What is the Cumbria Advice Network?

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Referral, campaigning and quality pie chartThe Cumbria Advice Network (CAN for short) was initially a Big Lottery funded project firmly focused on enabling people in Cumbria to be able to access quality advice when they most need it. Cumbria Advice Network is currently funded by Cumbria Community Foundation.


The project aims through partnership working in Cumbria, to improve referral processes between third sector advice agencies and support organisations, and to facilitate the sharing of expertise and provide shared training opportunities.


The project began in 2009 and was funded by the Big Lottery over 5 years. The initial partners (the 7 Citizen Advice Bureaux in Cumbria, Shelter Cumbria and the Cumbria Law Centre) entered into a partnership agreement to deliver the project on behalf of the Big Lottery. The project Network and Development Champions within the initial partners had a key responsibility to engage with the wider network of third sector advice organisations in Cumbria (and related organisations who refer people for advice and support), so they could join the network. As organisations joined, the project became a network of organisations throughout Cumbria, working for the benefit of people seeking advice. We are currently funded by Cumbria Community Foundation and we are continuing to facilitate and promote the shared expertise of our member organisations with the aim of benefitting those people needing to access advice an support services in Cumbria.

The project has three main themes which will benefit clients in Cumbria seeking advice

  • Improving referral processes.
  • Assisting organisations to maintain and improve quality of advice and organising Cumbria wide training opportunities
  • campaigning for change on issues that affect clients in Cumbria on a county wide basis.


As advice and support organisations, with a passionate belief in the value of the advice, we share the common idealogy to enable us to work together in partnership, so people in Cumbria are more easily able to access the quality advice they require.

The Big Lottery provided the resources to begin the Cumbria Advice Network. We are now well established in Cumbria and we have charitable status. Our current funding is provided by Cumbria Community Foundation. Together, over the years we have proven we CAN make it happen.


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