Acorn are proud to announce the Cumbria Overseas Aid Trust (COAT) as our chosen charity of 2021.

Throughout the year, we will be supporting this charity with donations, office supplies and admin time, and helping at fundraising events along with doing our bit to raise the profile of this small but effective charity.

COAT is a small Cumbrian-based charity that uses all money donated towards helping others in some of the poorest regions of the world. Using a set of fixed criteria, they support projects within communities with grants up to £2,000.

In addition, since 2019, Acorn have been sponsoring Josepha from Kigali in Rwanda.

We will be contributing to Josepha’s education through the Kinamba Community Project ( and our sponsorship will cover teacher’s salaries, school uniform, materials and food, ensuring that she gets at least one good meal per day whilst she is at school.

Fundraising is carried out by a small team of dedicated individuals through such activities as garden parties, craft sales, BBQs and quizzes run in various locations throughout the county. In 2020 the following donations were made:


One month’s food programme for school children and staff – Kigali, Rwanda


For building 10 toilets and for associated costs – Bama Village, Mugu, Nepal


Towards a motorbike for trainers in remote rural areas – Aru, Democratic Republic of Congo


Food for Rohingya refugees in camps in Cox’s Bazar. Also for distributing information leaflets about COVID-19 to communities – Bangladesh


To buy a foetal heart monitoring machine to help detect birth asphyxia at the Pakegido Health Centre – Kaberamaido district, Uganda


For an overhead projector to train 80 local Volunteer Community Health Workers providing health education to the community and in schools – Lusaka, Zambia


Allow 10 street children to obtain birth certificates, enabling them to gain official citizenship – Nepal


Equipment for schools to get children back to school during the pandemic – Eastern Uganda


Emergency packages to local community due to COVID-19, including food and soap – Kigali, Rwanda


Head scan thermometers and hand sanitising stations for use in schools – Bombo and Nakaseke, Uganda


Providing food, housing and support for street women and their babies to have a new start – Kenya


Aim to deliver 2000 legs to sub-Saharan Africa – Sub-Saharan Africa

Funding Criteria

Projects presented for funding are considered flexibly against the following criteria:

  • Projects which contribute in some way to the relief of poverty and which will have some long-term and sustainable benefits to a local community.
  • Projects where it is possible to get some feedback following expenditure of the grant so this feedback could be used to educate and better inform both trustees and the local Cumbrian population where appropriate through talks etc.
  • Projects where there is some local Cumbrian connection, either through individuals involved or the origins of the organisation.
  • Projects where COAT’s contribution can be clearly identified in costed proposals and/or trustees can be confident as to the viability and integrity of the project.
  • Projects should be non-party in politics and non-sectarian in religion.
  • Funds for young people from Cumbria travelling abroad to work on a project which contributes to the relief of poverty and which will have some long-term and sustainable benefits to a local community.
  • The usual ceiling for a COAT grant would be £2000, subject to trustees discretion. However, most grants given are for less than £1000.

For more information please visit

If you’d like to find out more about the work of Cumbria Overseas Aid Trust, please visit their website via the link below.