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The Power of Listening: Reflections on a Year of Membership and Outreach Work.

By truly hearing what our members say, I have built trust, established meaningful connections, and made a positive impact. From gaining valuable feedback and suggestions, our team is growing and developing further resources and support to promote change and build capacity.  

Community Southwark Annual General Meeting AGM 2023 – for voting

Celebrate and collaborate with Community Southwark. The formal agenda, minutes and annual report are below, and members will be asked to vote on approving the minutes and the annual report.

Join the Relaunch of the Volunteer Manager’s Network!

Join us for the relaunch of the Southwark Volunteer Mangers Network online at 11:00 AM Thursday, November 23, 2023! The network is open to everyone working with volunteers, including managers, supervisors or volunteers who take a role coordinating other volunteers.

A chat with Cedric for Trustees’ Week

Trustees' Week 2023 is upon us, and it's the perfect occasion to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible individuals who play a vital role in steering the success of charities and nonprofit organisations across Southwark. Our brilliant Community Southwark trustees, Cedric, breaks down what trustees do and answers some questions about what being a trustee means to him.

Community Southwark’s achievements and progress for 2022/2023

Our 2022-23 impact report has just been published. Be one of the first to read it! You can also watch our amazing progress on 'Funding' as part of our State of the Sector report.

An Events Round up for Trustee Week 2023

Trustee Week is a chance to celebrate and promote the essential role Trustees play in supporting and guiding charities. We've put together a round up of events taking place next week, whether you're interested in becoming a trustee yourself or looking to support trustees at your organisation. 

Funding differently: Paid opportunity – call out for VCS representatives for Neighbourhood Health Grants decision-making panel

Last chance to register your interest - Would you like to be part of a decision-making panel, helping make decisions about how funding is distributed to small voluntary and community sector groups in Southwark?

Premises Q+A – Friars Close

Join this session to learn about a potential new community space in Southwark, and how it could benefit your organisation.

Exciting grant opportunity: Funding differently – 2nd round of funding is now open.

Deadline: Monday 11th December New grant opportunity - flexible funding - £5,000 available!

Update on funding differently: neighbourhood health grants

Find out how our grant pilot that seeks to make funding processes more accessible and transparent has progressed and find out how you can apply to the next round.

Get involved with our first ever Business Brunch!

Community Southwark are hosting our first ever Business Brunch on the 28th of November!

Our membership and outreach support – Success Story

Our Membership and Outreach Officer, Gosia, has been with us for over ten months. Her work has been crucial in building strong links with our members and tying together all the teams’ work.  

Make Your Mark’s Impact

We wanted to share the latest on Make Your Mark, Community Southwark's monitoring & evaluation programme!

Community Southwark’s AGM 2023 (Annual General Meeting)

Community Southwark's AGM 2023. We hope you can join us for an evening of networking with local voluntary and community groups over drinks and nibbles. We will also share our achievements for 2022/23 and our plans for the future.

Latin American Network Strategy Away Day 11.09.2023

The Latin American Network comprises of 15 voluntary and community groups that come together to share good practices, address challenges, campaign for tackling health inequalities, be the voice of their community, and much more. The Latin American Network is now at a stage where they would like to evolve as a network to advocate for change and work in partnership to support the Latin American Community. Thanks to the help of our corporate partner ZS Associates - the Latin American Network had its first 'Strategy Away Day'.

September’s Southwark Volunteer Story – Team Day with Better Bankside

Community Southwark is beginning a new chapter to help its corporate partners make the biggest impact for their staff and the charities and community groups across the borough.

Update – Building a Case for Support for the National Lottery Cost of Living Funding application

We delivered two practical workshops for voluntary and community groups in Southwark in applying for the National Lottery Cost of Living Fund (September 2023).

Spring Community Hub is recruiting for 4 new roles

If you are interested in applying for any of the new roles, all the details you need, including key responsibilities and salary, are attached.

Free Digital Technology Training for Your Organisation

Laptops, mobile phones, sharing files, being in online meetings, inviting people to your online coffee and chat morning, WhatsApp groups, setting up a simple website, sending emails..., there are so many ways that basic ‘digital’ infrastructure is helping you run your organisation.

Improve the Health of Black Families in Southwark through Food

A new community-based committee in Lambeth and Southwark formed to distribute grant funding to black food initiatives in Lambeth and Southwark to improve health and food equity in Lambeth and Southwark is now recruiting committee members.

Violence Against Women – Support for Essential Items

LOVO CIC have recently been funded by the London Community Foundation to provide cost of living support to women 18 years and over who are victims or survivors of domestic abuse and violence living in Southwark, Lewisham and Lambeth.

Community Southwark’s Team Away Day

If you are interested in getting ideas for your next 'Team Away Day - find out what we did for ours! If you would like us to help you organise your next 'Team Away Day' or facilitate some of the activities please visit our 'Consultancy' page.

SE16 Neighbourhood Networking

Our last Neighbourhood Networking event before we broke up for Summer took place in SE16 - kindly hosted by Restorative Justice for all (RJ4all).

Update on grant pilot – Funding Differently: Neighbourhood health grants

Grants of £5,000 each have now been awarded to 11 voluntary and community groups in Southwark.

Promoting Diversity in Volunteering

In this blog, Community Southwark's work experience student, Kai, looks into why diversity can help community and voluntary groups thrive. 

Update on our First In-Person Networks since lockdown

We delivered 4 in-person Networks which include: Children, Young people and Families, Mental Health Providers, Disability Providers and Older People's Network.

Volunteer for our Advice Service!

Do you want to gain experience in the charity sector? Would you like to help community groups in Southwark find more volunteers? Volunteer with us!

Hands-on Funding Support for Charities in Southwark – express your interest now!

We brought together funders and VCS groups to have a round table discussion on how we can address challenges raised in our State of the Sector report.

See what we did for Small Charities Week!

See what we did for Small Charities Week!

Southwark’s VCS groups supported 14,500 residents in accessing the council’s Cost-of-Living Fund

We are pleased that Southwark Council will be thanking VCS groups through a financial donation towards their services within the next few weeks, a total of £20,000 will be distributed between 30 partners. 

Raise Unrestricted Funds From Online Shopping via easyfundraising

Community Southwark is now working in partnership with funding website easyfundraising to enable our groups to access a new unrestricted funding source.

It’s Refugee Week! A guest post from Therapeutic Playgroup

Find out more about how a member organisation, Theraputic Playgroup  (part of Windsor Walk CIC) are helping the mental health of refugee children and their families through play, as part of our celebration of Refugees Week.

Neighbourhood Networking – SE16

Join your fellow charities and community groups in SE16 to build connections, share experiences and support each other.

Hear about our first Funding Working Group!

We brought together funders and VCS groups to have a round table discussion on how we can address challenges raised in our State of the Sector report.

2022-23 Annual Members’ Survey Report: Key Findings and Actions

We asked you to share your thoughts about Community Southwark and received an amazing response. We have written a report based on your contributions - click here to find out more!

Volunteer’s Week 2023 – A Team Challenge with Involve

For the last day of Volunteer’s Week 2023 we joined Better Bankside for an Involve Team Challenge.

Funder Q+A – easyfundraising

Join us to learn about this free platform which your organisation can use to receive unrestricted funding on an ongoing basis.

6 Month Update from the VCS Support team

6 Month Update on the exciting work of our VCS Support Officers (Ethnic Minority led) & Advocacy Representation Officer

Sign up to one of our FREE Workshops for Small Charities Week!

We have a wide range of free workshops to support Southwark's amazing voluntary and community groups for Small Charities Week.

Southwark Stars 2023 Award Winners and Champions

On the 26th of May, Community Southwark welcomed 150 guests to Tate Modern for the annual Southwark Stars Awards, an extraordinary celebration of the community spirit which makes Southwark such a special place to live and work.

Funding: How to build a case for support

Find out how to put forward a case to funders by identifying gaps in services, using evidence, and demonstrating your unique strengths.

Intro to Recruiting & Supporting Volunteers with Q&A Opportunity

Join the discussion on how we can support you with your volunteer needs!

Mindfulness by Gosia

We celebrate Small Charities Week with some self-care practice by our in-house Wellbeing Coach- Gosia.

Membership, Resources, Support and Q&A with Gosia

Find out what support & resources are available for voluntary and community groups when they become Community Southwark members.

Southwark Funding Conference 2023 – Presentations and Resources

You can now catch up with all the sessions from this year's Funding Conference, along with the associated slides and resources.

How are we supporting new voluntary and community groups in Southwark?

Exciting update from our Membership and Outreach Officer Gosia!

Governance – The Right Way for BAME-Led Community Organisations

If governance is new to you or you need a refresher then this training is for you! The governing document is a set of rules that explains how your charity is run. It needs to include your charity’s structure, name and purposes.

Short Breaks Funding for Disabled Children and Young People in Southwark

Join this session to learn about new programmes and funding available to support families with SEND in Southwark

The Southwark Social Prescribing Network (SSPN) is now facilitated by the Social Prescribing Oversight Group

The Southwark Social Prescribing Network (SSPN) is now facilitated by the Social Prescribing Oversight Group

Southwark Funding Conference – Social Investment and Crowdfunding

Join us for a look at two alternative ways of generating core income for your organisation - through social investment or crowdfunding.

“An Amazing Event” – Launch of our State of the Sector report and Call to Action

The River Room at Glaziers’ Hall was the venue for an exciting morning bringing together partners from the council, NHS, businesses, and the Voluntary and Community Sector.

Cost of Living Fund now closed

The Cost of Living Fund ended on Friday 24th March 2023.

Free Years Access to Holly Health – Health and Well being app- In calaboration with Age UK Lewisham and Southwark

A year’s free health & habit coaching from Holly Health for people over 50?✨ Holly Health and Age UK Lewisham & Southwark are offering everyone over 50 a year's free subscription to the Holly Health mobile app for a year.

Hello & Update from Gosia, our Membership & Outreach Officer

"I thoroughly enjoy being part of an organisation that is well respected and supports a diverse and strong voluntary and community sector."

Community Southwark secured an additional £5k to help Warm Spaces continue their Vital Services!

Additional £5k for Warm Spaces to continue to support Southwark residents thanks to NAVCA funding!

Our March 2023 Member Spotlight is Hourglass (Safer Ageing)

Kyra Gonzales from Hourglass (Safer Ageing) tells us about how the charity supports older people on harm, abuse or exploitation.

Cost of Living Fund – Update from Community Pathway Referral Team

Update from Southwark Council on residents accessing Cost of Living fund.

What an Amazing Success for the VCS! Update from our Call Out to Southwark Council regarding Cost-Of Living.

What an Amazing Success for the VCS! Update from our Call Out to Southwark Council regarding Cost-Of Living.

Our Neighbourhood Networking events are back! This time we were in South Southwark!!!

Community Southwark ran another successful networking event! This time we were in South Southwark hosted by Bell House.

£15 vouchers available for those who work/volunteer for the VCS in Southwark!

Partnership Southwark are giving out £15 gift cards to people working or volunteering for VCS organisations in Southwark.

Hello & Update from Shamsur, our Healthwatch Southwark Manager

"I thoroughly enjoy being part of an organisation that is well respected and supports a diverse and strong voluntary and community sector."

Our Feb 2023 Member Spotlight is Parent Skills2Go

Margaret from Parent Skills2Go tells us how the charity supports the community by providing services and activities for parents and carers of young children and young people.

Four members talk about Community Southwark’s impact

Four members talk about the support that they have had from Community Southwark and the impact this has had on their charities.

Call out to Southwark Council for Cost-of-Living Support for VCS

Community Southwark has sent a letter to Southwark Council to ask them to increase funding towards ‘currently funded’ Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) groups

A hello & Update from Jenni, our HR & Office Manager

Jenni, our HR & Office Manager, says hello and talks about why she works for Community Southwark.

Our Christmas Opening Hours

The Community Southwark office will be closed over the Christmas period, from: Monday 26 December 2022 to Tuesday 3rd January 2023.

FREE Website support programme for not-for-profit organisations!

FREE Website support programme for not-for-profit organisations! You will get a professionally-designed, new or updated website featuring 1-2 main pages, that reflects your organisation’s brand, mission, and goals.

You Said We Did! Report

Our You said we did report’ is complete! – You told us what you needed and we have worked our way through these requests over the year.

A hello & update from David, our VCS Support Officer (Ethnic Minorities)

David talks about his role and the next steps for his areas of work: "My mission is to make life for the BME community sector and its communities in Southwark more equal and fairer, so roll on 2023..."

Community Southwark AGM: 29 Nov 2022

It was lovely to see so many guests, we showed our Impact video and Report and some initial insights from our State of the Sector Survey

R.E.A.C.H. Alliance Network December End of Year Event

The event invites Southwark's BAME Voluntary and Community Sector to celebrate the network's success and focus on how BAME VCS can work together to tackle the Cost-of-Living Crisis.

London Safeguarding Children’s Partnership – Free Training

Free training events on safeguarding best practice when working with children and young people

Safeguarding Adults Week 2022 – Training offer

Free training courses on adult safeguarding, as part of the annual campaign week.

And our Prize Draw Winners are…!

Congratulations to the ten organisations for winning our £100 prize draw for completing the survey! And a BIG thank you to all.

Last chance to fill in our State of the Sector Survey!

If you haven’t yet filled in the online survey the deadline has been extended to this Wednesday 9 November

Our Nov 2022 Member Spotlight Organisation is HABITS of London C.I.C

Helen tells us about the psychotherapeutic service which offers mindfulness-based programmes and integrative therapeutic treatments to combat mental and emotional health disorders.

Staff Hello and Update from Izzy

Staff Hello and Update from Izzy, our Healthwatch Southwark Community Health Ambassadors Officer.

In October we held our Mental Health Awareness event

On Friday (14 Oct) we held our Mental Health event; thank you to all of you would joined us and joined the discussion on this very important topic.

We are looking for a new HR Trustee

We are looking for a new trustee with an understanding and specialism in HR to support and to advise the CEO.

Monitoring & Evaluation Support Sessions

One-to-one M&E advice sessions available through Community Southwark.

Southwark’s Charityrecycle

Do you have any unwanted IT equipment, stationary or furniture?

It’s 2022 Black History Month!

The theme for 2022 is ‘Black Health and Wellness’, recognising the achievements of Black health and wellness practitioners. 

Our Oct 2022 Member Spotlight Organisation is Oasis Hub Waterloo

Simon Butler tells us about the many support services run by Oasis Hub Waterloo, including: a foodbank and community fridge

State of the Sector Survey: Help us help you!

Please fill in and share our State of The Sector Survey. You will enter our prize draw to win £100! This research will lead to improvements for your groups and service users.

Thank you for coming to our State of the Sector launch Breakfast Meeting!

Help us help you & have the chance to win £100! Just fill in our State of the Sector Survey...

Our Sept 2022 Member Spotlight is Glengall Wharf Garden!

Mariama tells us about this fantastic not for profit community organisation that cultivates food, learning and wellbeing through permaculture design and ethics.

A hello and update from Elizabeth, our Volunteering Advice Services Officer

Elizabeth tells us about the rewards of her role, supporting the VCS and her colleagues in all different elements of volunteering advice...

Complete our survey of services for voluntary groups to have a chance to win £50!

As part of the work of the Southwark Social Prescribing Network we are conducting a survey for all voluntary and community groups.

Neighbourhood Networking Events update

Last month we held our first very successful in-person networking events for charities and community groups in SE17, SE22 and SE24, in Southwark!

Our August 2022 Member Spotlight is Creative Lives

Natanya tells us about their support, including free peer-support network for creative engagement in the Old Kent Road.

A hello and update from Sari, our Social Action & Communities Officer

Sari is Community Southwark's Social Action & Communities Officer. Sari tells us about her three year social action project and the many and useful learning and insights along the way.

Social Prescribing Network Event Update

On 14 July we held our Southwark Social Prescribing Network Open Meeting event with an amazing 85 attendees representing 45 organisations!

FREE support from corporates – we can arrange this!

Are you interested in getting FREE support from corporates? Either through skills or building/painting works for your organisation.

Where we are with our new strategy

We have come to the end of the first quarter of our 2022-26 Strategy have been evaluating the progress we're making... 

We deserve a decent home to serve our communities!

In a ground-breaking move several BME led Community organisations came together on July 13 July to discuss their experiences of Southwark Council as their the landlord

Neighbourhood Networking – SE22+24

Bringing together charities and community groups in SE22+24 to build connections, share learning and discuss local challenges and successes.

Thank you for coming to our June Summer Welcome Event!

On Friday 17 June we held our Summer Welcome Event which turned out to be a lovely occasion, and an exceptionally hot day!

Our July 2022 Member Spotlight is Walworth Living Room!

Bianca Pezzotti, Walworth Living Room's Fundraising and Communications Officer, tells us about the activities the team are running and the new cafe which has opened.

Our Southwark Stars 2022 Award Winners & Volunteer Champions

On 24 June we held our Southwark Stars Award Ceremony at the iconic Tate Modern to celebrate the incredible volunteers in the borough!

Hello from Anood our new CEO

Anood Al-Samerai, our new CEO, shares why she is excited about leading the Community Southwark team and working with the VCS sector

Andrea Dementia is a Befriender Volunteer #2022VolunteersWeek!

"Andrea has been a wonderfully dedicated Link Age Southwark volunteer befriender to a lady who is living with dementia in Southwark..."

Community Southwark Networking Roadshow!

Community Southwark will be coming to your area to run a series of networking events! Let's bring back the art of face-to-face conversations!!!!

Goodbye and thank you Chris!

A goodbye and thank you to Chris our Director...

Tina is a Healthy Living & Learning Centre volunteer #2022VolunteersWeek!

"Since Tina came to us at the Healthy Living and Learning Centre, she has stood out as a both a bright bright light..."

Please keep helping the people of Ukraine

Information with useful links, information and guidance for UK hosts supporting Ukrainians and for Ukrainians arriving in the UK has been set up.

Life on Lettsom: It’s #VolunteersWeek2022!

We're celebrating our Southwark Volunteer Champions for #VolunteersWeek2022!, "Life on Lettsom began as a community newsletter and is an amazing example of a community building grassroots organising power from an Estate in Camberwell..."

Our June 2022 Member Spotlight is Rotherhithe Residents say #LetVimalStay

Eleanor Thorn and Diane Ferguson tell us about the group, "Highlighting Vimal's plight has brought the community together, something which was missing in the Rotherhithe area"

A hello from Jeremy, our new Evaluation and Impact Officer

Our new Evaluation and Impact Officer tells us about Make Your Mark, a training programme to help VCS groups monitor, evaluate and report on their work in Southwark.

Our May 2022 Hustings event in Southwark News

Local elections 2022: Councillors grilled at hustings event for black, Latin-American and Minority Ethnic Communities.

Community Southwark Annual Survey 2021/2022

1. Full 2021/2022 Annual Survey report.2. A snapshot summary of our 2021/2022 annual survey results3. Our prize draw winner!!

A hello and update from Syeda our VCS Support Manager

Syeda, our VCS Support Manager,  tells us about her team and the support that they give to charities in the borough.

Our May 2022 Member Spotlight is The Empowerment Group

Kunlé Oyedeji, The Empowerment Group's CEO, tells us about their work supporting black people aged 18 and over facing mental health challenges.

A hello and update from Alex, our VCS Support Officer!

Alex, our VCS Support Officer, tells us about his role: "helping groups like you to be more effective, connected and financially sustainable – or to achieve whatever your goals might be!"

Bring the community together by sharing FREE spaces!

If you have an unused outdoor space, a meeting room or even a coffee area please share with local community groups to help Southwark residents feel connected!

Southwark Council VCS Grants Review

Southwark Council has conducted a review of grants it is making to the local VCS.

Safeguarding Training – New Dates for 2022

Southwark Council, via the My Learning Source platform, offers free adult and child safeguarding training for VCS groups, and they have just announced their programme of courses for the year ahead.

Southwark’s Sustainable Food Summit: 22 March 2022

Southwark Food Action Alliance's Sustainable Food Summit was held this week, bringing members of the alliance together to work towards a sustainable food system status in the borough!

Disability Service Questionnaires

Southwark Council are running three questionnaires as part of the engagement plan for the new Disability Hub Service.

Our March 2022 Member Spotlight Organisation is Blue Elephant Theatre!

Co-Artistic and Participation Director, Jo Sadler-Lovett, tells us about the invaluable work of Blue Elephant Theatre, "Our focus is on supporting the mental health and well-being of our community..."

A hello and update from Katherine, our Projects Team Manager

Katherine, our Projects Manager, tells us about the work of the projects team: "The work of the Projects Team covers diverse areas and it is exciting to see the positive impact it has on the VCS..."

LGBT+ History Month 2022 is here!

LGBT+ History Month is for everyone, find out how you can get involved and about the launch of Parapride's Our Stories digital project, including their first testimonial video of a member who identifies as disabled and LGBTQ+...

We have recruited our new Chief Executive!

We are pleased to announce that our new Chief Executive Officer Anood Al-Samerai will be starting in June 2022.

A hello from Jordan, our Social Action and Communities officer

Jordan talks about his role in helping to get a more diverse range of voices heard in Southwark by policy makers - (Published 27 Jan 2022).

Southwark News has covered our latest CAN event

Social activists and local Southwark groups met on Monday, December 6 2021 to celebrate the incredible things that can be achieved through social action.

Collaboration leads to 70K boost to address health inequalities

£70, 000 boost for Black and Minority Ethnic community groups to pioneer projects addressing Health Inequalities - (Published 30 Nov 2021),

Our NEW Supporting Active Communities Volunteer Strategy for Southwark 2021- 2024 is HERE!

FINALLY, Community Southwark and Southwark Council’s new strategy for 2021 to 2024 is out!

Climate Change is Happening – help by volunteering!

There are lots of projects working hard to help support the local environment across the borough and they need your support - (Published 26 Nov)

Our November 2021 Member Spotlight Organisation is Copleston Centre

Julia Honess talks about the invaluable support that they give to people with mental health needs, older people & children in Peckham, East Dulwich and Camberwell - (Published 26 Oct)

Our *October 2021 Member Spotlight Organisation* is Power2!

Charlotte Schofield tells us all about Power2 and their fantastic work supporting the local voluntary and community sector - (Published 27 Sept 2021).

Our *September 2021 Spotlight Organisation* is Reach Dem UK!

Yekoliah Amartsoo tells us all about the charity, the support that they give and how people can connect and get support from Reach Dem UK - (Published 31 August 2021)

12 Asks: Community Engagement campaign

Southwark's black and minority ethnic community organisations challenge Southwark Council...with 12 asks for better community engagement - 'WE ARE NOT GOING BACK TO NORMAL" - (Published 31 Aug 2021 | updated 11 Oct 2021).

Our August 2021 *Spotlight Organisation* is Elevated Minds!

Elevated Minds work with schools, alternative educational provisions, and various professionals to tackle the disproportionate levels of BME young people excluded from mainstream education

Southwark Park Vision and Framework – Read the Report

The council commissioned Community Southwark to co-ordinate the consultation activities and gather resident feedback on what changes they would like to see in Southwark Park - (Published 8 July 2021).

Our July 2021 *Spotlight Organisation* is LADPP!

Our July 2021 *Spotlight Organisation* is Latin American Disabled People's Project! - (Published 1 July 2021).

CALL OUT for Black Asian and minority ethnic organisations to speak out about barriers to grant funding!

We are working with Equinox Consulting, an independent Black Asian and minority ethnic organisation, to review current practices and make recommendations - (published 8 June 2021)

One year on – A message from Karima, Chair of R.E.A.C.H

Karima, Chair of our R.E.A.C.H Alliance reflects on the one year anniversary of the tragic murder of George Floyd, the impact it has had for her and the work being done with the Alliance.

Council “GRANTS” investigation into funding of Black, Asian and minority ethnic Community Organisations

Southwark Council is investigating whether or not Black, Asian and minority ethnic community organisations are facing structural barriers when trying to access funding - (Published 14 May 2021).

Our Healthwatch Southwark team are recruiting a new Advisory Group

Healthwatch Southwark (HWS) Advisory Group (AG) is a consultative body, supporting the HWS staff team to deliver local Healthwatch in the borough.

We’re launching our ‘Make your Mark’ programme

We are providing FREE training and support on monitoring and evaluation to the voluntary and community sector in Southwark.

Southwark Volunteer Strategy: we need you!

Community Southwark, Southwark council and YOU are collaborating to create a brand-new Southwark Volunteer Strategy. Here are the results so far...(published 25 March).

Why and how you should put monitoring and evaluation back on your agenda

For organisations who have been able to keep operating, the last few months have been busy and keeping track of that work might be the last thing you want to think about.