Principles met

  • We will develop systems that enable citizens to be equal partners in designing and commissioning public services and in determining the use of public resources.
  • We will embrace innovation in how we work with local communities to drive positive change.
  • We will support the development of a framework and criteria for social value, giving substance to the concept and supporting Councils with the tools to ensure better local social and economic outcomes.
  • In exploring new ways of meeting the priority needs of our communities we will encourage models, such as co-operatives and mutuals, which give greater influence and voice to staff and users. in designing and commissioning public services and in determining the use of public resources.

Coming out of a pandemic, with a looming cost of living crisis and rising inflation, we knew that Lewisham communities would find it tough, especially as they tend to trend below the London average. Research told us that four out of ten Lewisham households were in fuel or food poverty, with local food banks seeing a 400% rise in referrals with falling donations. We could see an increase in payment arrears and debt and, locally, a rise in Universal Credit claimants. New vulnerable groups emerged that hadn’t previously been considered at risk, and nearly three out of 10 Lewisham residents reported high anxiety levels.

Through our Local Strategic Partnership, we worked with our partner Lewisham Local, to deliver a small grants programme providing warm spaces and outreach activities to help people navigate the cost of living crisis and ensure they know how to access support and not feel isolated. The grants were worth a total of £65,000 and were distributed to 25 spaces to enhance/enable their winter offer. Following the success of this Warm Welcomes programme, a further £74,000 was identified to fund additional social prescribing, community transport, and outreach advice to support the hubs in offering more to residents.

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