• Increase Text
  • High Contrast Mode

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)
Julia Honess talks about the invaluable support that the Copleston Centre gives to people with mental health needs, to older people and children in Peckham, East Dulwich and Camberwell:
Your name?

Julia Honess

What’s your job role?

Programme Mananger

What does your organisation do?

Copleston has a long and proud tradition of working with local communities, particularly through the provision of services for people with mental health needs, older people and children.

The focus of our work is building inclusive and supportive communities, particularly in a fast-changing area, through a range of culturally diverse free and affordable activities and events for all age groups which enable people to: volunteer; socialise and build relationships; develop new skills; share talents and improve physical and mental well-being.

Although many of our programme areas are funded differently, we practise an holistic approach to individual and community well-being so that while a person might come to Copleston for one reason, the often find something else of benefit of interest that they can take part in, or find a way that they can contribute to the life of the centre through volunteering.

We work with a range of local businesses and statutory and voluntary sector partners who we develop services with, receive referrals from and signpost to in order to provide complementary services and avoid duplication.

How does your organisation support & benefit the Southwark community?

Copleston is a busy place, working with the communities of Peckham, East Dulwich and Camberwell, with approximately 500 people using the building each week. We currently provide, or are in the process of reopening post-Covid, the following:

Older People’s Services:

  • a Real Meals Community Cafe delivery, collection and sit-down service
  • Albrighton Estate food deliveries
  • Caribbean Dance; Tai Chi; Talking about Music; Dominoes; Walking Group – including dementia friendly walks
  • A Mindfulness Course
  • Immediate Emotional Support
  • Strength and Balance
  • Cultural events and visits

Mental Health and Wellbeing:

  • Counselling
  • Immediate Emotional Support
  • Art Therapy
  • Art Cafe
  • Children’s Services:
  • Stay and Play Toddler Group
  • Beavers and Scouts

Help Yourself – We have a help-yourself food shelf, bookshelf and growing area and a programme of talks related to food insecurity and books.


Volunteers support with a whole range of activities from making phone calls to reduce isolation, to cooking, baking, collecting money and leading groups and activities

Other regular groups:

  • Begue Begue West African Drumming
  • Yoga
  • Capoeira
  • Baby Ballet
  • Peckham Rye Sings
  • Mini Athletics

We are also home to Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers who run their face-to-face services from the centre on Tuesdays and to ABC Nursery who are also based in our building.

We also host regular events such as The Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival, Silver Sounds, artist projects and exhibitions, community fairs, concerts and bookstalls.

We also have regular hires which bring an additional 100-200 people into the building each weekend.

The Copleston Church is an inclusive Church which provides morning prayer, an inclusive space for reflection and Sunday worship as well as leading on projects such as Robes and community events such as the Christmas Concert.

What are you working on, is there anything you would like to highlight?
Over the coming year, we want to
  • consolidate and develop the successes and learning of our current older people’s and mental well-being programmes,
  • build our capacity to better support and develop existing volunteers and recruit more volunteers to support the programmes
  • further develop our community café and real meals service
  • develop our partnership work with other smaller service providers in the south of the borough
  • engage participants from new communities
  • deliver sessions off-site
  • provide more training and development opportunities to our staff team
How did you hear about Community Southwark?

I have been living and working in Southwark for a long time so have known Community Southwark since it was Southwark Action for Voluntary Organisations (SAVO)!

How has Community Southwark helped you?

Community Southwark has helped us by promoting our work, hosting local network meetings and has recently helped us with resources about inclusive language. It is also helpful for information about funding and what’s going on locally.

Would you recommend Community Southwark to other charities for support?


How can people get support from your organisation?

You can go to our website www.coplestoncentre.org.uk or contact us via Twitter @CoplestonCentre, email projects@coplestoncentre.org.uk or call us on 020 77323435.

How can people find out more about what you do?

Go to our website www.coplestoncentre.org.uk follow us on Twitter @CoplestonCentre or visit or call us at Copleston Centre Copleston Road, SE15 4AN 020 77323435.

Website link:




Feature in a Member Spotlight!

Do you want to tell everyone about the invaluable work that you do?

If so, please fill in our online spotlight form here and we will be in touch to tell you when your article will feature on our website, ebulletin and social media channels.

For any queries, please email: info@communitysouthwark.org