Changes to VCS support in Lewisham

14 Nov 2019

Changes to VCS support in Lewisham from VAL, Metro and RGTB

As you will likely be aware there are some changes ahead to how you, as a voluntary and community organisation or group, can find support and be inspired and equipped to help each other build a resilient and thriving community in Lewisham. 
 
Overview of Voluntary Action Lewisham and METRO merger process
VAL is in the process of merging with METRO Charity. The process will be completed by 31st March 2020. 
The new entity will be called METRO VAL and will have its own steering group METRO VAL will be based at the Mulberry Centre. 
The merged organisation – METRO VAL – will be set up and operate from 1 April 2020. 
 
METRO VAL will manage the Mulberry Centre which will become an Equalities Hub and Place of Sanctuary. METRO VAL will play a role in strategic equalities and convene a Local Equalities Forum.

 

VAL's current services 

VAL supports Lewisham’s voluntary, community and social enterprise sector through the following services and programmes:

Adult Safeguarding Champions

We are working together with Lewisham Council’s adult safeguarding board to deliver a ‘whole community approach’ to prevention of adult abuse and neglect. This includes a series of events around the borough to bring together local people with lived experience, charities that work with them, and board partners to ensure we work together to protect adults at risk of abuse and neglect in Lewisham. We will also be recruiting and training adult safeguarding champions and promoting the Safe Place Scheme.

This service is funded by Lewisham Adult Safeguarding Board. For more information contact Lillian Brown lillian@valewisham.org.uk

Bid writing service and consultancy

We work with a number of local bid writers to support the sector with fundraising applications. This is a paid for service with fees negotiated depending on the size of the application and the work involved. We can also provide consultancy support to meet your specific needs around governance, financial management, developing a funding strategy or in-house training.

This is a paid for service.

For more information contact Lillian Brown lillian@valewisham.org.uk

CYP Forum

VAL forums for local groups working in the children and young people’s sector have been co-ordinated for over a decade and are recognised as valuable opportunities for local CYP organisations to network, hear about policy and local initiatives, to share best practice and to promote opportunities for partnership working. This service is funded by London Borough of Lewisham Children & Young People’s Directorate.

For more information contact Mark Drinkwater mark@valewisham.org.uk

Funding news and database search facilities

VCSE groups can sign up for our weekly funding bulletin that provides a comprehensive list of local, regional and national funding opportunities. For a small fee you can book an appointment to search for funding opportunities on our three databases containing information on trusts and foundations, government and corporate funding. For more information contact Lillian Brown lillian@valewisham.org.uk

Sector news, information and events

You can sign up for our monthly e-bulletin that has updates on our services as well as sector news and events. Training events and news items are also available on our website.

For more information contact Mark Drinkwater mark@valewisham.org.uk

Show your impact programme

Our popular Show your impact programme provides workshops and one-to-one support on developing your organisation’s capacity to define, monitor and communicate its impact with an emphasis on digital tools. There are a number of subsidised places for the main cohort but other groups and partnerships are welcome to attend workshops on an ad hoc basis. This service is funded by City Bridge Trust.

For more information contact Lillian Brown lillian@valewisham.org.uk

Sport and events volunteering programme

Our sports volunteering programme trains volunteers to become event volunteers. They will develop the skills to assist at big events such as London Marathon and UEFA EURO 2020 as well as regular volunteering at local sports events and clubs. The programme will also provide free one-to-one guidance on best practice in volunteer management for five local sports club or groups that run any physical or sports activity and are looking to recruit volunteers. This service is funded by Sport England.

For more information please contact Aparna Sapre aparna@valewisham.org.uk

Young Londoners’ Fund Network (in partnership with Metro)

We work alongside our partners at Metro in Greenwich to deliver a network for organisations in Lewisham and Greenwich applying to or funded by the Mayor of London’s Young Londoners Fund. Support includes help with applying to the fund, developing monitoring and impact frameworks and organisational sustainability. This service is funded by the Mayor of London’s Young Londoners Fund.

For more information contact Mark Drinkwater mark@valewisham.org.uk

 

The wider picture of VCS Support in Lewisham 

 
Rushey Green Time Bank (RGTB) are now funded by the borough to engage, connect and facilitate the sector and your work. Their work will focus on developing Lewisham Local, maximising the assets we already have across our community, involving cross-sector partners, and encouraging all to give and share in Lewisham and work together to tackle local issues strategically. Some of the key new initiatives that you will see from RGTB in the next few months include: an online portal that profiles local organisations and their good work, opportunities to give time and skills, opportunities to share community assets and needs, free training and skills sharing and local information and resources, help for organisations in crisis, charity leaders and trustees network and training and launching a local giving fund.
 
While Voluntary Action Lewisham (VAL) will be reducing its range of infrastructure services, for the current financial year they will continue to provide funded workstreams, including the Show Your Impact programme; CYP Forum and Young Londoners’ Fund network; adult safeguarding events; training and support for sports volunteers and organisations. Also, you will still be able to hire space at the Mulberry Centre and have access to paid for services such as bid writing, funding search, consultancy and accountancy services.
 
METRO Charity are working closely with VAL, progressing through a due diligence process towards a potential merger. If this go ahead, and the projected timeline is by the end of March 2020, this would secure the long-term future of VAL, which would become known as METRO VAL. Key to any new METRO VAL offer will be our work on strategic equalities, funded by the borough. This work involves supporting a regular Local Equalities Forum, bringing together key groups working with people with protected characteristics. METRO Charity will also work with local people and communities to supplement our offer of crucial frontline services related to sexual and reproductive health, mental health, hate crime, youth services and HIV support and prevention. METRO will also manage the Mulberry Centre.
 
A voluntary and community sector engagement event took place at Place/Ladywell, Unit C, 261 Lewisham High Street, Lewisham SE13 6AY, on Thursday 28th November 2019. 
 
Speakers included: 
 
Philippe Granger, CEO, Rushey Green Time Bank
 
Christine Wykes Driver, Acting Chief Executive, Voluntary Action Lewisham
 
Dr Greg Ussher, CEO, METRO Charity