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Keep Southwark Safe

Common Purpose grants

Voluntary and community sector support

Southwark COVID-19 statement to funded organisations (pdf, 255kb)

Southwark’s Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) is diverse and vibrant. It offers a huge range of services to local people as well as lots of opportunities to volunteer in your community. Services range from care for older people to making our borough greener, help with using IT, tackling loneliness and isolation, legal advice and emergency food help.

People - VCG support

The council works with the local VCS in several ways:

  • by providing financial help and other support to VCS organisations
  • by developing local policies and strategies together that make life better for residents
  • by providing premises from which they can deliver services
  • by providing advice and information

This is all part of how the council is working towards its wider goals which are set out in the Council Plan.

Community Southwark is the umbrella organisation for the VCS in the borough. Its role is to be the voice for the sector, to provide services such as training and fundraising advice as well as support for volunteering and social action.

The Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy (pdf, 3.2mb) for Southwark sets out a vision of thriving community organisations that better meet the needs of our residents. It was developed in partnership with the local VCS and Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group in 2016. For shorter versions, you can download the Exec summary (pdf, 69kb) and summary (pdf, 62kb) of the strategy.

We're committed to being open and transparent in all our dealings with the VCS. This is set out in the Southwark Compact (pdf, 100kb) which is an agreement between us, the VCS and other partners on the way we work together.

Lists of all VCS organisations funded by the council from 2013 are available on the Open data page.

All funding from the council to the VCS aims to achieve outcomes set out in the Common Outcomes Framework (pdf, 463kb).

There is a forward plan (pdf, 212kb) of council funding opportunities - both grants and contracts.

All organisations in receipt of grant funding from the council must abide by the Conditions of Grant Funding (pdf, 89kb).

If your organisation needs the council to support for an application to another funder, we've produced some guidelines (pdf, 227kb) for how the council will decide whether to endorse an application.

Other useful websites

Advice and guidance

Other sources of funding

Common Outcomes Framework

To improve the wellbeing of Southwark’s communities, a new Common Outcomes Framework (pdf, 463kb) has been developed and was approved by Cabinet in October 2017.

The framework sets out outcomes for how Southwark’s communities can be safer, healthier, more engaged, greener and more vibrant.

This is in line with the Common Purpose Common Cause (pdf, 3.2mb) voluntary sector strategy which sets out an ambition to make council commissioning - grants and contracts - more joined up and more focussed on outcomes for residents.

The framework is intended as tool for council  commissioners. When advertising funding opportunities, commissioners will select outcomes from the framework that they want commissioned organisations to achieve. The outcomes they select will relate to their own service objectives.

Organisations applying for funding will be asked to set out how they intend to achieve these outcomes. They will also be asked to set out the indicators they will use to measure how they're achieving these outcomes.

The framework is intended to make council commissioning better directed to improving the wellbeing of residents and more consistent across departments.

Guidance on using the framework is included in the framework document.

Page last updated: 06 April 2021

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