coniston; Fiona and Ollie 015394 41812
Hawkshead; John Dixon and Team 0772 9628 306.
Rydal; Andrew 07919 336313
NHS Volunteer Responders, delivered by RVS. Call 0808 196 3646 or visit Can offer support to those struggling with being in Self Isolation.

B) Health Centre/Pharmacies/Feet/Dentists/Vets/Animals

Central Lakes Medical Group 015394 32693. If you have COVID 19 Symptoms please phone first.
Thomas Bell Pharmacy. 015394 33345 or 07835 825719. Volunteer delivery drivers in place. Safe space for accessing help around Domestic Abuse, and can issue emergency contraception in a confidential environment.
Boots the Chemist 015394 33355.  Have a Safe Space for accessing help around Domestic Abuse.
Grasmere Pharmacy 015394 35553. Volunteer delivery drivers in place.
Lakeland Footcare. Becky will be offering an emergency appointment system for clients at Ambleside Parish Centre on a Thursdays between 10:00 am and 2:00pm. Tel to book on 01229778858.
Oakhill Veterinary Group 015394 32631. Will deliver animal medicine and animal food products, volunteer driver in place.

If you have to go in to hospital and are worried about your pets;
Cinnamon Trust 01736 757900
The Dogs Trust 015949 5518

If you need help with walking your dog, contact your nearest community hub where volunteers are available, willing and able to help.
Let your cats out as usual.

D) Online local Exercise Providers

The free Age UK chair-based exercise session runs on Fridays, 11am, on Zoom, contact or 07743 046667.

Lou Beetham (Fully qualified Fitness Pilates and Level 3 Mat Pilates Instructor based in Ambleside). Mon 10.30am Beginners Pilates, 10.30am Wed Mat Pilates, 10.30am Fri Fitness Pilates. Via Facebook Live and Zoom. Contact 07835090003, Free.
Ursula Brendling, info at 25 Years’ Experience as a professional fitness Instructor based in Ambleside. Zoom/ Skype classes available, contact, tel 07743 046667. Will be offering her Age UK chair based exercise session every Friday via Zoom at 11:00am, free. Also offering a Zoom class for all runners on Tues at 6pm for 30 mins, £4 with a donation to the NHS.
Libby Dixon, fully qualified Pilates Instructor, based in Grasmere. Zoom online classes available, free or for a small donation. Help maximise mobility, movement every day flexibility, suppleness and strength. Contact Libby
Emma Robinson, Fit District, Ambleside. Dance background, and Classes available via Zoom for Zumba, legs and bums, HIIT. £4 per session. Contact 07393207801
Sight Advice South Lakes
Daily classes for those with visual impairment on Zoom
Mon 11:00 am Talking Newspaper
Tues 2:00 pm Poetry Reading
Wed 10:00 am Tech Know How with Sight and Sound
Thurs 10:00am Ask Sight Advice Virtual Drop In
Fri 10:00 am Quiz, coffee morning.
Contact them direct on 01539 769055 for information on all things visual impairment related.

All Together Now/ AWAZ International Community Events, for non-English speakers and overseas workers.
Fridays 10:30am, International Story Group. Open to all via Zoom.
Tues 4-5pm All Together Now Kitchen Garden Group. Zoom sessions on window box planting using what you have, e.g. carrot tops, sprouting beans etc. Planting demo’s alternating with cooking demos. Also virtual garden tours. Zoom.
Wed 1:00pm to 3pm Dip In and Out International Community Hub. Speakers via Facebook page.
For more information, advice and support contact Gale Chen at, tel 07724 251821.

E) Building Society and Post Office Opening times.

Cumberland Building Society, Open in Ambleside from 10am until 2pm every Wednesday. Customers are advised to check online for any subsequent changes.
Furness Building Society 015394 82550 Ambleside branch closed.
Ambleside Post office 015394 34780. Open Mon, Wed and Fri, 9-12.30.
Outreach Post Offices;
Chapel Stile Mon and Wed 9-10:00am.
Troutbeck Mon and Wed 11-12:00. Noon.
Grasmere Post Office, Tel 015394 35475. 1-4pm Mon, Wed & Fri.

Parish Council/ South Lakeland District Council
Lakes Parish; All meetings in Abeyance until further notice.
Details of Parish councillors on
Michael Johnson draws attention to the National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ), who have set up a new email reporting site for suspicious emails, just forward them to . Phishing is not a harmless riverbank pursuit. When criminals go phishing, you are the bait. NEVER CLICK ON A SUSPICIOUS LINK, AND NEVER GIVE YOUR BANK DETAILS TO ANYONE. IF THEY SAY THEY ARE YOUR BANK, AND IT’S URGENT, HANG UP, WAIT 20 MINS, AND RING YOUR BANK DIRECT, ON ANOTHER PHONE IF YOU HAVE ONE.
Skelwith Bridge;

SLDC has now resumed the green bin waste collection, one bin per household per month. Please put your bin out on the day listed on your calendar. To keep the Refuse Collection Teams safe, the service will be operated by only 2 drivers, so will take longer. If your bin is not collected this time, it will be done on your next scheduled day. For more info contact SLDC Communications Team on 01539 793300.

Power cuts
Join Electricity North West’s Priority Register (PSR) now to access the extra support which is available to vulnerable people if there is a power cut. Tel 105, or go online

Gas Leaks
0800 111 999

Water Supply Issues
United Utilities 0345 672 3723,

County Council

Cumbria County Council
0800 7831966
For use in an emergency for those over 70, pregnant women, and those who are at risk of serious illness from COVID 19, and who do not have any other support available from Friends, Family or Neighbours.

From May 12th The Household Waste Recycling Centres including Rothay Holme have re-opened to domestic users. Restrictions will be in place, and the service will only be for items which cannot be stored safely at home. For more information, contact Tel 01228 22100 226601.

I ) Hospital Transport

North West Ambulance Service Patient Transport, (tel 01228 403031, cancer/dialysis 01228 406064.)
For those who do not qualify for the above, but who still need to get to hospital, contact Cumbria County Councils Transport Service Team, 0333 2406965 (option 5) or email, who will forward details to the appropriate district Hub to arrange transport to hospital using CCC Transport Operational Team (CTOT) who usually do the school and older person transport.
Community Grant for Transport to Medical Appointments. This fund DOES NOT OFFER DRIVERS/TRANSPORT, but can offer a small grant towards the costs of getting to hospital for treatment. One grant per person per month if you live in in a qualifying area. Contact Juliet on Available whilst funds last.

J) Mental Health/ Safeguarding

Cruse Bereavement Care adults and children 0844 477 9400 & 0300 600 3434
Child Bereavement UK 0800 0288840 Suicide prevention.
Dignity in Dementia. Accepting calls from anyone living with Dementia/ memory changes, and those they live with. Contact Diane on 07771 682378.
Domestic Abuse If in immediate danger dial 999.
If facing homelessness through Domestic Abuse, Contact South Lakeland District Council Homelessness Dept. 01539 733333 01539 72671 Domestic Abuse support for Females
Womens Aid Domestic Abuse support for women.
For children living with Domestic Abuse support available from
ManKind support for men living with Domestic Abuse 01823 334244 0808 8010327 support for men living with Domestic Abuse.
The Samaritans tel 116 123 anytime, day or night.

Contact Ambleside Parish Centre for current availability and opening times. Normally Tues and Thursdays 11am until 1pm. Sanitary, baby and GF products available.

Ambleside’s Foodbank on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11am-1pm, is now able to offer baby products, female sanitary items, and GF foods thanks to extra donations, with home delivery for those unable to collect.

Those struggling with self-isolation can contact NHS volunteer responders on 0808 196 3646 or visit

Other information:

Ambleside’s international group for non-English workers, All Together Now/AWAZ , meets on Zoom on Fridays, 10.30am for International Story Group and Tuesdays 4-5pm, for the Kitchen Garden Group, with alternate demos on planting and cooking. Each Wednesdays 1-3pm, Dip In and Out international community hub takes place. Information, advice and support from or phone 07724 251821.


People have commented favourably that St Mary’s Church has kept the grass cut in the churchyard, by means of a special grass-cutting budget put aside for 2020, which will continue until funds run out. However, the Rector, the Revd Beverley Lock said that in line with other charities during the coronavirus, funds are limited due to loss of income: “While the community’s plans to raise funds to help pay for grass cutting and maintenance of the graveyard have had to be put on hold – plus the fact that Community Services workforce can’t work either, in such difficult times financially the church will be unable to maintain this present level of grass cutting indefinitely. However, the church hopes that this temporary approach will see it through until the community can come back together to help fund the care of the graveyard.”

Lakes Parish public conveniences remain open, contactless card payments only.

Trading Standards have warned Cumbrians, especially the housebound, to guard against cold callers and be extra vigilant of threats posed by telephone scammers.

These callers may target increasing numbers of people at home as a result of the spread of Coronavirus. Scams could include bogus health products, offers to check for coronavirus in your home and false claims about a new government tax refund programme. The County’s Trading Standards Authority urged people to speak to elderly and most vulnerable neighbours warning them about the potential risk. People self-isolating are warned never to hand over their bank or credit card or PIN number to anyone who offers to do their shopping.



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