Volunteer portal praised in government report

An online hub in Berkshire to end stigma around mental health and fundraising efforts in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy also highlighted in Office for Civil Society backed place-based giving report.

Joe Lepper | 14th Sep 18
Lewisham Local

A volunteering portal in London is among a number of online charity initiatives to be praised in a government commissioned report into place-based giving.

The portal has been created by Lewisham Local, a collaboration between charities, the public sector, businesses and Goldsmiths University that aims to boost giving within the London borough.

The online volunteering portal also offers internships and helps Goldsmiths’ students volunteer.

The work of Lewisham Local features in a report by Dr Catherine Walker of The Researchery, which has been commissioned by The Office for Civil Society to look at the use of place-based giving schemes, whereby a number of organisations come together in a geographic area to support communities.

“Launched in 2016, Lewisham Local is inspired by the vision that everybody has something to give. It encourages community engagement and a stronger sense of place through locals volunteering for local charities and good causes,” states the report.

Another digital initiative to be showcased in the report is the development of an online mental health and wellbeing hub in Berkshire. This is being developed by Brighter Berkshire, a community initiative, which launched last year to reduce stigma about mental health.

Grenfell online fundraising also praised

The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation’s efforts to raise money online to support victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington last year are also featured in the report.

“When the Grenfell Tower fire happened we went from being a smallish foundation with an income of £800,000 to having to collect and distribute £6.8 million,” states Kensington and Chelsea Foundation Director Susan Dolton in the report.

“We usually process 12 online donations a month, but in the first month after Grenfell we processed 28,000,”

Online fundraising in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy was also featured earlier this month in a Centre for London report on giving in the capital. This said that the online funding portal used to help victims should become a permanent feature in London to support a raft of good causes.