How do we make a difference?
“…this project is an example of Localism at its most successful enabling [Stockwell Partnership] to identify and reach out to people who would be traditionally very hard to engage.”
Portuguese Advice & Capacity Building Project Evaluation, Ian Beever Consultancy & Training
Stockwell Partnership is a charity run by local people for local people. We improve the quality of life in the local area by developing projects, building partnerships, and supporting residents to take action on the issues they care about. We work with residents to create a neighbourhood where people feel happy and safe, and where they have a sense of pride and ownership.
Stockwell Partnership Annual Report 2020-21
2020-21 has been a very tough year for the Stockwell community. In line with government guidance, we closed our offices in March 2020 and moved to remote delivery of our services.
Many low-paid migrant workers lost their jobs and required significant support from us, especially with claiming Universal Credit and other benefits. With the extant barriers of poor English and a lack of awareness of services, we assisted a new cohort of clients, with a 47% increase in our caseload. We also supported many older, isolated residents, with friendship calls and connecting them to wider services including food banks and volunteers to help with shopping and prescriptions.
During the course of the year we supported 13 migrants into work and helped 474 to access benefits and improve their financial resilience. The pandemic created new challenges for existing clients as well as bringing a large number of new ones to us. People lost jobs in sectors such as hospitality and cleaning, but with some opening up in different sectors (e.g. care) we started to signpost and support people with retraining.
Through our LEAP (Lambeth Early Action Partnership) early years programme, we supported 355 parents and young children through educational and fun activities delivered online throughout the year, as well as through our Stockwell Early Years Forum. We also worked with LEAP and other partners to send out updates to the community and partners on the status of services in Stockwell in the early days of lockdown.
We worked with local GPs and community leaders to create videos to promote uptake of the flu and Covid vaccines in our neighbourhood. Vaccine uptake in Stockwell is typically lower than the rest of Lambeth, with only a 78% take-up compared to c.85% in other neighbourhoods. We made a Portuguese language video for the flu vaccine, and contributed to the Stockwell Community Leaders Covid video, including with messages in Polish, Spanish and Portuguese.
We also engaged community groups and residents in the development of a new Health and Wellbeing Hub for Stockwell, in partnership with Lambeth Together and the Thriving Stockwell network, of which we are a founding member. We continued networking with the other forums in the Lambeth Forum Network, and held Stockwell Forums on subjects including Lambeth Made Safer and the Census, Health and Wellbeing and the Covid community response.
The pandemic and lockdown meant a delay to the start of our Heritage Fund project about the history of Polish migrants in our area, Poles in South London. Recruitment of the second, part-time Polish Coordinator post was set back to September 2020. The project was necessarily moved to online delivery. However, it has already proved a massive success, with a regular steering group of 15 volunteers, 6 oral history records carried out, 5 events held to launch the project as part of the Night at Libraries, Holocaust Month Day, Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival and Polish Heritage Day, a schools competition launched and a website and Facebook page created. We have also agreed with the Bishopsgate Institute that they will host the project archive for future generations.
With regard to learning, we have found that, at a time of unexpected crisis, the value of long-term relationships and trust built up in an area has proven to be irreplaceable. As lockdown hit, the local migrant communities with which we have worked for over 20 years came to us in exceedingly high numbers. They also brought friends, family members and work contacts, many of whom we had not worked with before. Our staff worked long hours to provide them with the support they needed, with the added challenge of a closed office and all help being given by phone or online. But the relationships and trust that we have developed over the years paid off, helping us to reach most of those with major problems and challenges.
The crisis has also helped us to connect better with partners, many of which have pulled out all the stops to firefight individuals’ problems and help people through. With the new Stockwell Primary Care Network, we had already set up a ‘Thriving Stockwell’ network in 2019, a group of over 40 community groups, residents, councillors, business people and health professionals. This informal network proved invaluable in joining up services, maintaining community morale, and ensuring that people – especially migrants with poor English and low awareness of services – did not ‘fall through the net’. For example, alongside the use of the vaccine videos and health messages, we worked seamlessly with the Lambeth Portuguese Wellbeing Partnership, Children’s Centres, the Primary Care Network social prescriber and others to support residents from a wide variety of backgrounds with challenges made worse by Covid. We are now strengthening the activity of Thriving Stockwell with the support of Lambeth Together and Hyde Housing Association to connect the community through activities including a potential new pilot street market in Stockwell and through new digital and physical maps of Stockwell that will help people connect to services and health and wellbeing assets in our neighbourhood.
To ensure we learn from the crisis, we are now undertaking a review process with staff, volunteers, management and trustees, developing a blended mix of service delivery both online (with those predominately younger clients for whom remote delivery has been more efficient) and face-to-face for those clients (generally older and more isolated migrants) who are more digitally excluded and in need of social contact.
In 2021-22, we will
- continue to provide support to community members as they come out of lockdown / furlough, especially with benefit and debt advice and employment support;
- support families through our LEAP Early Years forum and regular online and real-world activities;
- continue delivery of our Poles in South London heritage project
- work with our Thriving Stockwell partners to deliver pilot Health and Wellbeing projects in Stockwell
- and continue to connect the community through the Stockwell Forum and related activities.
We anticipate opening the office in the summer.
Impact of our 2019-20 Work Programme:
Strategic Aim 1: Supporting Individuals in Need
Our National Lottery Community Fund supported ‘Stockwell Portuguese Community’ project overachieved planned outputs for the tenth successive year with 389 people receiving advice from our project worker and her volunteers, helping them with housing, welfare, citizenship and employment issues. Eight people were supported into work, and 25 were given volunteering opportunities that increased their confidence and employability. We continued supporting the ‘HUG group’ of 15 older Portuguese with social events, crafts and activities, to strengthen their links with the local community and explore London.
In addition The Big Lottery funded the ‘Advanced Care Planning consortium’ for whom we have assisted eight Portuguese speakers to compile and register their Advance Statements on medical treatments, dietary requirements, and connected persons to consult in the event of an sudden onset of medical emergency.
In the final project year of our six-year Walcot Foundation funded multi-lingual ‘NEETs and Employability’ project, we supported 71 people to increase their budgeting and debt management skills (16 NEETs), as well as a further 10 NEETs to gain employment and 18 to improve their soft skills (12 NEETs).
As a Lambeth Council ‘Early Years ‘Framework’ training provider, we delivered weekly bilingual training courses (Portuguese, Spanish) in Stockwell children’s centre on subjects ranging from parenting to accessing services to volunteering and active citizenship. 32 parents were trained.
Working with the Lambeth Portuguese Wellbeing Partnership, we have successfully completed the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust funded ‘Local Care Coordination Pilot’ and’ Household Model’ projects, assisting Portuguese speakers with enhancing both individual and family wellbeing and lifestyle choices for 38 people, including medication management, enrolment in training, support in job-finding and securing accommodation.
Strategic Aim 2: Supporting Community in Action
With LEAP funding we established a 20-strong ‘Early Years Parents Forum’ in Stockwell to run events, in partnership with other local community groups including a Japanese parents’ group, the Eritrean Saho Cultural Association, an Ethiopian Women’s Group and two TRAs (Studley and Mursell). Events included a Drag Queen Story-Time session and an African-Caribbean heritage day that attracted 50 people. Two group members now sit on the LEAP board.
With funding from the Polish Embassy and the Polish Cultural Association we facilitated events with the ‘Poles Connect’ group that attracted 4000 local people.
With Lambeth Council funding, we delivered the quarterly Stockwell Forum, attended by over 100 people. This year’s themes included two meetings with the emerging Stockwell Primary Care Network, and subsequently the Thriving Stockwell network.
We continued to work with Lambeth council and a range of Lambeth community groups to develop 157 South Lambeth Road as part of Lambeth’s flagship Community Hubs programme.
We secured funding for a Polish Heritage project from the Heritage Fund, celebrating and recording the impact of the Polish Community Association (GMINA) on our local community, and strengthening connections between Poles and the wider Lambeth community. More information can be found on the Poles in South London Project’s website.
Strategic Aim 3: Supporting the Local Environment
We ran a crowdfunding campaign for the Stockwell Christmas tree to celebrate local community spirit and increase cohesion. We secured 50% match funding (and gift-in-kind of electricity etc) from Lambeth Council. Over £2500 was raised, and 50 people from widely diverse backgrounds attended the lighting up ceremony, led by Rev Wooff with music from the Brixton Chamber Orchestra brass players.
Partnerships and Networking
In addition to our project-based partnerships, we are active members of the following Lambeth forums and organisations:
Lambeth Portuguese Wellbeing Partnership – a collaborative of local community individuals and groups, NHS and Portuguese Doctors, Pharmacists and Lambeth Council members who are committed to working together and combining our individual skills and resources for the health and wellbeing of our local communities, with an focus on the Portuguese community
Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) – we are a board member of the 10-year, BIG Lottery funded LEAP programme, which aims to significantly improve the lives of children in four wards of Lambeth
Lambeth Forum Network – a partnership of Lambeth’s nine community forums with Lambeth council, sharing best practice and resources
Lambeth Community Hubs Partnership – a partnership of local community hubs and Lambeth aiming to achieve a shared vision of local community hubs providing sustainable, trusted services to the community over 25 years +
Lambeth VCS partnership – partnership of Lambeth voluntary and community sector with the council to develop and implement a VCS strategy to ensure the sector thrives in an increasingly challenging environment
Lambeth Children and Families VCS partnership – partnership of Lambeth council, CCG and VCS providers to share resources and best practice
We are also a member of Locality, the national community development network
A Selection of Previous Projects:
Building Cohesion in Stockwell
Our three-year Building Cohesion in Stockwell project funded by City Bridge Trust and run in partnership with International Alert developed activities to improve understanding and cohesion between twenty local community groups. The project culminated in the installation of the Dreams of Stockwell mosaic on the International Alert offices on Clapham Road. The film of the making of the mosaic was shown at the November Stockwell Forum (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2zPrEEAUhM). The mosaic was made by 17 local residents from a range of different backgrounds, and was themed around their visions for Stockwell.
Cook and Meet project: Knee High Design Council Challenge
Our partnership project with Brixton People’s Kitchen engaged mums and their children in Cook and Meet healthy eating sessions that reduced isolation and helped to reuse food which would have otherwise gone to waste. Our project was shortlisted by the Design Council’s Knee High programme (www.thekneehighproject.com), to identify radical new ways to reduce parent isolation.
Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme
We actively engaged over 900 people in the first phase of Lambeth’s Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme (2012) – and we consulted an additional 536 people from black and ethnic minority communities in the NEP roll out (Apr-Jun 2013)
Stockwell Urban II
Stockwell Partnership was the lead voluntary sector organisation working alongside Lambeth council on delivery of the Stockwell Urban II Community Initiative – a £12 million regeneration scheme that focussed on Larkhall and Stockwell wards, plus the estates covered by North and West Stockwell housing neighbourhoods. £6 million came from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the remaining £6 million was secured through match funding. Stockwell was the only area in London to be awarded Urban II ERDF funds.