Multicultural Cumbria founder shares gratitude for grant which helped charity through lockdown We were very pleased to be featured in the News and Star and given the chance to express our gratitude to the Cumbria Community Foundation for their support. See the article below or view it on their website here. "The founder of a Cumbrian charity has expressed her gratitude to Cumbria Community Foundation for its support during the pandemic, as she reflects on her own personal experience of the tough times. Saj Ghafoor is the founder of Multicultural Cumbria, a charity that works to promote the integration and understanding of minority communities in the county. Like those at the helm of most charities across the county and beyond, Saj was profoundly concerned when the Covid-19 lockdown hit. Not only were fundraising opportunities cut off, but for Saj, a major concern was that some members of Cumbria’s BAME communities, who do not have much command of English, would find themselves extremely isolated, and unable to make sense of what was going on. But thanks to a grant of just under £11,000 from Cumbria Community Foundation, Saj was able to hire a part-time digital assistant, who could support the work of Saj and her colleague, Tina Borgia. Saj herself contracted Covid-19 at the end of March and was seriously ill for six weeks. Now recovered, she said the positive aspect of the crisis has been that Multicultural Cumbria has “shown our strength,” as the police and NHS approached the organisation as a route to engaging with the BAME community. “It’s raised awareness within the wider community that there are people out there that do need support and kindness and friendship,” she said. "From BAME people’s perspective, when they’ve seen stories from people of their own background they’ve felt reassured that there’s someone somewhere that they can connect to.” Multicultural Cumbria was set up to empower minority groups in the county, and the wider community. It aims to improve communication on a grassroots level, and support BAME individuals and groups to embrace their culture and share it with friends and neighbours."