Community Groups

Community Groups & Charities

The following organisations are listed in this section.

Age Concern



Bentham Agricultural Society

The Show takes place on the first Saturday of September. An Agricultural Show Quiz is held to raise funds for the show, usually in January/February.

Contact: Mrs Val Lawson
Tel: 015242 61606

Bentham Community Bonfire and Lantern Procession

The Bonfire and Lantern Procession is an annual event involving local people and volunteers. Subject to funding, locals are invited to make a lantern and join in the themed lantern procession through Bentham, and then enjoy the bonfire and fantastic firework display at the Auction Mart.

The event is held in late October/ early November, and the committee would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in getting involved. We hope to hold meetings monthly.

Contact: Anna Miller for further details
Tel: 015242 61907

Bentham Community First Responders

Venue: Alternately the Fire Station and Looking Well
Time: 3rd Wednesday monthly

Bentham Community First Responders (CFRs) have been providing emergency cover in Bentham and the surrounding area since Spring 2007. The CFR team is a group of volunteers living in the area who are trained by and work alongside the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS).

No previous medical experience is needed as full training will be given on the equipment used and the skills needed by a First Responder. Although all CFRs are volunteers their selection and training process is to the same high standards as YAS set for their own staff. Training is ongoing, with CFRs needing to requalify every six months in the use of the defibrillator. YAS representatives attend our monthly meetings regularly to update us on YAS matters and other training issues.

Contact: Mrs Linda Heath
Tel: 015242 63211

Bentham and District Pet Rescue

Bentham Pet Rescue takes in and finds homes for needy pets, helps the elderly with vet bills so they can continue to look after their companion animals, raises funds and awareness and welcomes volunteers.

Help is always needed for coffee mornings, and at the sanctuaries. Please see the website for details of how you can help, and for information on cats that need new homes.

Contact: Pam Whitehead
Tel: 01729 860235

B.E.S.T. Bentham Environmentally Sustainable Town

BEST is working to make our town and local area more sustainable. We want to improve our impact on the environment as individuals, as a community and in raising issues with public bodies. We work in small groups around issues that interest us such as local food production, energy saving, transport alternatives to the car. You might like to join one of these or have other interests you could bring along.

We meet every couple of months at the Horse and Farrier, dates in the Bentham News, and everyone is welcome. Small action groups meet more regularly as needed.

Contact: A. Neligan
Tel: 015242 64886
Also see:

Bentham Praise

Venue: Methodist Church, Bentham
Time: every Monday 2.00pm-3.15pm

We are a group of ladies from every denomination-and none!- who meet for an enjoyable sing each week, the emphasis being on enjoyable! We go out to village halls, churches and the like from time to time, to take our music and fun to others.

Contact: Judith Harrison
Tel: 015242 61624

Bentham Womens Social Services (N.S.P.C.C.)

Venue: Lingfield, Robin Lane, Bentham
Time: 1st Wednesday of every month (unless otherwise published in Bentham News) 7.30pm

This friendly group, which is part of the Craven area branch, meets monthly to organize the many fund-raising events that raise money for the NSPCC, such as coffee mornings, garden parties, house-to-house collections, and the waste paper collection. Separate from this they do fund –raising that ensures that a small proportion of the funds are donated to local organizations such as the Air Ambulance, as well as to the NSPCC.

If you are interested in joining this very worthwhile and essential part of the community please get in touch.

Contact: Mrs S.Adams
Tel: 015242 61182

Bloomin’ Bentham

We are volunteer community gardeners with no formal structure, no regular meetings, no money! We work together, brought together by email or phone contact, to litterpick and tidy areas around Bentham that are neglected. We have concentrated efforts recently on the railway station, planted the flower beds, restored Gill Barron’s paintings to the platform and keep an eye on the area to keep it looking attractive. We plant herbs, fruit and vegetables which any member of the public is welcome to pick and use.

Contact: Shirley Brown
Tel: 015242 61608

Community Link Cafe

Venue: The Low Bentham Victoria Institute, Main Street, Low Bentham.

Monday from 12.15 to about 2pm for light refreshments and a game of dominoes, we don’t have transport that day, So please make your own arrangements. the cost is £1.25 at present.

Wednesday we collect our members at about 11am the cost is a contribution of £1 for the bus, the lunch is two courses for £3.50

We normally have an activity of bingo or a quiz or speaker, Bus collects at 2 and takes back home,

The Community Link Cafe is funded through North Yorkshire County Council and weekly subscription. This group is aimed at the older residents in the local area; we have approximately thirty members. We meet twice weekly in a variety of settings and enjoy trips out 3 or 4 times a year.

Friends of Bentham Library

In 2010 North Yorkshire County Council earmarked Bentham Library for closure in their re organisation programme. After a hard fought campaign by local residents, against closure, and many meetings with Bentham Library Action Group, NYCC designated Bentham Library category 2 and decided to keep the Library open, but reduced the opening hours from 14 hours to 10.

An agreement was formed between NYCC and the Friends of Bentham Library to work in Partnership and for the Friends to make up the ‘lost’ hours with the help of volunteers.NYCC Professional Librarians continue to deliver Library services and staff the Library for 10 hours a week.

Friends of Bentham Library volunteers staff the Library on Mondays between 4.30 and 7pm, and on Wednesdays from 1-4pm. Volunteers work in pairs, usually once a month, and are given training and support by the permanent library staff.

If you would be interested in being part of your local community and giving a few hours a month towards keeping the library open, please get in touch.

Contact: District Councillor Linda Brockbank
Tel: 015242 61598

More about the Library

Friends of Bentham Station logoFriends of Bentham Station (FOBS)

Meeting Details:
Venue: Bentham Station Building
Time: Fridays, alternate months, 10.30am
2013 dates: 08 February, 12 April, 14 June, 09 August, 11 October, 6 December (AGM).
2014 dates (provisional): 14 February, 11 April, 13 June, 08 August, 10 October, 05 December (AGM)

The Friends of Bentham Station (FOBS) was formed in September 2011 by volunteers from several local organizations including the Rail User Group, Bloomin’ Bentham, BEST, the Community Rail Partnership and local councils. We seek to improve the facilities and environment at the station for local people and passengers, and encourage “green travel” by using the local rail service. The group works closely with Northern Rail, Network Rail and the British Transport Police, in developing its ideas.

Membership of this friendly, informal and positive group is free, and new members and their ideas are warmly welcomed.

Recent projects have included the extension of the gardens adjacent to the Morecambe-bound platform, the installation of the “Life in Bentham” paintings by Gill Barron, and the restoration of the Grade II listed Midland Railway mileage and boundary markers.

Further environmental projects are in the pipeline. In 2013 we plan to rejuvenate of one of the embankments adjacent to Station Road, in association with Bloomin’ Bentham and Network Rail, to create a wildlife friendly habitat, introduce additional planters and window boxes and install greener gardening measures, such as water butts and composting bins.

Other proposals include the provision of a digital information monitor to give train running information, travel suggestions, details of connecting taxi, minibus and scheduled bus services, along with local business and tourist information. We would also like to publish leaflets to promote rail travel to and from Bentham and extend the Heritage Trail to start at the Station.

Contact: Gerald Townson
Tel: 015242 61885
Web: &

FOBS News Items:

Goodenber Play Area

Signposted from the Main Street and Goodenber Road, the Play Area is a public play area for children from 0-13 years old and their families.

Run by volunteers, and funded by The Lottery via Craven District Council and Community Spaces, this lovely open play space has new equipment and natural features including a willow tunnel.

There are picnic tables and seating, so come and enjoy Bentham’s Play Area.

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High Bentham Women’s Institute

Venue: Lower Town Hall, Bentham
Time: First Thursday of each month

We are women of all ages, and enjoy a speaker every month, with refreshments afterwards, It is a great way to meet new people and make friends, and visitors are very welcome to see if they would like to join us.

Contact Mrs Sue Camacho
Tel: 015242 62074

Ingleton & District Twinning Group

We have been twinned with La Chapelle des Morais in Brittany, France since 1993. Initially it was mainly Ingleton people who formed the group but now many Bentham people participate. Twinning visits take place every two years alternating between the French group and ours. We raise all monies through various activities to p[ay for our hosts when they visit us.

Our committee meets regularly and social events take place throughout the year. In 2012 a party of 28 went by Bibby’s coach and Brittany Ferries to France, for a very enjoyable visit.

Contact: Margaret Cowling
Tel: 015242 63175

lasrugLASRUG-Lancaster and Skipton Rail User Group

Committee Meeting:
Venue: Wenningdale Room, Bentham Town Hall
Time: Thursdays, alternate months, 7.30pm
2013 dates: 17 January, 21 March, 16 May, 18 July,
12 September and 21 November.
2014 dates (provisional): 16 January, 20 March, 15 May, 17July,
11 September and 20 November.

The 2013 AGM will be held in Bentham Town Hall on Friday, 11th October at 7.30pm. The Guest Speaker will be Drew Haley, Client and Stakeholder Manager for Northern Rail.The provisional date for the 2014 AGM is Friday, 19th September.

Formed in 1989, the Group seeks to support, develop and improve rail travel for business, education and leisure, on the most rural part of the scenic Leeds-Lancaster-Morecambe line, which traverses the beautiful Western Dales, passes majestic Pennine peaks and crosses the lush pastures of the Lune Valley.
In association with Northern Rail, the Leeds-Lancaster-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership and local councils, we promote the line and surrounding area, with a series of posters and leaflets, highlighting local attractions and activities.

LASRUG members receive a quarterly newsletter covering the history, people and developments along the line. A variety of talks and presentations on rail related themes are also arranged. In addition, the annual membership of £5 supports our campaigns.

Contact: Gerald Townson
Tel: 015242 61885
Web: and

Low Bentham Victoria Institute (LBVI)

Main Street, Low Bentham.

The LBVI is a community owned, community led and run organisation.

The LBVI offers a wide range of activities and is a base for an outreach rural Post Office and provides a venue for a wide range of activities for the local community to use.

Users of the LBVI include a dance group, slimming and an art group. You can play snooker and billiards, go to a Tai Chi class, a book swap morning or bat’n’chat group. A community Link cafe for older residents is a regular event. We welcome volunteers. The LBVI also has the Victoria garden and lawned area. The hall, meetings room, kitchen and garden are all available for hire at reasonable rates.


Low Bentham Women’s Institute

Venue: Low Bentham Victoria Institute
Time: 7.30pm on the third Thursday of the month.

We are a small, friendly group of ladies who hold monthly meetings with a range of interesting speakers. We organise and enjoy a variety of outings, meals out, quizzes theatre trips, walks, games evenings, workshops, craft shows, garden visits, treasure hunts, shopping trips and holidays.New members and visitors are always welcome.

Pioneer Projects (Celebratory Arts) Ltd

Venue: Looking Well Studios, King Street, Bentham

Pioneer Projects runs a programme of activities; both regular activities at Looking Well Studios and celebratory events at points through the year/ Pioneer Projects is an arts and health charity based at Looking Well Studios. We believe that health and creativity are connected. We use the arts and celebration to nurture the whole health of the individuals and their communities in North Yorkshire and beyond.

Contact: Jay Haigh
Tel: 015242 62672

Settle, Bentham & Ingleton Blind Persons Welfare Group

Venue: Townhead Court, Settle
Time: First Tuesday of the month, 2pm

We are an informal social group for anyone with a sight problem, in the North Craven area.

Contact: Linda Clemence
Tel: 01729 823767

Settle District Aid in Sickness

Settle District Aid in Sickness is a 40 year old charity that helps people who require urgent financial help during their illness. The Charity typically makes grants of up to £250 on a case by case basis. Items that can be funded are, but not limited to, travel subsistence for hospital visits, additional fuel bills for convalescence, blankets, bedding etc.

There are no complicated forms to complete and all enquiries are held in the strictest of confidence.

Bentham Area Contact: Gareth Adams
Tel: 015242 61182