We help Lambeth residents who are in or at-risk of food and financial crisis. They live on the margins of society due to economic, social, environmental, cultural and ethnic disadvantages. They include young people and their families (often single parents), elderly, unemployed, disabled, long-term ill health, minority communities and living in deprivation. Covid created new and increased needs; exaggerating the multiple and complex issues our beneficiaries are facing. There are high levels of poverty throughout Lambeth, and these communities have very little to fall back on leaving them additionally vulnerable to unmanageable debt, nutrition/food poverty, isolation, neglect and poor health.
We keep vulnerable residents less isolated, connected to support and more empowered to make positive choices for their wellbeing. We also support the VCSE sector itself to form strategic partnerships and access the information and resources they need to better support their communities. We host a Lambeth-wide online interactive map of provision and disseminate information on the full scope of support available to vulnerable and disadvantaged people; including our unique paper Directory of Services (20,000 copies a year) for digitally excluded people. We help coordinate VCSE groups, share information, opportunities, resources and expertise. We reach around 15,000 people a year with this work.
Our work is not new. Pre Covid-19 we were already focused on mapping and coordinating provision around systemic issues including holiday hunger, food poverty and debt management. We play a vital lead role in the VCSE sector, providing a virtual hub that connects diverse VCSE and statutory support services together (for partnership working) and with residents in need (direct beneficiaries). In short, we are undertaking the lead role of Lambeth’s Coordinator (and dissemination/distribution) of Information for the community sector’s food, financial and Covid-19 poverty and wellbeing response. We connect the Community, VCSE, NHS, Mutual Aid groups, Lambeth Council, TRA’s and faith groups.
|Computer equipment: 2 x laptops for home working team members||£1,800|
|Software licenses - graphic design, Office 365, CRM, web hosting, digital map, etc||£2,000|
|Digital tech support||£700|
We are helping Lambeth shape a fragmented VCSE sector, largely due to a lack of dedicated VCS in the borough for several years. We are supporting new partnerships and minimising the duplication of local services. We are connecting those in food and financial crisis to the help they need, when they need it. Last year, we doubled production and frequency of our paper directory of services, increasing distribution outlets to reach more digitally excluded. We want to distribute another 20,000 copies this year. We will continue mapping and supporting new food-aid and wellbeing providers, connecting them with those in need. We will work more closely with providers to map service delivery, needs of beneficiaries and understand reach and impact, so we may inform policy and practice at a strategic level. We are also building a new mobile-friendly website, with better data analytics capacity. In 2020 our website received over 8000 unique views. We aim to increase web traffic by at least 30%.
Last year, Lambeth Council backed us as Lead Coordinator of Information for the VCSE Covid-19 food poverty and wellbeing response, providing a £10k starter grant plus capacity building support that helped us secure funding and grow. We went on to provide a Lambeth-wide online interactive map of provision and disseminate information on the full scope of support available to vulnerable and disadvantaged people; including via our unique paper Directory of Services for digitally excluded residents. In all, we supported around 15,000 disadvantaged residents across our work and built wide partner and stakeholder networks: including NHS Lambeth, Mutual Aid groups, Age UK, Childrens Centres, the 4 Trussell Trust Food Banks, Brixton Advice Centre and many front-line services (statutory and community). CEO and Founder Virginia Nimarkoh brings 14 years of community development experience and previously led the Lambeth Food Insecurity Project; a 2-year action research initiative.