Here are just a few of the organisations that can help you and your community to get online and make the most of superfast broadband.


Action with Communities in Cumbria is a charity with over sixty years experience of supporting Cumbrian communities. .They are closely involved in the work of the Big Society vanguard and the Broadband pilot. Contact ACT.

Age Concern

Age Concern Carlisle and Eden is one of a network of 400 organisations in the UK, working independently, but supported and represented nationally by Age Concern. It works with volunteers to promote the well-being of older people and to help make later life a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. Contact Age Concern Carlisle and Eden

Appleby Heritage Centre

was set up in 1996 to convert a decaying Midland Railway goods shed, set just outside Appleby Railway Station alongside the Settle-Carlisle Railway, into a workshop for restoring heritage vehicles. It now provides local employment and training in traditional and IT skills. Contact the Appleby Heritage Centre


Broadband Delivery UK is the delivery vehicle for the Government’s policies on broadband. It is currently based within the offices of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills at 1 Victoria Street, London

Carnegie UK Trust

Carnegie UK supports asset-based rural development, community-led planning and innovative rural service delivery. Contact Carnegie UK

Citizens Online

A national organisation that promotes digital inclusion and related issues, such as e-learning, uptake of e-government services, employability, job creation and basic skills, community communication and cohesion, social inclusion. Their Everyone Online scheme delivers projects throughout the UK which supports people in disadvantaged areas to use computers and the Internet.


The Country Land and Business Association lobbies government on behalf of rural communities to improve Internet provision in rural areas. Contact Dr Charles Trotman


Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency helps both new and existing businesses in the Eden and South Lakeland districts of Cumbria.  Theyalso support farmers and rural businesses producing distinctive, Cumbrian products throughout the county. Contact CREA

Cumbria Assocation of Local Councils (CALC)

The association of Town Councils, Parish Councils, and Parish Meetings in Cumbria. Contact CALC

Cumbria Chamber of Trade

The Chamber is the voice of Cumbrian business, representing both SMEs and larger corporate organisations. Contact Cumbria Chamber of Trade

Cumbria County Council

Needs little introduction. Lorrainne Smythe, Community Programmes Manager, is helping communities to organise themselves and improve their broadband connections

Cumbria Fells and Dales RDPE Local Action Group

The local organisation that administers and allocates grants from the European Fund for Rural Development (2007 until 2013).  Funds are available to protect and improve rural forestry environments, develop the competitiveness of the agricultural sector, and encourage strong sustainable rural business within thriving rural communities. They have funded a number of broadband projects including Great Asby Broadband. Contact Cumbria Fells and Dales RDEP LAG


Cybermoor is the community-owned network that serves Alston. They are currently expanding to provide coverage to Nenthead. It’s one of the most - if not the most- famous community broadband networks in the country. They have long experience of the ups and downs of setting up a network. They’re holding an open day on 7 December. Check out Cybermoor Open Day Dec 2010 Flyer to book a place.


The Department of Communities and Local Government is in charge of building the Big Society by decentralising power as far as possible and putting communities in charge.


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will need little introduction. It now also has a small rural broadband team.

Digital Unite

A national organisation that specialises in supporting older people to use digital technologies – from internet and email to social networking and blogs. They have a network of Tutors throughout the UK who are specially selected and trained to deliver digital skills training.

Eden Community Alarms

Eden Community Alarms is a charity that provides care alarms and support services to clients, their families and carers.  Clients are those people who may be at risk due to their mental, physical or emotional health. Contact Eden Community Alarms

Eden District Council

Should need little introduction. Eden District Council is the local authority for the  Eden Valley, from Kirby Stephen to Penrith and beyond. Contact Eden District Council

Eden Housing Association

Eden Housing Association develops and manages affordable rural homes in Cumbria. It is dedicated to supporting the sustainability of rural communities and is continually expanding its community development activities. Contact Eden Housing Association

Eden Rural Foyer

Eden Rural Foyer provides housing, training, and support for young people. It runs IT classes and a cyber café, the Giga-Bites café (directions). Contact Eden Rural Foyer

Great Asby Broadband

Great Asby Broadband (or GAB as it’s sometimes known) is the community-owned network that serves Great Asby. It’s one of the best examples of a community network in the country. Such has been its success that it’s currently upgrading its level of service to superfast speeds. You can follow its progress here. Miles Mandelson, the chairman of GAB, is always open to advise others and the GAB website has lots of useful resources.

Hospice at Home

Hospice at Home provides a free, at home nursing service to those at the end stages of life.  Each year the Charity cares for around 300 patients and provides support to their families and carers. All services are provided free of charge. Contact Hospice at Home


Independent Network Cooperative Assocation is the closest thing to a trade association for community networks. They are an excellent source of advice and guidance. Their new guide is well worth reading: INCA-Beyond-Broadband. The CEO is Malcolm Corbett.


The Pentalk Network was originally set up in March 2001 by Ann Risman as a rapid reaction scheme for the Penrith area to provide free computers and IT training for farmers at the height of the foot and mouth crisis. It rapidly spread to the whole of the County and now has over 2400 Cumbrian farmers in its membership. Pentalk strives to continue to help farmers to communicate more effectively online and develop their IT skills to improve their farm businesses. Contact Pentalk

Plunkett Foundation

The Plunkett Foundation helps rural communities to take control of the issues affecting them through community-ownership. Traditionally, they have supported communities wishing to buy out their village shops and pubs, but they’re extending their support to those that are interested in setting up their own broadband networks. Contact the Plunkett Foundation


Is a national organisation dedicated to encouraging individuals and businesses to get their friends, families and colleagues online. Its aim is to get every one of the 9 million adults in the UK who have never used the internet online.

Rural Women’s Network

The Rural Women’s Network was set up through ACTion with Communities in Cumbria to help women in Cumbria realise their full potential through business support and the development of personal and workplace skills. Contact the Rural Women’s Network

Social Media Surgery

A social media surgery is an informal gathering of people who want to learn how to use the web to communicate, campaign, or collaborate. Regular surgeries are held in the Penrith area. To find out when the next one is, contact Mohammed Dhalech.

Talk About Local

Talk About Local can help you build an effective local website that you own and run. They can you find a powerful online voice for your community, group, or campaign very simply and for free. Contact Talk About Local

Think Broadband

the UK’s largest independent broadband news and information site. It provides independent advice and details on the services offered by Internet Service Providers and much more.

UK Online Centres

The UK Online Centres network was set up by government in 2000 to provide public access to computers. There a forty-five in Cumbria and four in Eden: Appleby Heritage Centre, Eden Rural Foyer, Fellside CDC, Patterdale CDC, Pentalk Rural IT support Centre, Ullswater Community Centre. If you think you’re community should have its own Online Centre, apply for funding here.

If you would like us to add your organisation to this list or if any of the information above is incorrect, please contact us.