Future of Civil Society Support in London - latest update

London Funders, working with London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC) and Greater London Volunteering (GLV) and others has commissioned research to look into the future of civil society infrastructure in London

The Way Ahead- Civil Society at the Heart of London

Update: October 2016

We have long known that social action by volunteers and the wider voluntary and community sector has made a life changing difference to Londoners. But we have not had the kind of cross sector vision and strategy to join up this amazing resource. This is about to change. Notwithstanding the unknowns of Brexit and the on-going challenges on public funding, the final Deputy Mayor to be appointed has an explicit brief on social integration and community engagement, London Giving schemes are taking off across the capital, and there is a move to make London the foremost global city for philanthropy. With an estimated 120,000 civil society organisations and millions of volunteers already active in the capital, exciting opportunities lie ahead.

The Way Ahead is a pro-active, collaborative and cross sector approach to putting civil society at the heart of London, meeting the needs of Londoners by ensuring civil society has both support and voice. London Funders, LVSC and GLV have all committed additional capacity to take this forward, and after a quiet summer, the autumn is hotting up.

Stakeholder Event - 30 November 2016

Save the Date: there will be an all day event on 30th November for all stakeholders to come together to begin the practical implementation of the ambitious recommendations set out in the Way Ahead report around Co-production; Data Management & Sharing; Triage and Connecting; Campaigning and Influencing; and Consistent Commissioning, all of which will flow both into and out of the new London Hub.

Planning meeting - 17th October

In the spirit of co-production, we are holding a planning meeting from 3-4.30pm on 17th October where stakeholders from all sectors can shape the November event.Places are limited, please contact if you'd like be involved. It's first come first served, with the caveat some may be bumped up the list to ensure we have cross-sector representation.

We're also expanding the membership of the Systems Change Group to include representatives of local infrastructure and civil society and also bring in digital expertise. We are also seeking to establish five working groups who will lead on the five themes above: these will be cross sector, time-limited groups and the Chairs will join the Systems Change Group. Look out for more information on how you can join these groups.

In the run up to the 30th November event, the GLA are meeting with the Systems Change Group to co-produce their response to the Way Ahead, and consider how they will support and engage more actively with civil society, London Councils are considering how they will continue to engage despite the withdrawal of Priority 4 funding for infrastructure, and City Bridge Trust are working on the details of their new regional infrastructure fund.

We hope to be able to announce significant progress at the 30th November event as the foundation for further thinking. London Funders, LVSC and GLV commit to keeping you updated on new developments, and please let us know how you are taking forward the Way Ahead, what you are learning, and how we can help.


Funded by the City Bridge Trust, the work is being carried out by Srabani Sen OBE & Associates. The research seeks to understand how civil society in the capital can best be supported in order to make the biggest difference for Londoners. Building on existing research, this new project will result in a practical plan for the future of infrastructure in London.

This work is being overseen by a Project Reference Group made up of colleagues from civil society,local and regional government in London and the private sector, details of the members of the Reference Group are available here.

A dedicated webpage has been established for this review which will be updated on a regular basis with information, documents and other materials relating to this project and its progress.