Local hotelier lands Children in Need role

A successful Cumbrian author and hotelier has been selected to join part of the team at the BBC’s Children in Need.Simon Bennett, who balances owning and running Augill Castle in Kirkby Stephen with his work as an accomplished author, has been appointed to the Northern Regional Committee of Children in Need.Simon, who has also amassed over 20 years experience as a school governor, was chosen by the team at Children in Need due to his deep understanding of the rural deprivation issues that effect young people in the county.

The new role will see Simon help to review funding applications from across the North of England and form part of the committee that reaches its final decision on which charities will receive grants. Stretching from North Lincolnshire to the Scottish Border, the Northern Regional Committee covers Children in Need’s largest and most diverse region.

Simon’s appointment comes as the national charity seeks to extend its support to Cumbria and identify further projects that can help tackle the rural issues that young people in the county are facing.

Simon said:“There will be much for me still to learn about the issues facing young people across the North - growing up in very different sorts of places to Cumbria - but I am really looking forward to the challenge.

“I’m happy to increase my commitment to providing the best possible start for young people whatever their background may be.”

Simon moved to Northern England with his wife Wendy after successful spells as both a journalist and restaurateur in London’s prestigious West End and having spent time in international hotel management, in Jersey, Jakarta, Sydney, Perth and Singapore.

His book Undressed for Dinner scooped both the Zefirelli’s Prize for People and Business and the Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year.