Our Story

Our Story

The History of CDEC

CDEC is a small, Cumbria-based charity with a big heart, an established track record and big ambitions to influence and promote global citizenship throughout Cumbria, nationally and internationally.

For over thirty years, since 1984, CDEC has been working with schools in different ways to help develop our county’s children so they are global citizens.

How did we start?

In 1984 CDEC was born from a small development education centre in the north-west of Cumbria, sometimes hosted in Cockermouth. It came out of a project with North West Cumbria World Develoment Movement group, with funding from Christian Aid and other agencies.

Five years later, we moved to Ambleside and to the Kelsick building at Charlotte Mason College (that is now part of the University of Cumbria) and the first resources technician, Heather, was appointed! (Heather is still part of the CDEC family and now helps out as a volunteer!) At around this same time, our associate tutor Jane Yates began her teacher training and started using CDEC’s resources.

School Linking

Through the 1990s, we ran projects linking communities and helped with school linking. We celebrated the Millennium with the Time and Space project at the Westmorland Show, and CDEC had employed its first finance officer and the position of centre officer followed in 2001. By this point, we had satellite offices hosted in a number of schools across the county, including Lakes College, Phoenix Centre, Parkview School and Alfred Barrow. In 2004 we started a partnership with Carlisle One World Centre, with whom we are still closely associated.

In 2006, we moved permanently into Low Nook, where we are still based today. This is a great central location for us to reach the far and wide areas of our county.

Supporting Global Learning in Schools

In the last 10 years, we have endeavoured to continue to serve our county’s schools to deliver what they need, changing and adapting as the curriculum and demands of Ofsted require.

Working with International Partners

We have also hosted a number of significant projects, including some with European funding and partnership with other agencies in Europe and Africa. These include the Global Literacy project, World from Our Doorstep, and more recently The Global Schools project, Map Your Meal and Hidden Stories Shared Lives. You can find out more about these on our projects page.

Through the involvement of these projects and the strong reputation of CDEC’s training and resource boxes, Cumbria’s schools are well engaged with global learning, and we are regarded by other parts of the country as a shining example of how global citizenship is developed.

Developing Global Citizenship throughout Cumbria

Our role today is to support secondaries with SMSC and PHSE agendas, while primaries look to us for training to weave the global learning thread through their curriculums and school life and to help develop student voice and wellbeing. We also work within communities and with businesses to help develop Cumbria as a beacon of global citizenship.