Introduction: 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: [email protected]

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: [email protected]

Funding and Support for VCS

Information about the support from the council for local non-for-profit organisations is available here. The most recent - June 2021 - VCS Commissioning Forward Plan is here. The most recent VCS grants budget and timescales are here.

Information on currently open grants is here.

Information about procurement is available here and the council Contracts Register is available here.

The directory of properties to let is 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 agenda's, the funding landscape and 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. Deborah Hayman from Commmunity Southwark attends these meetings. If you would like something brought to the attention of this group or have anything to input, please contact Deborah at: [email protected]

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 [email protected]

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 [email protected] 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

Future meeting dates:

  • 01/11/2021 3PM-5PM
  • 10/01/2022 3PM-5PM
  • 07/03/2022 3PM-5PM

Safeguarding Boards

Safeguarding Leads from across the voluntary and community sector come together to share their views and experiences at the Safeguarding Leaders Network for which Sarah Gibb from Time & Talents is the Chair. 

Representatives from the Safeguarding Leaders Network attend the Council-led multi-agency safeguarding meetings on behalf of the sector. There are two VCS Representatives, one for the Southwark Safeguarding Adults Board (SSAB, Terms of reference) and one for Southwark Safeguarding Children's Partnership (SSCP, Terms of reference)They attend the quarterly SSAB and SSCP subgroups and the Joint Board (SSJB) which meets once a year. 

VCS Representatives ensure a two-way dialogue between the Multi-agency Partnership and the voluntary and community sector. They collect the sector's views and experiences in relation to safeguarding, including new and emerging issues and best practice,through the Safeguarding Leaders Network and an online submission form 

They also feedback any information from the Partnership meetings to the sector via the Safeguarding Leaders Network and standing agenda points on other VCS Networks. In addition to this, all updates are shared via our website.  

VCS Representatives: 

There are a few sub-groups that Community Southwark attends on behalf of the sector: 

Keep up-to-date with Southwark Safeguarding Partnership: Southwark SSAB/SSCP Newsletter 

This is a quarterly newsletter produced by the independent chair of the Southwark Safeguarding Partnership sharing updates and useful resources. You can find previous editions on the Safeguarding Southwark website. If you would like to be added to the mailing list please email [email protected]

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. 

During the inaugural meeting on 25th November 2020, a number of working groups were agreed. 

Meeting Minutes:

Terms of Reference can be found here.

During the meeting on 28th May 2021, it was agreed to work on a Test and Learn proposal based on a neighbourhood model concentrating around the Walworth area. 

For further information please contact Chris at: [email protected]

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 David at [email protected]

VCS Liaison 

The council organises quarterly VCS Liaison meetings with the sector. 

Minutes of recent meetings:

Next meeting dates:

  • Wednesday, 8th December 2021 2:30PM-4PM
  • Thursday, 17th March 2022 2:30PM-4PM
  • Thursday, 16th June 2022 2:30PM-4PM
  • Thursday, 15th September 2022 2:30PM-4PM

Please get in touch with Chris at [email protected] if you would like Community Southwark to raise any issues at the VCS Liaison meetings.