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Southwark Council

Local Authority is, without doubt, the biggest partner of the local voluntary sector in Southwark. Here we present the range of council forums and groups where the VCS in involved.

Southwark’s Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy (2017-2022)

The council worked together with the VCS to create the Southwark’s Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy (2017-2022) 

In October 2020 the council indicated the need to review the strategy as a result of the impact of covid-19 and the global protests demanding equality and inclusion. This was followed up in June 2021 with a 1-page review of the current strategy available here. Community Southwark will be working with our members on making sure that the new strategy is co-designed with the sector.

If you would like to share any feedback about the current strategy or thoughts about the review please contact Chris at: info@communitysouthwark.org

The Southwark’s Borough Plan 2020-2022 is available here and the Forward Plans are here. The different portfolios of the Council Cabinet Members in 2021-2022 are listed here.

Community Engagement Strategy

The Council’s Approach to Community Engagement document is here. The Council and the South East London CCG host the Engagement Advisory Group to talk about upcoming public engagement work in both organisations. If you would like to raise any issues about the council’s or CCG engagement or consultations please contact Anita at: info@communitysouthwark.org

VCS Liaison 

The council organises quarterly VCS Liaison meetings with the sector.

Minutes of recent meetings:

Next meeting dates:

  • Thursday, 16th June 2022 2:30PM-4PM
  • Thursday, 15th September 2022 2:30PM-4PM

Please get in touch with us at info@communitysouthwark.org if you would like Community Southwark to raise any issues at the VCS Liaison meetings.

Covid-19 Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan Board

Information about the plan is available here. We are working together with the Public Health Team on distributing messages around covid-19 outbreak prevention via our networks and via a dedicated Health Ambassadors and Grants Scheme. To find out more please contact Bridie info@communitysouthwark.org

Health and Wellbeing Board

The Health and Wellbeing Board prepares and publishes a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and a Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS) to meet the needs identified in the JSNA in relation to the local authority’s area i.e. Southwark. It meets on a quarterly basis and the local VCS is represented by Community Southwark.

We also take part in the work of a dedicated Covid Vaccination Subgroup of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

We consult the sector on any issues relating to the work of the Health and Wellbeing Board via Southwark Voice (further info below). If you would like us to raise any points at the Board’s or Subgroup’s meetings or discuss the role of the VCS in them please contact Chris at info@communitysouthwark.org Each meeting has also dedicated time for members of the public to raise any issues or concerns they have. All documents relating to the board are under http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=365.

Future meeting dates:

  • Monday, 4th July 2022 3PM-5PM

Southwark Community Support Alliance

The Support Alliance was established as a legacy to the Southwark Responds Community Hub created at the outbreak of covid-19 as a cross-sector (local authority, health services, VCS) response to support the local residents. The Support Alliance is working on implementing 16 recommendations via a Co-ordination Group which is attended by Community Southwark on behalf of the sector. Background information, including the recommendations, can be found here.

The current work covers:

  • Southwark Energy Support Scheme and
  • Partnership for People and Place Programme (Walworth Neighbourhood Model). We provided the most recent updates to the sector on this in November 2021 (here) and February 2022 (here).

For further information please contact us at: info@communitysouthwark.org

Southwark Stands Together

This is a council borough-wide initiative in response to the systemic racism and injustices experienced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, and to the inequalities exposed by COVID-19. Further information can be found here. To learn more about the Southwark R.E.A.C.H. (Race, Equality and Cultural Heritage) Alliance and Latin American American Network which we administer please contact us at info@communitysouthwark.org

Safeguarding Boards

There are a number of different boards and working groups, with members from across private, public and voluntary sectors, that contribute to safeguarding in Southwark. Below you will find information about each different element. Find out more on our Safeguarding and Southwark Council page.

Southwark Anchors Network

is a gathering of major public and private organisations in Southwark which looks at how they can collectively work better together to deliver an approach to local wealth building in Southwark. Community Southwark represents the VCS at the meetings.

Funding and Support for VCS

Southwark Council is one of the largest funders of the voluntary and community sector in the borough, through a mixture of grants and contracts. You can find out more about current and upcoming funding opportunities on our Southwark Council funding page.


Southwark Council has released their upcoming procurements for Children and Adults for 2022, the timetable can be found here.

Commissioning Officers Group

This Group sets the agenda for the quarterly Commissioning Board meetings that set the strategic direction and provide strategic guidance on the development of commissioning the VCS in Southwark. Made up of a range of key Council departments and VCS representation through community Southwark, the Group discusses and plans how commissioning can be improved in Southwark, how it fits with the Council agendas, the funding landscape and the needs of people in Southwark. It is informed by the following:

  • The council single commissioning plan (in development) – council-wide plan with Fairer Future high-level principles
  • Fairer Future Procurement Strategy principles and objectives
  • Tri-partite VCS Strategy Common Purpose Common Cause
  • Common Outcomes Framework
  • Commissioning co-ordination
  • Commissioning resources communications needs

This Group meets quarterly one month before the Commissioning Board meeting. Syeda Hussain from Community Southwark attends these meetings. If you would like something brought to the attention of this group or have anything to input, please contact Syeda at: info@communitysouthwark.org