At the Southwark Cabinet meeting on 20th October 2020 an update on the Southwark Community Support Alliance and a paper on a new governance structure were presented. 

Delivery and implementation of the Southwark Community Support Alliance

These are the 5 Short-term (October 2020 – March 2021) deliverables for the Southwark Community Support Alliance


  1. Move the current model to a new revised model that incorporates the 16 recommendations 
  2. Food poverty is often one of the most pressing issues people face but is rarely the root cause of their difficulties. To maximise their wellbeing, many people need to be able to address housing, employment, skills, money, social care, immigration and wider issues. However, people often find the support that is available hard to access.
  3. The aim is to better join up ‘social prescribing’ services that have developed organically in Southwark incl. PCN social prescribing link workers so that this best supports Community Hub partners, can assist with collaborative/cross working and improve outcomes for local
  4. Collaboration and communication between partners will ensure a joined up, multi- disciplinary approach, which will reduce duplication and cater to the widest possible range of health and care

Data CRM systems - Review IT systems

  1.  Further, develop upon the current data sharing of referrals and data between public and VCS bodies. To embed this work and in so doing to reduce duplication of effort and achieve better outcomes for Southwark
  2. To continue to develop and embed a social support referral system – building on the success of the work Community Southwark have been leading using the Airtable platform.
  3. To prioritise connecting digitally excluded people and identify how access to devices and data that can be improved for people who cannot currently afford them and strengthen their digital


Food Delivery – To provide an improved food provision, that is more desirable for the Food hubs and residents and is sustainable (even during another lockdown) and at a better cost to


  1. COVID-19 has made starkly clear the levels of food insecurity in our borough. Continue to strengthen the collaboration and coordination between Southwark’s foodbanks.
  2. Partners in Southwark share a long-term aim to end food insecurity and poverty and the need for foodbanks. As part of that aim there is strong interest in collaborating to develop more affordable community run food
  3. The review recommends scaling up community run low cost food projects - working through the Southwark Food Action Alliance to develop options for affordable food provision that support people’s dignity and independence (including community supermarkets, pantries etc), linked to the review of the food security

Criteria for food access


  1. To develop a stronger common approach to emergency food provision – working through the Southwark Food Action Alliance, including establishing aligned
  2. criteria/thresholds, ways of avoiding duplication of service to individual people and shared relationships with food suppliers.
  3. Standardise monitoring criteria across food-aid organisations. Find ways to share intelligence across all food organisations in the
  4. Work with those residents with personal experiences of food insecurity to inform service design and embed the dignity principles in all Community Hub work done in the


Update all procedures, Standard Operating Procedures and governance


  1. Establishing good clear governing structures for key stakeholders and internal departments to ensure they are held accountable to the success of the Southwark Community Support Alliance.
  2. Developing wellbeing scripts and processes that are aligned with the vision, aims and outcomes of the Community
  3. Enable all partners to work together to understand more about those groups that were identified as experiencing a disproportionately negative impact of COVID-
  4. By standardising the way they collect, use and act on data and understand how all partners can collectively work towards improving health outcomes. This will include a thorough analysis of all the data available within the council and key stakeholders. In particular, this would include a review of monitoring data on local residents accessing services both before and during lockdown to identify changing patterns of demand and emerging trends, especially since services have moved predominantly online.


The Long-term (March 2021 – March 2022) objectives for the Southwark Community Support Alliance

  1. The partners will work with Community Southwark on a joint piece of work on encouraging and supporting volunteering. This will include how we can develop volunteers that reflect the demography of local communities, and what we can offer volunteers (e.g. functional skills training, career pathways for younger volunteers).


  1. Throughout the review we have heard that a high proportion of people tipped into poverty by COVID-19 do not have full recourse to public funds. Without a welfare system to fall back on people in this situation have been left in acute financial There is an urgent need to better understand the scale of this issue and to make the case for a more humane immigration system.


  1. Undertake research to better understand Southwark’s population who do not have full recourse to public funds – to identify the scale of the population and the issues they face. Working with the VCS groups that are currently supporting large number of people in this situation to undertake the