Cllr Donatus Anyanwu and Cllr Jim Dickson are Cabinet Members for the Voluntary Sector and Partnerships (job-share)
Last Wednesday morning, we joined over 100 representatives from local voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations that turned up for a day of workshops at the Town Hall. With topics covered ranging from crowd-funding or social prescribing to partnerships and tackling climate change, the event was part of Lambeth Council’s commitment to ensure that our local VCS continues to thrive. We want Lambeth to be the best place it can be and to do this, we have been a proud supporter of the voluntary sector for many years, the contribution of the sector being apparent in every part of the borough, through their work to help and care for residents of all ages, the support they offer to the most vulnerable or the bonds they create between communities.
After a fairly long period of engagement, research and consultation, we are getting closer to outlining our VCS strategy, focusing on the challenges that have been highlighted and how we aim to tackle them, as well as our commitment to work even closer with local organisations and the residents that they are serving. In this strategy, we aim to set out the roles that both the voluntary sector and Lambeth Council can play in meeting our Borough Plan priorities and in delivering the best outcomes for our residents. Although we are expecting the pressure on the council budgets to increase, this strategy presents an opportunity to find innovative ways to support residents and to focus on the benefits of collaboration and partnership with local value-driven organisations.
Lambeth is one of the most diverse and open places on the planet. The borough’s VCS organisations reflect this diversity, with over 1,500 organisations employing at least 22,000 people and playing a key role in ensuring that our local community is thriving and working together towards a better, fairer Lambeth. As a borough, we have seen positive changes over the past few years, but we still experience high levels of deprivation and growing inequalities, with changes and cuts from the Government making progress a challenge. If we are to meet the needs of our residents, we need to work even closer together with other public bodies, VCS organisations and our diverse communities, and continue to be ambitious in our outlook.