Community raises nearly £4,000 in the first of a series of events to support the restoration of the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path

In December 2015, severe flooding damaged the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path in the Lake District. Two of the old railway bridges spanning the Greta were destroyed along with around 200m of the path itself. Rawsome Bridge was left at risk of collapse.

In December 2017, the Lake District National Park announced a major funding boost to the restoration project – a £2.5 million grant from Highways England and a partnership with the Lake District Foundation to jointly fundraise part of the roughly £3 million shortfall.

However, local businesses have also been keen to get involved, and have been described as “bursting with excitement” to support the fundraising campaign. Last week saw the first in a series of community events to take place in Keswick and Threlkeld, raising nearly £4,000.

The Big Fat Community Quiz, organised by Cake & Salad and Podgy Paws in Keswick, raised £1,700, and a benefit gig at Threlkeld Village Hall raised £2,000. Over 150 locals attended both events to support the fundraising efforts.

Chris Harper, Owner of Podgy Paws, said she was overwhelmed by the amount of support for the quiz: “When Jess from Cake & Salad and I put the call out locally we couldn’t believe how many businesses came forward to offer prizes. It was superb! And when we started selling tickets, again, we were blown away by the responses, as all the tickets were sold in a week. We were thrilled with how much was raised and, quite simply, it was good old-fashioned fun for a cause close to all our hearts.”

For those who couldn’t make the first two events, there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved with various activities over the next couple of months. The Hope Park Games and Cafe are holding ‘K2Tee Off’ competition on Thursday 17 May which will be an optional fancy dress competition.

Viki Mallaghan explains what the event is all about: “We wanted to do our bit for the K2T fundraising drive, but thought we’d do something a bit different. It’s a fundraising golf competition on our nine-hole Pitch and Putt course. Teams of four are invited to take part and fancy dress is encouraged! The first team will set off at 5pm with the rest of the teams staggered at ten-minute intervals. Pre-booking is essential.”

Entry is £10 per person and prizes will be awarded to the winning team and the best dressed.

The Alhambra Cinema is planning a talk and film showing by Sean Conway on Thursday 7 June. Sean Conway is the first person to cycle, swim, and run the length of Great Britain and holds the record for the world’s longest triathlon, a 4,200-mile journey around the coast of Britain. Sean will be telling stories about his running adventures and his latest world record attempt, a 4,500-mile cycle challenge from Portugal to Russia in under 26 days.

Supporting the community activity, the Lake District Foundation are organising more events: first, the K2T Challenge weekend over 5, 6 and 7 May, where the team will be in Keswick for the weekend encouraging everyone to complete 5km, donate £5 and nominate five people to take on the challenge too. There will be five different 5km routes to choose from and you can make your donation on the day with the street collection teams on hand from the Lions and Rotary Clubs.

The second event coming up is an exclusive ‘money-can’t-buy’ auction on 8 June at the Lodore Falls Hotel. The auction will have 50 lots made up of unique experiences and special prizes from all over the world. It is set to be a fabulous evening, and with support from the oldest auction house in the area, PFK Auctions, the auction is in very safe hands.

Heather Askew, Fundraiser for the Lake District Foundation, is looking forward to all the events: “We are absolutely thrilled by the fundraising events and support from the local community. It’s going to be a jam-packed couple of months but we can’t wait. Especially during the charity auction weekend as we’ll be at the Keswick Mountain Festival too, encouraging visitors to do the K2T Challenge and donate.”