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Ambleside Parish Centre continues to be the hub for volunteers and those needing support. The phone number is 015394 34172 and calls will be answered between 10am – 2pm, Monday to Thursday. However, the Centre remains closed to the public, except for foodbank opening times on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11am – 1pm, when people will be able to access the foodbank, as well as swap and share books, DVDs and jigsaws. The Centre is operating a ‘one in, one out  system so people may have to queue outside at busy times. Juliet Cunningham, Community Liaison officer, has been contacting local businesses to help work with them in coordinating volunteers and she has arranged for two volunteer community drivers to do home deliveries for Bells Chemists, rather than lots of volunteers accessing the pharmacy. She hopes to expand this service to other independent retailers in the town, so people can continue to support local businesses.

With just over a week to go before Easter, the Centre has launched a new Easter Creative Competition, with categories for all ages – under 10s, under 18s, family/team and grown-ups.  People are asked to come up with a colourful and creative image for Easter which could involve crafts, or making an Easter bonnet or writing a poem, to display in their front garden or a window.  Community volunteers will be looking out for entries and the winners will be announced on Easter Saturday, April 11.  Those living outside the centre of Ambleside can email pictures of their creations to indicating which category they wish to enter.  Details will be emailed out to the community and on the Parish Centre’s Facebook page.

Centre Manager Caroline Gunning this week thanked over 80 volunteers from the community who have come forward to offer their services to help in many different ways. “Some have yet to be called upon, but as word spreads of the help available and as the need for support in the community changes, all volunteers will be called upon. The community is working well together, with many groups collaborating to provide a telephone befriending service. People can register as a self-isolater or vulnerable person with us – but not necessarily need anything right now. But, as and if a need arises, we will have them logged on the system. People can register themselves or someone else.”

People are also being encouraged to check fire and smoke alarms, as well as their personal call alarms and are being signposted to join Electricity North West’s Priority Service Register (PSR) now, to access the extra support that is available to vulnerable people if there is a power cut.  To register go online

Pupils at Ambleside Primary School created some bright and jolly pictures with messages of hope and kindness , which will be distributed round the village by Parish Centre volunteers.

A new Cumbria County Council Freephone emergency telephone support line is also available for anyone in need, on 0800 783 1966, Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm, and 10am-2pm on Saturdays and Sundays,  or email

The service also accepts referrals from the public who are concerned about people in their area.



As the country faces Coronavirus, people living in the Ambleside area can offer up a collective prayer from wherever they are at 9.15am each morning. Team Rector Revd Beverley Lock said that if prayer is not their thing, people could spend a few moments of reflection instead: “The idea is that all who can, at the same time, stop for a couple of minutes together and reach out of themselves to each other. People may not be able to meet physically but can join their thoughts and prayers together so nobody needs feel that they are alone,” she said.

St. Mary’s Church will continue to be open for private prayer and reflection during daylight hours. There will be some prayers to pick up at the back of church to help guide reflections. Prayer requests can be left on cards on the window sill which will be collected and prayed for as usual on a Wednesday.

Lakes Parish Council’s office upstairs in Ambleside Library will now open on Fridays only for the time being from 10am-5pm, and there will be no council meetings until at least May 6. Throughout this period, the Clerk Michael Johnson will respond to any Parish issues, phone 07706 847112 or 015394 31656, or email


Lakes Parish public conveniences will remain open, which is important now that pubs, cafes and hotels are closed, with no access to their loos. Lakes Parish Council’s contract cleaners  are undertaking additional deep cleaning of the Council’s toilets, and as from next Monday, March 30, the toilets at Rydal Road car park, the Mechanics Institute in Cheapside and the Moss Parrock toilets at Grasmere will take contactless card payment only, and all coin slots will be sealed, with notices informing the public. In line with Government regulations, White Platts recreation area in Ambleside will remain closed, with contractors maintaining the site.

Ambleside Parish Centre manager Caroline Gunning is in the process of sourcing dwarf and standard sunflower seeds to give out to children and anyone else who wants to get involved. If everyone plants and grows a bright sunflower, the community will be awash with colourful cheery flowers. The Centre has also asked for people to make bunting triangles , whether they be painted, patchwork, drawings or silk paintings. They will be hung across Loughrigg Hall as bunting and then, when the corona virus is over, the Centre will host a series of community events so that people can come and see the colourful creations. With the closures of many accommodation providers and hospitality venues, the Centre has received many donations of food that it has been able to share between the foodbank, community and those in need. Some lucky local people also received hampers from the National Trust after they closed their cafes and gift shops. From next Monday, the Centre will only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am-1pm for the food bank. Staff will be working from home where they will co-ordinate and deliver telephone support and develop resources to help people, as needs change in the community. Email or go on the Facebook page.

Due to the impact of Coronavirus, the Constabulary’s methods of operation are changing to support the increased demand on its resources. This means police will not be represented at any town or parish council meeting, and they have also stopped producing a police report of recent crimes and incidents because officers are deployed to other priorities in accordance with Government instructions. However, Sgt Johnston reassured Lakes Parish that police patrols will be available to attend 999 emergency calls and 101 non-emergency calls within local communities and will remain on patrol as a visible reassurance during this pandemic. Police have also requested that councils use their community newsletters or web pages to reinforce the Government message of social distancing in an effort to control the virus, and councils are also asked to ensure that local cafes, bars and pubs remain closed in accordance with the latest Government guidance, as it is only by working together that  Covid-19 will be beaten and let everyone return to their normal lives again.

The Lake District National Park car park at Waterhead was one of many throughout the area which closed recently, with car park machines signed to say that they were closed and people must stay at home. Commercial Property Manager Simon Hill said that he would not be barricading any car parks because some of them might be used by local people for just nipping to the chemist or food shop. The car parks will be checked but not monitored, and people are urged to work together.

Lakes Parish Council’s office upstairs in Ambleside Library will now open on Fridays only for the time being from 10am-5pm, and there will be no council meetings until at least May 6. Throughout this period, the Clerk Michael Johnson will respond to any Parish issues, phone  07706 847112 or 015394 31656, or email

Ambleside Library is closed and the Armitt Museum has closed until further notice. Its exhibition celebrating the centenary of Canon Hardwick Rawnsley will take place at a later date.

Donations of staples such as cereals, tinned food, pasta, cleaning products, toiletries, baby formula and nappies are needed by Ambleside Food Bank, which remains open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the Parish Centre.

Cancellations Ambleside Choral Society cancelled all its rehearsals and the performance in May of Bach’s St John Passion, and will resume meeting in early September to sing together again, with a revised programme of works for 2020/21 Ambleside Rotary Club’s VE Day concert with Burneside Brass Band in St Mary’s on May 8 was also cancelled. Ambleside Sports AGM and supper at The Salutation due to take place last Thursday March was cancelled, but the organisers hold out every hope that the Sports will be able to take place on Thursday July 30.

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

Prior to Coronavirus cancellations, Ambleside Action for a Future held a very well attended day of planting, growing and compost-making at the Kelsick Centre. Handmade wooden window boxes were planted up with herbs and pollen-rich flowers and given to those Ambleside residents who had a suitable space for them. Children were helped to plant up their own pots to take home and Luke Evans, head gardener from the Samling, demonstrated how to grow intensely flavoured and nutritious micro salads. Master composter, Pete Martin, gave a fascinating illustrated talk on how to make good compost and experienced gardeners, Sally Capewell and Rebecca Costello, who is restoring the kitchen garden at Allan Bank, along with herb expert Jennifer Moffett from Holehird advised on all aspects of growing things. Cakes from Rattle Ghyll were appreciated by all.

London Coach service to bypass Lakes


Lakes Parish is to lose its daily coach service to and from London from March 31. The National Express 491 service from Whitehaven, which takes over 9 hours and has served Cumbria for many years, currently calls at Distington, Workington, Cockermouth, Keswick, Grasmere, Ambleside, Windermere, Kendal, Lancaster, Preston, Manchester and Milton Keynes. The revised service will run from Carlisle, with just one Cumbrian pickup at Penrith.

We’re getting More Bobbies!

Ambleside is to have an increased police presence with four dedicated police officers, although the former police station counter will not be re-opened.

Eternity Ring found

An eternity ring was been found on the path going up to Fairfield just past Low Sweden Bridge in early January. The finders would love to be able to return this to its owner. Their phone  number is 07843656495.

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