Voluntary and community sector support

Southwark has a strong and vibrant Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) which delivers a wide variety of services to local people. The sector reflects the diversity of cultures and interests in the borough.

A new Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy (pdf, 3.2mb) for Southwark has been developed in 2016, in partnership with the local VCS and Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group.  Based on the findings of 4 ‘listening events’ with the VCS, its aim is for a thriving VCS that better meets the needs of our residents. The Exec summary (pdf, 69kb) and summary (pdf, 62kb) of the strategy are also available to download.

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 voluntary sector and other partners on the way we work together.

We work with VCS organisations to achieve the goals set out on the Council Plan, supporting organisations through:

  • provision of resources, through contracts and grant aid
  • involvement in policy and service development
  • access to physical assets
  • advice and information

We commission the VCS through both contracts and grant aid. Commissioning can be defined as ''the cycle of assessing the needs of people in an area, designing and then securing an appropriate service".

Lists of all VCS organisations commissioned by the council from 2013 are available on the Open data page. There's also a forward plan (pdf, 345kb) of council commissioning - both grants and contracts.

We commission Community Southwark to be the umbrella organisation for the VCS in the borough. Community Southwark acts as the voice for the sector and provides support services, including support for volunteering and social action.

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

Central government departments or independent funders sometimes stipulate that applications for funding will not be accepted without local authority endorsement. We've produced some guidelines (pdf, 215kb) for how the council will decide whether to endorse an application.

Other useful websites

Page last updated: 23 April 2019