It's Trustees Week this week, and Chris Freed shares some of her experiences as Chair of VAL in the current climate.

Being a trustee of a charity can be quite challenging – but very rewarding. I know. It sounds like a bit of a cliche, but in my experience it happens to be true. As a trustee of VAL, it is exciting being able to influence what's happening in the voluntary and community sector in Lewisham.

The first meeting of the Innovation Book Club took place on 22 October in the shabby chic surroundings of the Catford Constitutional Club.

by Tony Nickson

I was invited to talk about priorities, opportunities, positive stories about the voluntary and community sector; to light a candle in the gloom of austerity and cuts at the first Lewisham Congress on 2 October. Here's the essence of my talk below:

Who am I talking about – what is the voluntary and community sector?

Tim Miller from Lewisham Council explains what some of the changes under the Care Act 2014 could mean for the voluntary and community sector

The Care Act 2014 merges 40 years of social care legislation into one legal framework. In many ways it can be seen as taking good practice in the sector and setting it down as legislation or statutory guidance.

by Mark Drinkwater


The Five Ways to Wellbeing, developed by the New Economics Foundation in 2008, has been adopted by councils, NHS and charities around the country as a set of techniques to promote better mental health and wellbeing.

In my role as the Health Inequalities and Social Care officer at Voluntary Action Lewisham I recently delivered a workshop introducing and exploring the Five Ways  at this year’s Lewisham Mental Health Conference on 11 September.

by Tony Nickson

A lot has happened since I took up the post of Director almost two years ago. Much of my time has focused on setting the foundations to enable VAL to continue to support and represent the sector in an ever-changing environment.