As a London Assembly Member I am privileged to see the amazing work of smaller charities in our communities every day.
It is a testament to our civic spirit here in Southwark that people give their time and money to help their neighbours out.
There are so many different organisations working to make positive change on a range of issues in our area, from legal support to helping the homeless to raising our young people’s aspirations.
An excellent example of the latter is the Damilola Taylor Trust. This month marks sixteen years since Damilola’s murder in Peckham. Since that tragedy the Damilola Taylor Trust has worked with young people in South East London to improve their life chances and instill the confidence and aspiration for them to lead healthy, happy lives and fulfil their potential.
Charities like this have consistently stepped in and stepped up to help people in Southwark – filling in the gaps and picking up the pieces left by Government cuts. But the charity sector faces an uphill struggle. We are in a difficult climate in terms of securing charitable funding, and are also seeing increased demand for services.
I recently hosted an event at City Hall for the Institute of Fundraising. The institute has over 525 organisational members who raise more than £9bn for good causes every year.
The ‘Achieving Great Fundraising in your Area’ event aimed to help small charities from across London to develop and strengthen their fundraising activities and secure sustainable incomes for the future. Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of The Institute of Fundraising, stated that as well as ensuring charities have the resources they need, the Institute also connects Londoners to the causes they want to support. A wide range of charities were in attendance and it was a chance for them to hear from fundraising experts, as well as receiving practical guidance to support their work.
It is absolutely vital that charities on the front line have the resources they need, and I would encourage Southwark residents to get involved with a local charity.
If you are interested in finding out more, City Hall’s ‘Team London’ can help you – visit their website at www.volunteerteam.london.gov.uk