A FORMER resident of Alston who became one of the village’s most recognisable characters has left a lasting legacy of support to his community.

When Dick Phillips ­— known locally as Icelandic Dick for his long association with the country and his love of Icelandic sweaters, died in 2019 ­— the proceeds from the sale of his property were gifted to the Alston Moor Community Fund, managed by the Cumbria Community Foundation.

Dick asked the foundation to allocate his gift to the fund so grants could be made to give back to the community.

The Alston Moor Community Fund was set up in 2006 by an anonymous donor who wanted to support the area’s sense of self-help and entrepreneurship.

Its objectives were kept wide, so it could respond to the changing needs of the Moor over time.

Andy Beeforth, the chief executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “I spoke to Dick about his legacy gift about 15 years ago.

“He was thrilled to learn that someone had created a fund for Alston Moor and wanted to do what he could to build the fund so that it could help more local groups.

“Dick lived for many years in the area. I first met Dick in the 1990s when he worked for East Cumbria Countryside project. He was a kind and caring man with a strong commitment to his community.

“We are enormously proud to be able to carry on Dick’s legacy through the Alston Moor Community Fund. It is an amazing gesture. Because the donation is part of an invested fund the community will benefit in perpetuity.”

The foundation is keen that community groups apply for funding through the fund by the deadline of April 2.