Mary Dunsford plays at Furness General Hospital

The Westmorland Gazette: Mary Dunsford

Mary Dunsford, who leads the Furness Tradition harp workshops (affectionally called the harpies) is playing to patients and visitors at Furness General Hospital.

“It is relaxing and a special touch for our patients, staff and service users,” said Barry Rigg, community engagement manager for the trust. “We are grateful to Mary for sharing her skills and talent within our local hospital.

“Research has shown that the introduction of live music into healthcare can enhance the quality of care, improve communication, empathy and understanding of patients’ needs, reduces stress and the perception of pain. We are receiving many positive responses; patients engaging with performers is a very special experience which everyone present can feel involved in.”

And patients have reacted positively, with one saying: “We were so thrilled with the musician. It had a big impact on the ward.”

Mary was helped in her project by the Sir John Fisher Foundation.

She visits there each Wednesday.

Taste Cumbria Food Festival coming to Ulverston


Ulverston has always been a fine place for food with excellent butchers, bakers, etc. as well some superb venues for dining out. Now the Taste Cumbria Food Festival is coming in May.

The first Taste Cumbria Food Festival took place in 2010 and saw Cockermouth’s shops, restaurants, hotels and pubs join forces in the weekend-long Cumbrian culinary celebrations. Taste Cumbria is the largest food festival in the County, bringing in over £2 million into the local economy and evaluation of the 2013 festival gave evidence that everyone thought it was the best event yet!

In 2013, Taste Cumbria spread it’s wings, and ran a very popular food village at Lowther Show, which will return in 2014, bigger and better, as well as a Christmas Fayre at Mitchells Sale Rooms in Cockermouth.

Visitors and producers have been keen to see an event in South Cumbria, and we are delighted to confirm that Taste Cumbria Ulverston will take place on 24th and 25th May in Ulverston Town Centre.

The event will host a large producers market featuring the very best of produce from our fabulous county, a demonstration kitchen showcasing the talents of local chefs and producers, a kids area, picnic area, food to eat now area, stage with local bands and lots of other exciting activities. The event will also feature the very best of Made In Cumbria so is sure to be a showcase for everything truly great about Cumbrian produce.