This section describes what Community Southwark did in realtion to increasing skills and knowledge in the voluntary and community sector. 

What we did

Community Southwark provides training and development opportunties for any voluntary and community organisation operating in Southwark. This training is delivered by Community Southwark staff and we have invested a lot of time in developing our own skills to deliver quality and relevant training locally. The following statistics give an overview of how we provided learning opportunties for organisations and under what themes:

  • Community Southwark delivered 35 training sessions, workshops and action learning sets to 425 participants between April 2013 and March 2014. We had to cancel 14% of training sessions.
  • The topics these sessions covered included:
    • Income generation and finances 34%
    • Collaboration 30%
    • Governance  20%
    • Managing organisations 7%
    • Impact and social value 5%
    • Communications and marketing 2%
    • Safeguarding 2%

What organisations/groups thought

  • 86% of all participants at Community Southwark training stated they felt more confident and able to apply the knowledge and skills they got as a result of the session (up from 63% the previous year). (Source: Community Southwark evaluations)
  • When asked which training, provided by Community Southwark, had the biggest impact on their organisation, participants ranked the following:
  1. Income/finance
  2. Governance
  3. Networking/sharing with others (Source: Community Southwark Members' Survey)

“Thank you for the workshop you provided for our trustees. Everyone found it extremely useful, interactive, and challenging, and took a lot away from the session.  The trustees would be keen to attend training facilitated by you in the future so I will be keeping an eye out on Community Southwark timetable for relevant courses!" (Community Southwark Member) 

What impact did it have

We asked organsations (at two points over a 14 month period) how they felt they were performing against the following areas (see the scale below). The scores that are presented below are the averages from both surveys (2013 = 84 respondents; 2014 = 64 repsondents):


  • Supporting learning and improving: 6.1 (2013) 7.2 (2014) 18% improvement
  • Encouraging curiosity, creativity and innovation: 6.5 (2013) 7.7 (2014) 18% improvement
  • Monitoring and evaluating learning from attending training etc: 6.2 (2013) 7.2 (2014) 16% improvement


  • Measuring the impact the organisation is having: 6.1 (2013) 6.7 (2014) 10% improvement
  • Using knowledge and evidence to show impact: 6.5 (2013) 7.0 (2014) 8% improvement
  • Involving beneficiaries in deciding on planned impacts6.8 (2013) 7.4 (2014) 9% improvement


  • A good place to work and/or volunteer: 7.4 (2013) 8.1 (2014) 9% improvement
  • Right people in the right roles with the right capabilities: 6.9 (2013) 7.5 (2014) 9% improvement
  • People are able to improve their knowledge and skills: 7.3 (2014) 7.8 (2014) 7% improvement

Scale: 1-2 nothing is happening; 3-4 starting off, aware of what need to do;  5-6 doing OK, adequate practice; 7-8 mostly good practice; 9-10 really strong practice, always looking to improve

We understand that organisations receive guidance from a variety of sources but we believe Community Southwark made a strong contribution to the changes described above. The case examples below show the tangible impact the training Community Southwark has provided has had on individual organisations. 

Case Examples

  1. Gareth Davies, Action Plus Foundation gives his perspective on the training Community Southwark delivered for trustees
  2. Seema Sodhi, HomeStart Southwark outlines how Community Southwark provided support to develop a fundraising plan which changed the direction of her organisaiton. 

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