A Message From Community Southwark

We are all experiencing extraordinary times, as individuals, as communities, and as a society. 

Like everyone, we are faced with uncertainty – there are no existing books, resources or training programmes to tell us how to get through events like these.

However, like all our members, we care deeply about Southwark and its communities. Your beneficiaries are our beneficiaries; the issues you care about are the issues we care about.

Whether you are an individual volunteering and getting involved in social action, a community group, an established charity or a social enterprise, Community Southwark is YOUR organisation and we are here for you.

We know that you are concerned, for friends and family but also about the impact of this unfolding crisis on your staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and your own future. Therefore, Community Southwark are doing everything in our power to make sure that you are understood, supported, recognised and protected.

In order to do this, we will be offering the following:

Information, Advice & Support

  • weekly information e-bulletins and keep our website up to date with all the latest information
  • factsheets and resources that will be available across our platforms
  • a network for organisers of Mutual Aid Groups to provide support, advice and information sharing in the community. You can join by contacting: communityresponse@communitysouthwark.org
  • Our development@communitysouthwark.org address is being used as a helpline for organisations needing some advice and information.
  • Online workshops and hosting webinars, online training and WhatsApp and email groups
  • safeguarding and risk assessment guidance for individuals and groups
  • regular funding information to reflect the current messages and opportunities available throughout this crisis
  • Healthwatch Southwark (HWS) will promote reliable health information to our local communities, and signpost people to care in a way that supports the NHS.
  • Southwark CAN will be providing up to date information about what is going on in your communities

Volunteering Support

  • We are taking enquiries from individuals looking to volunteer and will be signposting them to appropriate organisations.
  • We are taking enquires from organisation about their volunteering needs and volunteers will be signposted to them
  • A package of online volunteer management support
  • We are working with our corporate partners to find out how they can support the sector during this time

Policy & Influence

  • We are working with Southwark Council to ensure the voice of the VCS is heard at national level and organisations doing vital work are supported
  • We are working closely with all 63 local Councillors to share intelligence and support at the local community level
  • We are working in partnership with United St Saviour’s Charity to identify vulnerable people and areas to start a local fund
  • Healthwatch Southwark will listen to local people’s experiences of health and care during the crisis and feedback issues to services so that they can work as well as possible for everyone.

Looking to the future

When this pandemic is over, the landscape in which we all live and work will be vastly different, and yet many of the issues we faced before will still be there. We want to make sure organisations not only survive the pandemic but thrive afterwards. We will therefore be asking you to tell us what issues you face: what resources do you have left? What do you need? What will your beneficiaries need? How will you operate? What will you need from us in order to keep going?

We will be publishing our latest strategy soon and will be updating this to reflect the huge change to the sector in which we operate, and society as a whole.

Our staff are working from home using every technology at our disposal to ensure that no part of Southwark’s Voluntary and Community Sector is left behind. You can still contact us on all the usual email addresses and via our websites: 

Please also keep an eye on our social media for the latest updates and tips:

We are so proud to be your CVS. We are grateful and honoured to represent and support the sector, provide information, advice and opportunities for engagement. We hope that we can continue to do all of this and we thank you for providing us with information on your needs and what you can give. Please keep getting in touch and our team will aim to reply within two days.

Stay Safe,

Interim Chief Executive, Community Southwark

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