VAL membership is now free! Sign up today!
Membership is now free for all
VAL is constituted as a membership organisation. As part of our objects, membership is for the purpose of bringing groups together, creating a community among the sector in Lewisham to benefit the borough as a whole. In the past, we have charged a nominal fee for this membership (typically £20) to cover administrative costs. We have now decided to remove the charge for membership, making it free to all eligible groups.
Over the last few months, we have been reconsidering our offer to the local community and voluntary sector, and what membership means for VAL and for the people and groups it supports. Our mission has grown and evolved in taking on the volunteering service for the borough, and in moving to and managing a community premises in New Cross. In line with these changes, and our desire to provide support to as many groups and individuals as possible, we have decided to make membership of VAL free.
Benefits of free membership
With this decision, we aim to engage as wide a range of the sector in Lewisham as we can. Part of VAL’s purpose is to lead and represent the Lewisham VCS, and with a wider, more engaged membership, we strive to do this more confidently, speaking for our members, representing their needs and influencing decision makers to have a positive impact on the lives of Lewisham residents.
In short, free membership means:
- Equal access for all groups to the same level of support from VAL
- No barrier to support for start ups or small groups
- We can speak more confidently for the sector
- VAL is responding to the needs of the sector
- VAL is in line with other local CVSs
What do members get?
• access to training
• support and one to one advice from its team of experts
• representation for members and their beneficiaries at local government level, boards and committees, providing a direct link to decision-makers in the borough
• Information and sector news via the e-bulletin
• Free advertising in the ebulletin
• access to the wider community network via members-only events and consultation
• Support around volunteer recruitment and management
Other benefits are offered from time to time, such as members-only services (e.g. Beancounter) or access to third party services that VAL has secured for it members (e.g. Russell-Cooke legal helpline). Members will always have first refusal on new services or offers, and be the first to receive important news or updates from VAL and the local sector.
Who is eligible?
The eligibility requirements for membership remain the same. Organisations must be:
1. a non-profit organisation or social enterprise
2. predominantly working within the borough of Lewisham, and/or for the benefit of Lewisham residents
3. fully constituted, with a governing document
If you’re an emerging group and don’t quite meet the third requirement yet, don’t worry – this is one of the areas we can support you with. Just get in touch with some information about your group, what you’re aiming to do and what stage you’re at. Alternatively, you can complete the startup questionnaire on our resources page.