Support

This section describes what Community Southwark did in realtion to building organisational capacity and the impact it had.

What we did

Community Southwark provides 1:1 advice and support for any voluntary and communtiy organisations operating in Southwark. This support is free and is provided via the Community Southwark website, over the telephone or in dedicated 1 hour sessions (sustainability surgeries). Our aim is to help voluntary and community organisations be ready and prepared for change - whatever that might be - and to ensure they are well managed. The following statistics give an overview of how we supported organisations:

  • 215 organisations supported between April 2013 and March 2014 (9% increase on previous year)
  • 82 one off enquiries | 133 more intensive case work. The topics covered included:
    • Fundraising 36%
    • Governance 24%
    • Starting up an organisation 11%
    • Premises issues 6%
    • Human resources and safeguarding 8%
    • Business planning 2%
    • Other 13%
  • We held 21 sustainability surgeries which were attended by 62 organisations. Most common enquiries were: starting up an organsation (24%); governance (23%); and, fundraising (15%).
  • 57 organisations were supported to access over £750,000 of fudning from Southwark Council, Big Lottery and other local charitable foundations. 

What organisations/groups thought

  • 57% of Community Southwark members stated that this support made a postive difference to the management of their organisation - 23% found it helpful but it didn't change how they worked. Source: Community Southwark Members' Survey 2014
  • In terms of the accessibility, usefulness and timeliness of the funding advice and support provided by Community Southwark, they were all rated 8 out of 10 (10 being brilliant). Source: Community Southwark Members' Survey 2014
  • 75% of attendees at sustainability surgeries felt that the knowledge of Community Southwark staff was excellent. Eight out of 10 felt that the support provided was excellent. Source: Sustainability Surgery feedback 2013-14.

What impact did it have

We asked organsaitons (at two points over a 14 month period) how they felt they were performing against the following areas (see the scale below). The scores that are presented below are the averages from both surveys (2013 = 84 respondents; 2014 = 64 repsondents):

INCOME

  • Adequate levels of income for the next few years: 4.6 (2013) 5.2 (2014) 13% improvement
  • Planning well ahead to find future funding6.0 (2013) 6.6 (2014) 10% improvement
  • Healthy range of sources of income: 4.9 (2013) 5.4 (2014) 10% improvement
  • Taking advantage of new funding opportunities: 6.0 (2013) 6.2 (2014) 3% improvement

GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP

  • The board and staff make sound and well communicated decisions: 6.1 (2013) 7.5 (2014) 23% improvement
  • The board and senior staff work well together6.5 (2013) 7.8 (2014) 20% improvement
  • There is proper scrutiny, accountability, legal compliance and risk management: 6.8 (2013) 8.2 (2014) 21% improvement
  • The leadership have the backing of the rest of the organisation6.2 (2013) 8.1 (2014) 31% improvement

MANAGING RESOURCES

  • Use  time, money, premises, IT, assets and energy efficiently6.7 (2013) 7.4 (2014) 10% improvement
  • Good financial management7.4 (2013) 7.7 (2014) 4% improvement
  • Resources are wisely invested: 6.7 (2013) 7.8 (2014) 16% improvement
  • Manage costs and energy use: 6.5 (2013) 7.6 (2014) 17% improvement
  • Use new technologies to their full potential: 6.2 (2013) 6.7 (2014) 8% improvement 

Scale: 1-2 nothing is happening; 3-4 starting off, aware of what need to do;  5-6 doing OK, adequate practice; 7-8 mostly good practice; 9-10 really strong practice, always looking to improve

We understand that organisations receive guidance from a variety of sources but we believe Community Southwark made a strong contribtuon to the changes described above. The case examples below show the tangible impact the support and advice Community Southwark has provided has had on individual organisations. 

Case Examples

  1. Alice Moore, Real Drama describes the support Community Southwark gave her organisaiton in relation to goverance and fundraising
  2. Lorraine Duncan, Knitwizzneedles Knitting Group outlines how Community Southwark help her emerging knitting group develop and grow

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