NICOLA KELL, CUMBRIA LIFE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER 2018
There is a charity in the south of the county that supports 16 – 25 year olds; it is essentially a one-stop-shop for young people experiencing difficulties, especial with housing-related issues, and provides support and advice on employment, apprenticeships, and independent living – it even has a training kitchen now.
Over the past 25 years this initiative has developed from a small organisation into something much, much more — this year, the charity has bought, refurbished and specially adapted building now called The Hub. A former furniture store, it has been converted into a bright, informal meeting space, with conference facilities, a family room, accommodation, facilities for other charitable projects locally, and that training kitchen!
One woman, universally respected, has been the driving force behind all this. Throughout its entire existence, she has worked tirelessly as the Manager, and this year she spearheaded the drive to gain funding to buy and develop the building that is now The Hub – this is to be officially opened by a member of the Royal family in January 2019.
Described as a rare human being, inspirational, kind, compassionate, dedicated and indeed, driven, she gives her free time unconditionally to past and present tenants alike, even working – voluntarily – on Christmas Day. She has, without any doubt, made a massive difference to the lives of countless young people in and around the Barrow in Furness area. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around – not so our winner of the Cumbria Life Lifetime Achievement Award.
One nomination said simply: Nicola Kell IS Project John. Now, Nicola is also the winner of this year’s Cumbria Life Cumbria Women of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.