Positive ageing

Link Age Southwark

Connecting communities for positive ageing in North Southwark (1 year from September 2018)

50 older residents in North Southwark will be connected with volunteers and with the wider community through befriending, social groups offering gentle exercise and sharing information about positive ageing.

South London Cares

South London Cares in north Southwark (2 years from April 2018)

70 vibrant social clubs bringing at least 140 older neighbours and 500 young people together to share time, laughter and new experiences; reduce loneliness and isolation amongst older and younger people alike; deepen neighbours’ connection, resilience and power; and expand activity and relationships across social and generational divides in rapidly-changing north Southwark.

Blackfriars Settlement

Bridging the Gap (1 year from December 2017)

Blackfriars’ older people service focuses on over 65s in the Bankside area, and includes outreach, a range of activities within the centre itself, and befriending. The service helps to reduce social isolation and increase wellbeing amongst older residents, and to enable them to feel part of the community. The funding will support the salary and on-costs of the older people service manager for 1 year.

Age UK Lewisham & Southwark

Advising North Southwark (1 year from October 2017)

The grant is funding an Advisor to deliver the ‘Advising North Southwark’ information and advice service to improve older people’s incomes and well-being, and connect them to community activities. The service will be delivered in trusted venues like GP practices, cafés, libraries and community centres which older people feel more comfortable accessing than high street advice services.

Opening Doors London

Southwark Older LGBT Connect (2 years from October 2017)

The grant is funding the provision of a wide range of services to isolated older LGBT people living in north Southwark, in partnership with local providers and networks. The support will include social, health and wellbeing activities, befriending, signposting to care services, volunteering opportunities, health and information events and providing training to local service providers.


The Posh Club (1 Year from May 2017)

The Posh Club, run by the Vauxhall Tavern’s ‘Duckie’ team, is a daytime performance club for older people. The tongue-in-cheek  1940’s afternoon tea events feature live performances by drag artists, up-and-coming performers, and involve waiters in black tie, vintage crockery, and an in-house pianist. Participants are encouraged to dress up and not take themselves too seriously. Currently being delivered, with great success, in Hackney and Crawley, UStSC funding is bringing The Posh Club to Southwark.


‘Silverfit Fun and Fitness’ (2 years from April 2016)

The grant will extend Silverfit’s exercise and keep fit programme for older people to new venues across north Southwark.  It is supporting the provision of  additional exercise activities – including Nordic walking, walking basketball and yoga -at its existing venues Burgess Park, London South Bank University and Millwall.  But Silverfit is more than just exercise classes for over 65,  the sense of community and mutual support is reducing isolation and improving health and wellbeing.

Strong, resilient communities

Bankside Residents Forum

The Lives of Bankside Residents’ (1 year from September 2018)

Oral history and public film project capturing the lives of local residents, their memories, experiences and opinions in order to influence change in Bankside.

Bankside Open Spaces Trust

Great Get Together Bankside (24th June 2018)

The Great Get Together is a large street festival at Union Street and Redcross Way that celebrates the wonderful area of Bankside through a variety of entertainment and activities for local people of all ages.

David Idowu Foundation

David Idowu Peace Event 2018

Community event open to all in Tabard Gardens, SE1, to mark the 10th anniversary of the passing of David Idowu and all young people lost to violent crime.

Lamlash Garden Association

The Castle Place Project (1 year from October 2017)

The project aims to create a new neighbourhood hub and social space for Elephant and Castle residents, including a community centre, studios and workspaces, a cafe and community kitchen on the sites of two former working timber and light industrial yards.


Musicity Southwark 2018 (1 year from June 2018)

Musicity Southwark 2018 will celebrate the music, diverse community, history and architecture of north Southwark with the release of 7 new and exclusive pieces of music by local artists at various locations, plus a series of related tours and talks.

London Bubble

Creative Volunteers Chart the Mayflower (2 years from January 2018)

2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower leaving the UK to take settlers to America.  In the run up to this event, the grant will create opportunities for local people to research, discuss and creatively develop workshops relating to the voyage.  Delivered in community settings, the workshops will animate the story in a way that is relevant, accessible and fun. It will build intergenerational connections and community ownership of the Mayflower anniversary. Importantly, it will stimulate debate and awareness around the themes of migration and religious tolerance.

Walworth Society

Walworth Community Gardening Network (2 years from September 2017)

The grant is funding a project co-ordinator to establish a permanent network of community gardening projects in Walworth’s housing estates, streets and community centres that provide mutual aid, support and sharing of best practice to local residents in gardening and food growing skills. The project will include on-site gardening training days at estates & centres, an annual gardening conference and annual Garden Show in Walworth.

School Food Matters

Young Marketeers  (2 years from April 2017)

The successful Young Marketeers programme has been running since 2013. Over this period it has reached over 10,000 children in north Southwark and Bermondsey, with £3,018 raised for FareShare (enabling them to produce 12,072 meals for vulnerable families).  Working through schools to grow and cook food for sale, the programme addresses several important local issues – it brings the local community into Borough Market, and works towards reduction of health inequalities and childhood obesity by increasing knowledge of healthy eating and cooking.  It also helps to reduce food poverty and waste, and builds trading and entrepreneurial skills for young people.  School Food Matters will build on its success to run 5 new sales – one of which will focus on celebrating diversity across north Southwark’s diverse population.

Bankside Open Spaces Trust

‘Community Green Champions’ (2 years from November 2016)

The grant is funding a Community Development Worker to recruit, train and support 10 ‘Community Green Champions’ – local people from social housing estates who are passionate  about community gardening and food growing – to create or improve at least 6 green space sites in Bankside.

Time and Talents Centre

‘Open Doors’ (2 years from August 2016)

Time and Talents is using its funding to extend its reach, engage and build a sense of community in this area of the borough experiencing massive demographic changes. The project is exploring new ways of engaging young professionals  and ‘conventional’ immigrant populations through activities that bring them together with the charity’s traditional users.

Pembroke House

‘East Walworth Community Leaders Programme’ (2 years from April 2016)

Engaging and training local residents in the principles and practices of community organising. The aim is to develop and sustain their involvement in East Walworth’s community, one of the most deprived wards in London, encouraging local residents to take community-led action on local issues.

Levelling the playing field

Young Vic

Young Vic Unpacked (2018)

Drawing on the Chicago experiences of the Young Vic’s incoming Creative Director, Kwame Kwei-Armah, this exciting new project will take world-class theatre to community hubs in Southwark.  Frank Wedekind’s challenging play ‘Spring Awakening’ tackles issues around emerging sexuality, mental health, and relationships and will be performed in the venues of several longstanding UStSC partners including Pembroke House and The Salmon Centre.

Bede House

Better Futures (2 years from October 2018)

Project to improve the future prospects of women and their children affected by domestic violence, and children and young people from low income households. Individuals will receive practical help, build self-confidence and self-worth, find new friends and gain a sense of purpose and hope for the future.

Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers

St Mary Newington Project (2 years from September 2018)

Expansion of the Charity’s services at its Kennington centre. It will offer advice and advocacy, English language and skills training, a women’s group, art sessions, a crèche, and food and emergency support to improve the life chances of particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged people within North Southwark.


Advising Communities

Latin American Community Advice & Integration (2 years from April 2018)

Continuation funding for work supporting Latin American residents to achieve their goals and improve their quality of life through money management and employment. From 2018, the project will incorporate English-speaking residents to allow the development of closer links between the communities.

English For Action

Learning for Change (2 years from August 2018)

Training Southwark migrants in English skills and community organising in order to build their capacity to improve their own lives and take action to address issues such as unsafe and precarious housing, exploitation at work or lack of migrants’ rights.

Universal Credit Mitigation Project 

(1 year from January 2018)

Universal Credit was introduced to some Southwark claimants in early 2017, with full roll-out starting in September.  Administration problems have resulted in financial and emotional stress for many claimants, and a surge in demand on advice agencies who are struggling to keep up.  The Universal Credit Mitigation Project was developed by United St Saviour’s in discussion with key local agencies.  It is investing additional funds into a consortium of local agencies over the next critical 12 months of roll-out. Southwark Law Centre and Citizens Advice Southwark will be able to increase advice and support available, and Advising Communities will lead the research into how different groups are affected, and the most effective ways of supporting them.

Ripe Enterprises

Parent College  (1 year from August 2017)

The grant is funding 2 skills tutors and an employment advisor to improve the literacy, numeracy, digital skills and employment prospects of 50 women carers, with children under 5 years old, from disadvantaged backgrounds. The ‘Parent College’ project will be delivered in collaboration with 4 local children’s centres: Kintore Way, South Bermondsey, Bishop’s House, and Victory where the carers can also access health, wellbeing and family support services.

Home Start Southwark

Bump to Babe (2 years from April 2017)

Child poverty is high in north Southwark and this project seeks to reduce its negative impact among higher risk households.  Good early years development is essential for successful life progression. ‘Bump to Babe’ trains local volunteers who build relationships with, and provide support to, new parents who are particularly high risk, helping them negotiate the significant challenges they experience in the first months of having a baby. It particularly helps to ensure a good bond essential for healthy development and emotional health.  UStSC funding is taking the existing tried and tested  ‘Bump to Babe’ model one step further by providing training and paid work experience for the local volunteers – paving the way for family support careers.

Latin Elephant

Business Readiness Programme for Migrant and Ethnic Businesses (2 years from May 2017)

Migrant and ethnic businesses are an integral part of the Elephant and Castle community; they provide goods at reasonable prices, services in specific languages, act as information centres and meeting points for the local population. Regeneration plans may lead to commercial displacement and further marginalisation of the local community.  The project will provide tailored ‘business readiness’ support  to the small migrant and ethnic businesses affected by the regeneration.  It will increase their ability to take advantage of discounted retail rents within the new shopping centre and/or successful relocation.  This project addresses a widespread challenge – in Southwark and beyond – and has the potential to be rolled out to other areas.

Southwark Law Centre

Planning Voice (2 years from May 2017)

The project will support and empower local people from disadvantaged communities in north Southwark to influence physical developments affecting their local environment.  It will enable residents to be effectively involved in planning decisions and ensure that they are supported with mitigation measures where affected negatively by developments.  A specialist caseworker will provide group training sessions on planning and licensing issues for local residents.  It will work on an outreach basis in the premises of partner agencies and local groups.  10 ‘expert’ volunteers, largely drawn from the local community, will support the work of the project and ensure skills transfer for the future. Pro-bono input will be secured from planning or legal experts living or working elsewhere in Southwark.

Salmon Youth Centre

‘Sticking with Young People’  (2 years from April 2017)

Many young people growing up in Bermondsey face ongoing challenges and obstacles that negatively impact their health, wellbeing and development. These stem from factors including poverty and worklessness amongst parents, lack of family stability and positive male role models, exposure to violence, abuse, alcohol and substance misuse – and stressful life circumstances.  In an environment of reducing local services for young people, the project will continue delivery of effective and innovative youth work to 1,000 vulnerable young people who access the Salmon Centre over a 2 year period. It will also develop a range of new interventions that respond to the changing needs of young people.

Recent Grants

London Reclaimed

‘Young Furniture Makers Training Programme’ (1 year from August 2016)

Providing young Southwark residents with furniture-making and employability skills. The project uses redundant timber retrieved from across the capital. Young people will progress onto employment or to study Level 2 Carpentry and Joinery training at the Building Crafts College in Stratford.

Bede House

‘The Inside Outside Project’ (1 year from August 2016)

Staff funding to deliver Bede’s award-winning project which enables clients with learning disabilities to undertake challenging household tasks for local older people. This includes gardening, DIY, shopping and laundry. This builds skills and independence of people with learning disabilities while addressing social isolation and improving safety for older residents.

Cargobike Life C.I.C.

‘Southwark Cycling Without Age’ (with Time & Talents) (1 year from August 2016)

The grant is establishing Southwark’s first Cycling Without Age project, in Rotherhithe. Funding covers purchase and maintenance of 3 rickshaw cargo bikes.  20 volunteer bike drivers will be recruited and trained to take local older people on weekly journeys around the Rotherhithe Peninsula. The aim is to reduce social isolation and raise awareness of older people and their increasing invisibility in the inner city.

The Reader

‘Reading Together, Reading for Life’ (1 year from October 2016)

Shared reading workshops for parents and very young children in community and library venues in north Southwark. The project aims to increase parents’ confidence in reading and time spent reading with their children outside the groups.

Ripe Enterprises

‘English and Employment Academy’ (1 year from April 2016)

The grant will employ an English language & ESOL tutor and an Employment & Skills Adviser to support local residents to improve their language and employability skills at Peabody’s Bricklayers Centre, Walworth Hall and Darwin Court.

Surrey Docks Farm

‘Get Farming!’ (2 years from April 2016)

The grant will support the Youth Programmes Co-ordinator to continue to provide a programme of farming activities, placements, projects and clubs to 550 children and young people per year, reaching out and targeting children from low income. The Programme will increase their green awareness and contact with the natural world.