You’re Invited to the Meerkat Networking Evening! 

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Invite below from Meerkat Networking Founder Melanie Kinsella

Join us on Wednesday 26 June 2024, for an unforgettable networking experience at the stunning Eden Golf Club, nestled in the picturesque Crosby-on-Eden, Carlisle CA6 4RA. From 17:30 to 19:00, immerse yourself in an evening of connections, collaboration, and camaraderie.

Tickets for this exclusive event are priced at £12.50, with 20% of the ticket price going directly to charity – making networking even more impactful! Reserve your spot now and contribute to a worthy cause while expanding your professional network.

The Meerkat Networking Evening is not just about making connections; it’s about showcasing the vibrant community of the Meerkat network and its members. Whether you’re an established professional or an aspiring entrepreneur, this event offers a platform to forge meaningful relationships, exchange ideas, and explore potential collaborations.

But that’s not all – networking isn’t just about exchanging business cards; it’s about unlocking a world of opportunities.

By attending, you’ll have the chance to:

Expand your professional circle and connect with like-minded individuals.
Gain valuable insights and perspectives from diverse industry experts.
Discover new business opportunities and potential partnerships.
Elevate your personal brand and visibility within the business community.

As you mingle and network, enjoy light refreshments and take advantage of the on-site bar where you can purchase your favourite drinks.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to connect, collaborate, and celebrate the power of networking! Secure your ticket today and get ready for an evening of inspiration and possibility.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Meerkat Networking Evening – where connections lead to success!

BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW Meerkat Networking Event 2024 (

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Local Landlady Extends Generous Support to Charity Walker

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In the picturesque village of Cotehill, Julie Musgrave, owner of Crossroads House B&B and landlady of The Greyhound Inn Cotehill, has shown remarkable generosity by aiding Andrew Williams, a dedicated fundraiser on a mission to raise funds for multiple charities.

Williams, embarking on a gruelling 500-mile solo journey without support, is raising money for various causes via his JustGiving page. His arduous trek recently led him to the welcoming doors of Musgrave’s establishments.

Recognizing the dedication and altruism driving Williams’ efforts, Musgrave graciously offered him much-needed rest and support. Her hospitality not only provided Williams with a place to recuperate but also reinvigorated his spirit, encouraging him to press on with his challenging journey. This act of kindness by Musgrave epitomises the spirit of community and the power of individual contributions to support charitable endeavours.

Also during his visit to The Greyhound Inn Cotehill, others there had also donated towards William’s fundraising efforts.

Musgrave’s Crossroads House B&B and The Greyhound Inn are renowned for their warm hospitality and exceptional service, serving as havens for both tourists, those on their travels and locals. Her commitment to supporting Williams highlights her dedication to fostering a compassionate and supportive community.

For more information about Julie Musgrave’s Crossroads House B&B, visit Crossroads House. To learn more about The Greyhound Inn, visit The Greyhound Inn Cotehill. Support Andrew Williams’ charity journey through his JustGiving page here.

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Showcase Cumbria and Ballard PR Agency signed up as Business Partners of a local charity

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Showcase Cumbria Founder with Kylie Palmer Corporate Fundraiser at Hospice At Home Carlisle and North Lakeland

Message from Showcase Cumbria founder Mary Ballard:

EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE that I have signed up Showcase Cumbria as Business Partners of Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland when I visited them at Barras Lane in Carlisle.

DID YOU KNOW? That as a business partners you can give support in various ways:

Specialised advice and shared expertise

Provision of raffle and auction prizes

Financial support

Sponsorship of events

Provision of meeting rooms

Staff volunteering time

I was given a tour by the lovely 🌻🌻 Kylie Palmer 🌻🌻, their Corporate Fundraiser there and got to meet the hard-working team and volunteers. I was blown away by all they do; I confess, I wasn’t aware of all that they did. You will see pictured below various rooms- top right room; is multifaceted room that has been used for yoga to group counselling. Also as a business partner, you can book it to host a networking meeting as long as you also give them to share about what they do there at Hospice At Home Carlisle and North Lakeland. They also treat Lymphoedema; chronic swelling as a side effect of chemotherapy; their qualified nurses can help ease this with treatments, they also have complementary therapy rooms and they have massage, reiki, aromatherapists, reflexologist volunteers who kind give their time (so if you want to volunteer; please do get in contact with them). You will see an empty office, this is because the nurses are all at patients homes giving respite. Ashley Macaulay, their Director of Clinical Lead tells me they have around 40 clinicians plus volunteers which is fantastic but also as you can appreciate the importance then of their work and need to fundraise and raise awareness. The last room; is a room where those doing group counselling / work can go to if they feel overwhelmed and it was also where Kylie had done a podcast. From there you can see the beautiful garden where those from Carlisle College had kindly donated their time to work on it.

If you would also like a tour and find out more on how you can help; either DM 🌻🌻 Kylie Palmer 🌻🌻or email or you can head to their website

I am looking forward to sharing more about this amazing charity but in the meantime, I will pop in the links to how to sign up to be a business partner like me, plus other events and fundraisers that you can get your business to get involved in.

Our Business Partners – Hospice at Home

Blues Lotto – Hospice at Home

Summit at Sunset – Hospice at Home

Events from 22 November – 23rd March 2025 – Hospice at Home

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Centre for Leadership Performance Cumbria are hosting transformative workshops around Cumbria that will guide you toward finding your sense of purpose. See below for all the locations and dates.

They are pleased to offer these courses free thanks to funding from Allerdale GDF Community Partnership and Cumbria Community Foundation through Cumberland Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund: a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda.

During the workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to:

Take time to think about and plan for the adjustment to retirement

Consider the impact of retirement on yourself, family, and friends

Set goals for retirement, considering health, lifestyle, and interests

Discuss any potential challenges, concerns, or drawbacks of retirement

Connect with opportunities that match your interests and aspiration

To secure your place, email, scan the QR Code below or phone 01900 824822

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The anticipation is building as we enter the final countdown! With just four weeks to go, excitement is at an all-time high for the Penrith Beer Festival, set to take place at Frenchfields in Penrith, CA11 8UU on June 14th-15th.

This year’s festival promises an incredible weekend packed with a diverse range of craft beers, live music, and mouthwatering food. Beer enthusiasts can look forward to sampling unique brews from over 10 renowned breweries, including Gan Yam, Tirril, Carlisle Brewing Co, Hawkshead Brewery, Eden River Brew, Bowness Bay, Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, Fell Brewery, Lakes Brew, and Crooked River Brewery. Whether you prefer sours, stouts, pilsners, or ciders, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

In addition to the exceptional beer selection, the festival will feature a stellar lineup of music acts. Attendees can dance and groove to performances by The Moonshine Shakers, Time Machine, Indie Street Club, AKA Skafell, and more. The mix of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, ska, and indie will keep the energy high and the atmosphere electric throughout the weekend.

Foodies are in for a treat as well, with an array of gourmet options from our food vendors. Indulge in delicious dishes such as hot beef in artisan rolls, lamb koftas with hand-rolled flatbread, pork meatballs in pitta,  loaded fries, and gourmet hotdogs with a variety of toppings. There will be plenty of choices to keep everyone satisfied.

“We’re thrilled to be just four weeks away from the Penrith Beer Festival,” said Joe Gregory Event organiser. “Our team has been working tirelessly to ensure this year’s event is the best yet. We can’t wait to welcome everyone for a weekend of fantastic beer, music, and food.”

Tickets are selling fast, so don’t miss your chance to be part of this incredible event.

Exclusive discount of £5 for all our Showcase Cumbria readers and followers- use the code SHOWCASE

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Mary Ballard of Showcase Cumbria Honoured with Five Nominations at the 2024 Enterprise Vision Awards

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Showcase Cumbria Ltd is thrilled to announce that its very own Mary Ballard has been nominated for an impressive five categories at the prestigious 2024 Enterprise Vision Awards (EVAS). This marks Mary’s first nomination for these esteemed awards, recognising her exceptional contributions to the business community.

Mary has been nominated for the following categories: Best BusinessBusiness WomanCreative IndustryInspirational Woman, and Professional Services. These nominations are a testament to her unwavering commitment and innovative spirit in the business sector.

The nomination highlights Mary’s inspirational journey: “Mary is a truly inspirational woman, who always commits 100% to whatever she’s doing. Over the past five years, through Showcase Cumbria, she has used her networking to bring many businesses together and has helped us secure our group of suppliers. She is constantly thinking of opportunities to help other businesses and promotes them at every opportunity through Showcase Cumbria. Mary is a true, breath of fresh air, a real positive and genuine person who is willing to support and help others.”

In addition to her remarkable achievements, Mary Ballard is the proud owner of Ballard PR Agency, serving a diverse portfolio of clients within Cumbria. Her association with CBASS COMPLETE BUSINESS ADVISORY SOLUTIONS further exemplifies her dedication to local enterprise. Currently collaborating with CLEP and Cumbrian councils, CBASS is at the forefront of providing business support, aligning perfectly with Mary’s and Showcase Cumbria’s philosophy of bolstering Cumbrian businesses and delivering comprehensive services.

The EVAS, now celebrating its 13th anniversary, stands as the premier female business awards in the UK, shining a spotlight on the achievements and innovations of women in business.

For more details about the awards, please visit our website at Join us in celebrating Mary’s remarkable achievements by connecting with us on social media and using the hashtag #EVAS2024.

Showcase Cumbria Founder Mary Ballard with Showcase Cumbria mascot Bruno on top of Latrigg in Cumbria.

About Showcase Cumbria Ltd Showcase Cumbria Ltd is a dynamic community news and media platform dedicated to fostering growth and collaboration within the business community and the county of Cumbria. Through strategic networking and support services, Showcase Cumbria has become a cornerstone for business development and community news in the region. Started in 2017 initially via Twitter (now X) and is now across 4 social media channels; X, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Founder Mary Ballard said on why she started it “I wanted showcase all that is great about Cumbria; it is such a great place to live, work and visit. I also wanted to provide a much opportunities of all sizes of businesses and charities, event organisers and residents to shout about what they are doing. I also wanted people to know that Cumbria has so many parts to it from beaches to monuments to forests to a independent produce/products and shops. I want to shine the light on all aspects of Cumbria.”

Showcase Cumbria’s founder Mary Ballard provides opportunities for sponsorship, advertising, job postings, event promotions, and features write-ups and video interviews through the website which was set up this February. Charities and press releases are featured free of charge.

Bookmark / Favourite the website

Give the socials a follow:

Facebook: www,facebook/showcasecumbria

Instagram: Showcase Cumbria (@showcasecumbria) • Instagram photos and videos

X (Twitter):


Showcase Cumbria Founder Mary Ballard in Whitehaven in Cumbria.
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Free money coaching in Kendal to help people with the cost of living

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As high costs continue to put pressure on households across Kendal and the surrounding areas, a local charity is offering free money coaching to help people manage their finances.

Kendal and District Debt Centre, in partnership with charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) and Westmorland and Furness Council are providing expert financial education in the local community.

Money Coach Laura Kirkham, who leads the courses, says, ‘With the soaring cost of living over the last few years, we’ve seen how important it is that people know how to successfully manage their money, whatever their income. It’s vital that we know how to balance what we have, save for emergencies and get out or stay out of debt. Our money coaching course equips people to do that. We’ll look at things like building and balancing a household budget, prioritising spending and keeping our finances stable into the future.

Money coaching isn’t just about getting to grips with money practically – it’s about helping people find the freedom that comes with being in control of their finances. It can impact mental health, physical health, relationships, work life and self-belief. Plus, there’s an amazing sense of achievement when you reach a goal, like finally being able to buy something you’ve been saving up for. Managing money well can be so rewarding!’

Laura adds, ‘The courses are completely free and will run over four weeks. There’s something for everyone to learn – from those who have never used a budget before to those who simply want to reevaluate their financial situation. Everyone’s welcome!’

Upcoming Courses: June 4th – June 25th. Tuesday evenings 7-9pm at South Lakes Foyer

June 26th – July 17th. Wednesday evenings 7.30-9.30pm at Parr Street Church

August 6th – August 27th. Wednesday evenings 7.30-9.30pm. This is an ONLINE course.

Sign up at

For more upcoming courses or to learn more about our bespoke courses for charities, organisations, schools and churches please contact Laura at

Money Coach Laura Kirkham who is leading the courses.
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Groundbreaking Holistic Counselling Services in Cumbria

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Mbd Coaching, a trailblazer in holistic well-being, is thrilled to announce the launch of its groundbreaking counselling services. Spearheaded by counsellor, Amal Loring, this transformative initiative aims to empower individuals on their journey towards healing and happiness.

With 25 years of counselling and spiritual coaching experience, Amal Loring brings a wealth of wisdom to her practice. Having worked with diverse clients across the globe, she now calls Cumbria home, drawn by the region’s innate healing energy. Her unique approach combines ancient wisdom with modern techniques, fostering profound transformations.

Unlike traditional counselling, Amal doesn’t tie clients to endless sessions. Within just 15 minutes, she skilfully pinpoints the core issues affecting individuals. This efficient approach saves valuable time and resources, allowing clients to achieve results swiftly.

Amal’s belief in inner wisdom drives her practice. She seamlessly integrates disciplines such as emotional intelligence, hypnotherapy, stress management, NLP, and spiritual healing. Her holistic approach ensures comprehensive well-being.

Amal’s successful partnerships span continents. Her commitment to empowering individuals transcends borders, making her a sought-after guide for those seeking lasting transformation.

“At Mbd Coaching, I believe in the transformative power of holistic counselling. With 25 years of experience, I’ve witnessed the profound impact that addressing the root causes of emotional and spiritual challenges can have on individuals. Unlike traditional approaches that tie people to numerous sessions, our focus is on swiftly pinpointing the core issues within just 15 minutes. By respecting everyone’s unique journey and granting them the power to heal, I’m committed to achieving results that truly matter. Welcome to a future of well-being and fulfilment.” said Amal Loring, director and counsellor at Mbd Coaching. For enquiries or to schedule a free 10-minute consultation, please visit or email

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Legacy of more than £80,000 donated to GNAAS

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Bryan Ingall, Sally Ingall and GNAAS paramedic Mike Sproat with the cheque at GNAAS’ base in Langwathby, Penrith in Cumbria

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has received a legacy donation of more than £80,000 from a “modest” joiner and undertaker.

Frank Barker, from Calderbridge, ran his own joinery and undertaker business and had a lifelong passion for motorbikes.

He sadly passed away in February 2022 aged 92 but very generously left a donation in his Will for GNAAS, which was £80,872.32.

Mr Barker’s cousin Sally Ingall, who was the executor of his Will, recently visited GNAAS’ base in Langwathby, Penrith with her son Bryan Ingall to learn more about the operations of the charity and how the donation will help them in the future.

Mr Ingall said: “Frank was a very quiet guy and very modest. He was a countryman, enjoyed fishing, and went to the pub quite regularly for the company.

“He knew everybody around the area, and I didn’t hear anyone say a bad word about him. He was a big part of the village.”

Mr Barker spent most of his life in Calderbridge apart from two years’ national service with the RAF. He was incredibly close to his sister who was 14 years older than him, and his home was filled with several motorbikes.

Mr Ingall said: “His passion was motorbikes and always had been since he was a young man, after he came back from the RAF.

Frank Barker aged 21

“He built a few classic race bikes which were used by a number of people, and he used to go to the Manx Grand Prix and TT races in the Isle of Man.”

Mrs Ingall added: “When I was 16 or 17 he used to take me to the grass tracks and said I was the best pillion he ever had.

“He was a lovely fella, good fun and good for the craic because his age meant he could remember really far back.”

As a motorcyclist, Mr Barker was aware of the work of GNAAS, who regularly respond to motorcycle incidents, and had previously supported the charity by buying tickets for their raffle and playing the lottery.

Mr Ingall said: “He was always keen on GNAAS because it’s quite close to a lot of motorcyclist’s hearts.”

Following the donation in Frank’s Will, Mr and Mrs Ingall were invited to GNAAS’ base and were given a tour of the air ambulance by the charity’s critical care team.

Mr Ingall said: “It was very interesting looking at the helicopter and seeing how it all worked.

“We often see them flying over Wasdale and the Scafell area.”

Mrs Ingall added: “I was astounded by the space inside the helicopter, as it looks so much bigger when I watch them on the tv.

“The amount of equipment they have, including surgical equipment and a tiny ultrasound scanner, is just amazing.

“It’s nice to know Frank’s contribution will help GNAAS continue to operate. If the money saves anybody’s lives that’s wonderful.”

Leaving a gift in your Will can make a real difference in GNAAS’ future and help them continue to treat critically ill or injured people across the region. To find out more about leaving a gift in your Will visit:

Frank Barker


· The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) is a charitably funded air ambulance service which provides life-saving care throughout the North East, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Isle of Man.

· They operate two helicopters 365 days a year and also operate a night-time service in the North East and Cumbria on rapid response vehicles.

· The aircraft cover an area of more than 8,000 square miles and on board are specialist doctors and paramedics who effectively bring the hospital to the patient.

· The level of skill and expertise of the on-board team mean they respond to the most critically ill and injured people, giving them the best chance of survival.

· GNAAS is a progressive organisation which has pioneered pre-hospital care in the region.

· The latest techniques, equipment and drugs are constantly being evaluated to ensure the charity can provide the best care possible for their patients.

· 2022 marked the service providing 20 years of life-saving care. Throughout this time, they have responded to more than 23,500 incidents across the region, with road traffic collisions being the most frequent type of incident responded to by the team.

· They do not receive Government funding and must therefore raise £8.5m a year through public donations to remain operational. For more information visit: or follow @gnairambulance on Facebook, X, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok For press enquiries please email or call 07554453494

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Cultivating Sustainability and Tradition from Umbria to Cumbria

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Umbria Green Heart supplying local Cumbrian Businesses such as Lovingly Artisan Bakery

In the verdant valleys of Cumbria, a revolution is quietly taking root. Umbria Green Heart, a local foodie gem, is leading the charge in bringing the taste of tradition of the Italian region of Umbria to Cumbrian markets and beyond.

Founded on the principles of environmentally friendly stewardship and a passion for wholesome produce, Umbria Green Heart has become synonymous with quality and sustainability. Their commitment to gastronomic excellence beyond the Italian borders ensures that every product reaches Cumbrian tables is of the highest standard.

Umbria Green Heart Market Stand at one of the Cumbrian Markets they take part in

From the bustling local Cumbrian markets where their produce becomes the highlight of the day to the ease of online shopping, Umbria Green Heart has made it simple for everyone to access their range of products: artisanal charcuterie and pasta, fine wine, truffle products and high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Whether you’re looking for finest ingredients to grace your dinner table or the perfect ingredient for your culinary creations, Umbria Green Heart has you covered.

Their user-friendly website with deliveries all over the UK, offers a seamless shopping experience, while their social media presence on Facebook keeps you updated on their latest market appearances. With just a few clicks, you can bring the essence of the ‘Green Heart of Italy’ into your home, no matter where you are.

As Umbria Green Heart continues to grow, so does their impact on the community and the environment with sustainability at the heart of what they do and offer.

Taste the difference tradition makes.

Visit Umbria Green Heart at your local Cumbrian market or shop online today. The finest products of Umbria are just a click away. Umbria Green Heart | Finest products from the Green Heart of Italy

Umbria Green Heart Founders Davide Guerrieri and Marco Rapaccini
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