£4.1m winter maintenance programme

The 'Snow Champions' scheme is being run in addition to the griting routes the council currently maintain, and is part of the new £4.1 million winter maintenance programme.

Jayne Varty from Pategill in Penrtih, is the vice chair of the Pategill Tenants Association and is the first person to sign up to the scheme.

“I have a neighbour with spina bifida, who can struggle to get around in a wheelchair when it’s been snowing. There are also many older people living in sheltered housing nearby and for them a trip to the shop round the corner can be pretty dangerous.

" I do it for the sense of community. People often talk about helping others, but not many actually get involved."

– Jayne Varty, 43, from Penrith

Volunteers will be provided with high visibility vest, warm gloves, snow shovels and a supply of salt.

"“This new scheme is an extra investment in winter maintenance, but will only be as effective as the people willing to take part. We want to recruit committed volunteers who realise that their efforts can help other people around them.

"In reality, the number of days when it’s necessary to clear snow and ice are relatively infrequent, so it’s not a huge commitment. But we want to be sure that when the bad weather comes, we have many more hands on the deck helping out.”

– Cllr Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council

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Wanted: Cumbrian 'Snow Champions'

A search has begun to find people willing to help others this winter by volunteering to join the new 'Snow Champions' scheme, set up by Cumbria County Council.