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More than £7.3m funding approved for voluntary and community organisations in Lewisham

  • More than £7.3 million funding will be allocated to a wide variety of voluntary organisations across Lewisham
  • Four new community fundraiser posts have been created by Lewisham Council to generate more funding for Lewisham voluntary organisations
  • The Council, in partnership with the NHS, is committed to investing and supporting the voluntary sector in the borough

Last night, Mayor and Cabinet approved the recommendations for the allocation of more than £7.3m of funding for voluntary and community groups. This investment is funded through the Main Grants Programme for 2022-2025, with community organisations set to receive £2.46m each year over the next three years to support their work in the community.

In line with the Council’s ‘Future Lewisham’ vision, the programme focuses on three key priorities – an economically sound future, a healthy and well future, and a future that we all have a part in – helping to support the borough’s recovery from COVID-19.

Lewisham Council’s Main Grants programme has been operational for over 20 years, providing funding to organisations delivering a wide range of crucial services during that time. Through the 2022-2025 programme, the Council has explored opportunities to strengthen the sector, through infrastructure support, coordination and fundraising.

Within the Main Grants programme, the Council has dedicated up to £180,000 to fund four Community Fundraiser posts, to help the sector become more sustainable so that charities and voluntary organisations have access to expert fundraisers to allow organisations to benefit from wider funding across London.

These posts are a vital part of the Council’s commitment to helping our voluntary and community sector who have been instrumental in the Covid response and the borough’s ongoing recovery. The Community Fundraisers will assist local organisations to seek and apply for funding, with a particular focus on equalities, arts, sports and geographical “cold spots” in the borough - targeting areas of high deprivation that typically struggle to attain other sources of income.

Lewisham’s Main Grants Programme is being delivered alongside an additional £2.93m funding for community projects through the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy, bringing the total of community funding to £10m.

Cllr Kim Powell, Cabinet Member for Business and Community Wealth Building, said:

“Lewisham is one of the few remaining councils which still operates a main grants programme for its voluntary and community sector. We have a proud record of investing in our local communities, even when faced with the challenges of austerity and central government cuts.

“Our voluntary and community sector has been vital in supporting local residents throughout the pandemic and in the borough’s ongoing recovery. With the help of the sector which is so ingrained in our communities, we have been able to achieve so much more than we could simply by working alone.

“I am delighted that we will continue to fund them through our Main Grants Programme. I am proud of the huge variety of the organisations within Lewisham that are doing such vital work for residents.

“We know many local groups are still facing significant financial pressures, so the new community fundraising team will help them access additional external funding and ensure that Lewisham’s voluntary and community sector continues to thrive. In a tough climate of budget cuts from central government, we need to find innovative ways to maximise every penny.”

Jane Hendrie, Director of Lewisham Education Arts Network said:

“LEAN is delighted and eager to host one of the Community Fundraiser posts (Arts and Culture). The arts have a long tradition of working together to create innovative, enriching and joyful creative projects for the people of Lewisham, and this Fundraiser will enable us all to do much, much more. Lewisham Council couldn’t have launched this support at a better time, with Lewisham as London Borough of Culture 2022.”

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