A Genuine opportunity to build yourself a Better, Brighter future!


Isthmus Cottage nestles on the shores of Derwent water just 10 minutes’ walk from Keswick town centre but it is a million miles away from it in many other respects. 

It is owned by the National Trust but leased to a local charity called “Young Cumbria”.  RV Projects have been working with Young Cumbria for a number of years and we were honoured when they asked us if we would undertake a complete redecoration of the exterior of the 2 buildings that make up Isthmus Cottage.

The projects was completed over 4 individual weeks, one in March, April and two weeks in October. We chose weeks that the accommodation was empty to minimise the impact on visitors to the cottage, each week we worked there we stayed as residents ourselves and alongside the employability skills we generated painted we had a lot of fun cooking for each other and chilling out in what is one of the most beautiful vistas in the Lake District.

Students on RV Projects courses undertook all of the work and included Derek Presley, Robert Legg, Ayesha Reynolds, Jade Burrill, Korey Leech, Declan Pears (who took part in all 4 weeks), Paul Holmes, Morgan Shepherd and from RV Projects Staff Team Michael Anderson, David Richardson and myself.

Young Cumbria’s Sue Starkey was their project manager and she was almost moved to tears by the work done by the young people, the transformation was that dramatic! The project included many different painting techniques and the students gained a huge amount of technical knowledge and experience.  Though the facility is huge, and even with the huge amount of work that needed doing, the young people rose to every challenge the cottage (and the weather) threw at them, They worked in the cold frozen death throes of winter, the snow showers and hail of spring,  the baking sun of late summer through to the frosty rebirth of autumn.

The spirit and Esprit de Corps shown by the Team carried them through each stage and each challenge, with them growing in confidence and status at each juncture.  On behalf of RV Projects I would like to say a huge thank you to Young Cumbria for trusting in RV Projects to see this project through to the end, and to do a good job!! I would also like to say a massive thank you to the team of students who gave their blood, sweat and tears to Isthmus Cottage and have left their mark on the shores of Derwent Water and have improved the Vista of the Lake District for at least half a decade to come.

Well Done Guys; words can’t express how proud of you we are!!

On behalf of

Sue Starkey

(Young Cumbria)


Matt Goslin

David Richardson

Michael Anderson

(RV Projects)

click here for the gallery link for the project