Supporting Lakeland life


“It is important that we support local Lakeland life, its traditions and its customs – for local people to enjoy and also for the visitors it attracts,” said Andrew Hunter co-director of Grasmere Gingerbread®.

“Tourists are the lifeblood of the Lake District and they come here to enjoy unique upland scenery and a more traditional way of life. The Grasmere Rushbearing Ceremony is a very important community event in our sponsorship calendar.”

For further information about our community activities and the organisations that we support please read below.

To see some of our recent work with charities over the years please refer to our unwrapped news page.

This ancient custom inside St Oswald’s Church, next to The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, dates back to the days before church floors were flagged.

Parishioners would lay down rushes to purify the air and protect against the cold. Today, the children of Grasmere are rewarded with a piece of Grasmere ‘Rushbearing’ Gingerbread if they are lucky enough to carry one of the rushes. 

“My parents – who ran the shop for 40 years – used to make the special Rushbearing Gingerbread and we’ve resumed the tradition to help the local church and keep an important custom alive,” said Joanne Hunter, co-director of Grasmere Gingerbread®.

This popular annual event is the flagship fundraiser for the charity Brathay Trust whose mission is to improve the life chances of children and young people by encouraging and inspiring them to engage with their own local communities.

Held in May every year, the Brathay Windermere Marathon attracts more than 1,000 runners and incorporates the Brathay 10 in 10 – an endurance challenge in which competitors must complete 10 marathons over 10 consecutive days.

The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop has donated gift tins of Grasmere Gingerbread® to the winners. 


“Brathay are engaged in invaluable work, helping the next generation to recognise and fulfil their potential and we are only too pleased to be a part of the Windermere Marathon which makes a great contribution to life in the Lake District,” said Joanne Hunter, co-director of Grasmere Gingerbread®.

Brathay Trust are delighted to work with Grasmere Gingerbread as sponsors of the Brathay Windermere Marathon. Since the event started in 2007 Grasmere Gingerbread have generously provided prizes for winners in the race, adding a distinctive local feel to our awards ceremony. The donations generated through the event help Brathay to support hundreds of vulnerable children and young people each year.” Said a Brathay Trust spokesperson.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust, which manages more than 40 nature reserves in the county, is a beneficiary of monies raised from the sale of dedicated products at Grasmere Gingerbread®.

For several years 20p has been donated to the charity from each sale of the popular Grasmere Chocolate Dipper which is styled on an old-fashioned sherbet dip with a milk chocolate lolly on a stick and Grasmere Gingerbread® crumbs.

The confectionary is named after the dipper, a charismatic brown river bird with a lovely white ‘bib’ on its chest that breeds on some of the charity’s reserves. Its name emanates from its habitual ‘bobbing’ or ‘dipping’ as it stands upon stones in the racing upland rivers of Cumbria.

Fancy a dip? The Grasmere Gingerbread® Dipper can be purchased online.                 


Recently, Grasmere Gingerbread® introduced a range of ‘collectibles’ of animals that are native to Cumbria and the Lake District. From each sale of the Grasmere Gingerbread® Hedgehog and the Grasmere Gingerbread® Red Squirrel a donation of £1 is made to Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

“We are very grateful for the support we receive from Grasmere Gingerbread® and their customers, which helps us to safeguard the integrity of our reserves and the wildlife that lives there,” said a spokesman for Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

“We are committed to helping protect not just the landscape of the Lake District which attracts the visitors who support our crucial tourist economy but also the incredibly beautiful birds and animals that live and breed here,” said Joanne Hunter, co-director of Grasmere Gingerbread®.

For further information about the work of Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the wildlife they support please visit



Grasmere Gingerbread® Squirrel and Grasmere Gingerbread® Hedgehog can be purchased online

The fells of the Lake District are in a healthier state thanks to sales of tasty Grasmere Gingerbread® crumbs.

From every bag sold in the shop we donate £1 to Lake District Foundation who work hard preserving the well-used footpaths winding across our distinctive landscape.

Read more about this project and the donation from our crumbs here.

A collecting tin on our counter is generously supported by customers and all proceeds go towards the Great North Air Ambulance which saves lives on the mountains of the Lake District throughout the year. Grasmere Gingerbread® also support their Christmas Virtual Christmas Advent Calendar. 

Fund-raising takes off at Grasmere Gingerbread Shop | Grasmere Gingerbread 

Community and a sense of place is important to Grasmere Gingerbread®.

At the heart of the English Lake District, we know the value of the charities and volunteer groups that keep the spirit of our wonderful national park alive.

We support charities including the NSPCC, Cumbria Air Ambulance Appeal and The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. We are also proud members of the Cumbria Community Foundation, and Lake District Foundation. 

“Helping others is infectious,” said Joanne Hunter, co-director of Grasmere Gingerbread®  “In 2004 we were touched by the generosity of one customer who bought our 150th anniversary ‘lucky gold tin’ containing £1000 cash. “Instead of keeping the money, he donated it to the Boxing Day Tsunami Appeal and we immediately matched the gesture.

“It’s important that local businesses contribute to community endeavours whenever and wherever they can.”