Brexit implications for the VCS

VAL Chair Chris Freed urges Lewisham's VCS to stick together as the creative 'glue that holds things together' in the uncertainty of the EU Referendum results


What an interesting time it has been since the EU Referendum results!  Whatever way you voted, the result has brought about more questions than it has answers.

For us in the voluntary and community sector, there is a definite air of uncertainty that has added to the already unsure times around funding, and what the sector will look like in the future.  Since the result, there have been increased reports of tension and divisions within some of our neighbourhoods and these incidents, however small in number, chip away at the heart of our community. 


We are in a privileged position, in that through the work we do we continue to build resilience and capacity. So I think our role within our communities is even more important than ever at this time.


The sector in Lewisham is vibrant and exciting, achieving more than sheer numbers – bringing about long-term change and making an impact on individual and community lives.  Let’s continue to focus on working together to improve the lives of those we work with.  Our role as instigators of change, as enablers and often as the glue that holds things together is essential in these times.


Working together as the sector, we can continue to make big change. Yes, we might have to do things differently and yes, there might be more surprises round the corner, but I’m convinced that, as a flexible and creative sector that has overcome significant challenges before, we can meet this one head on. Almost 60 per cent of those surveyed in our pre-referendum State of the sector survey last month backed this up by reporting that they are currently facing challenges but very ready to deal with them in a productive way.


The CEO of NCVO recently said: ’We can and must help people in the communities we work with to understand, respect and cherish each other.’  Let us in Lewisham’s voluntary and community sector see the future as an opportunity and use our creativity to find ways to meet the post-Brexit challenges. 



Our State of the sector survey is the first snapshot of Lewisham voluntary and community services, including its scope and where the pressure points are. We aim to publish some of the results soon. For more information contact