Southwark Emergency Support Scheme

Southwark Emergency Support Scheme
Social fund

Southwark Emergency Support Scheme (SESS) is a discretionary scheme providing emergency support to Southwark residents who have experienced an emergency, crisis or disaster, where they or their family are at risk of significant harm as a result. Community Southwark has been commissioned by Southwark Council to act as a managing partner for some of its voluntary sector providers.

It also assists those who are at risk of having to move out of their home and community and go into care, and those who need assistance moving back into the community after spending time in an institution, such as a care home or hospital. Support provided might include a rent in advance payment, cooker or fridge, furniture, food, flooring and curtains amongst other items.

To be considered for an award, you will need to show:

  • That your circumstances are as those described in the paragraph above
  • That you have been resident in Southwark for at least 6 weeks
  • That you are over 16 years of age

That you are in receipt of – or about to receive – one of the following qualifying state benefits: Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (income based), Employment Support Allowance (income related) or Guaranteed Pension Credit

How to apply?

Applications will be judged against qualifying criteria, but it is a discretionary scheme with extremely limited funding, so awards will only be made to those with the greatest need and most compelling circumstances. No application to the scheme guarantees an award.

Call 020 7525 2434 to apply.

Community Southwark works with voluntary sector organisations to fulfil various elements of the Southwark Emergency Support Scheme. One of those organisations is Pecan, Southwark's Foodbank. Pecan now has five locations across the borough where food parcels can be collected throughout the week, following the assessment process:

  • Monday - Kingswood Community Shop  St Stephens Church
  • Tuesday -   Pecan, Peckham
  • Wednesday PM - Rotherhithe, City Hope Church
  • Thursday - Pecan, Peckham
  • Friday - Bermondsey, Bermondsey Methodist Mission

Pecan provides a support service for people collecting food. Support staff can help with understanding formal documents and - through the National Careers Service offered at Pecan - help with job search skills and CV writing.

Pecan can refer you to money management courses, legal and financial advice services and much more and all in a very welcoming and supportive environment. For more information about Pecan and their services go to