Welcome to Lifetimes - supporting voluntary and community activity in Wandsworth and beyond...


Self Help Care & Support Event

Last Thursday Lifetimes welcomed over 50 members of the Wandsworth Community to our latest Self Help network meeting. The event, which focused on Dementia and Stroke care, included fantastic interactive workshops and presentations from MindCare – Dementia Support and The Stroke Association.

We were joined by a varied audience from across the borough, including healthcare professionals, voluntary sector organisations, Self Help groups, local residents and carers. The overall consensus was that the event was extremely worthwhile, increasing attendees’ insight into both conditions, as well as their awareness of local services.
We received fantastic feedback:
“Excellent session, very informative”
“Very interesting and easy to understand”
I will go on to “spread the word related to this topic and lifetimes support services”

The afternoon started with an interactive and informative workshop on Understanding Dementia, delivered by Christine & Philippa from MindCare, the Dementia Support team at Bromley & Lewisham Mind. We also heard about their free new service for individuals and professionals in Wandsworth Caring for a Person with Dementia – further details below.

Michelle and John from The Stroke Association gave us a musical presentation, on stroke awareness, prevention and the support available in Wandsworth. They were also joined by the volunteer ambassadors to deliver quick and simple blood pressure checks during the networking break.

Our information marketplace included a great variety of resources from our expert speakers as well as The Alzheimer’s Society and Connect, who were on hand to answer questions. Information was also available on local organisations, Self Help groups and the support available in the borough.

Last week’s event was the fourth Self Help network meeting, hosted by Lifetimes as part of our Self Help Wandsworth Programme, which offers support and guidance for groups, through 1:1 meetings, training workshops, networking opportunities and events.


New Free Service for People in Wandsworth Caring for a Person with Dementia

Family and friends of people with dementia living in the London Borough of Wandsworth can get free training and coaching to support them in their caring role. Coping with Caring from MindCare Dementia Support, provides training and coaching to individuals and groups in their own homes or outside of the home.

The service offers:

• home based, personalised coaching sessions for individuals or family groups
• a series of three group workshops with other carers to learn together and share experiences
• group sessions for groups in the community coming into contact with people with dementia.

The first series of group workshops will be held on 16th & 23rd February and 1st March, from 11am - 2pm.

Receiving support from Coping with Caring, carers will:

• learn what it is like to have dementia 
• appreciate that everyone’s experience of dementia is different
• understand what a person with dementia is really communicating with what they say and do.

To read more please click here.

Self Help Groups

What is a self help group?
Self help groups are support groups that offer and provide mutual support or mutual aid. People often gain huge benefits from talking to others who have a shared experience, whether it be a diagnosis of a long term condition or having faced a similar life experience such as loss, recovery or survival.
Groups may be run in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Peer-led self help groups with face to face meetings
  • Professionally supported self help groups
  • Organisationally hosted self help groups
  • Social network and online self help groups

Why join a self help group?
Everybody has their own reasons for joining a self help group but there are common reasons why people join self help groups, including:

  • They no longer feel alone.
  • They find out they are not the only one to feel the way they do.
  • They feel in control again.
  • They get support from people who understand.
  • They gain a better understanding of their condition.
  • They gain hope and inspiration.

Why not start your own group?
The Self Help Wandsworth Programme offers a range of support services for new and existing self help groups. These include:

  • 1:1 Tailored meetings to offer support, advice and guidance
  • Training workshops for new and existing groups
  • Themed meetings and Discussion events
  • Development and promotional events
  • Networking opportunities

Contact the Self Help Wandsworth Programme Advisors 
T: 020 8875 2849

Move More Wandsworth


Paul’s Cancer Support Centre has partnered with St. George’s University of London to launch a programme in Wandsworth called Move More Wandsworth aimed at helping people living with cancer to get and stay active. Cancer support and physical activity professionals from both parties really understand cancer and aim to create a physical activity programme tailored just for those taking part, as well as give them ongoing support.
Anyone living with cancer in Wandsworth, had cancer treatment at St George’s Hospital or who is a client at Paul’s Cancer Support Centre, can take part in Move More Wandsworth to get and stay active.

Those taking part will be asked a few questions, be listened to and then be able to discuss ways of making physical activity a part of their life. And it doesn’t matter if they have never been a particularly active person. Even activities such as gardening or walking could be part of their programme.

Taking part in physical activity during and after cancer treatment can play a huge part in enabling you to take back control. It can help you prevent and manage some of the effects of treatment, such as fatigue, depression and risks to your heart health. And lots of people tell us that it helps them to feel more like their old self.

If you are interested in learning more about Move More Wandsworth please contact Paul’s Cancer Support Centre for a chat on 0207 924 3924 or email WACCG.pcsc@nhs.net

Last year (2014-15) Lifetimes, the Council for Voluntary Services in Wandsworth “enabled people to achieve” by

 - Self funded Communication with our regular 2000 subscribers via our e-bulletins which lists news, funding opportunities, events and much more.

 - Training and Networking 606 people attended our training and networking workshops

 - Event managed & facilitated other events attended by 327 people

 - Self Funded grants to other voluntary organisations in the amount of £23,855  which supported a further 937 people in the community

Our multi lingual Care4me directory giving a new web presence to the Voluntary and Community sector and Healthcare professionals and a user-friendly directory for the Wandsworth citizen.

Care4me community directory

Care4me is the online community Directory developed by Lifetimes that allows community and voluntary organisations to promote and publicise their services and activities. The directory has recently been changed and has a new look with improved functionality, more categories of services and is multi lingual.

Is your organisation or self-support group registered yet? Make sure you get in touch with to register. Email: info@life-times.org.uk or telephone 020 8875 2846.
Since March 30th 2012, Care4me has been the online directory used by the  general public, the Information and Signposting service of the new consumer champion for NHS and social care services, Healthwatch Wandsworth and clinical professionals.

Lifetimes in Wandsworth and South London Press


Wandsworth and South London Press featured the successful Strawberries and Cream Tea Party organized by Lifetimes Charity, Wandsworth’s council for voluntary services, to mark National Volunteering week.

Tina Champion Lifetimes chief executive, told the South London Press:

“It was a fun and less formal way to say thank you to the volunteers, without whom many public services would not be able to run.

“Funding streams have been cut and people have to rely on volunteers to keep services going, which makes it even more important to support and recognize them."

To read more please click here.



heritage lottery logo
Lottery Funding Event: Making Connections

Date: Wednesday 4 May
Time: 2 – 6pm
Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, Brixton, SW2 1EF

Admission free. 
Advanced booking essential (via Eventbrite)

We want to inspire and encourage people to think about running their own projects, and we want people to learn about Lottery funding and see it as an opportunity for their groups and communities.

The event is hosted by the Black Cultural Archives and the HLF London Team, and includes colleagues from the Arts Council (tbc) and the Big Lottery Fund.

The session will provide:

  • An opportunity to speak to Lottery funders about your project idea and their funding programmes
  • A chance to meet with other community organisations and share ideas.
  • An opportunity to visit BCA’s Black Georgians exhibition (until 4th June 2016), which reveals the everyday lives of Black people in Britain during the Georgian period.

The event will begin at 2pm, and we look forward to welcoming you to the BCA café.

1:1 funding application support at Lifetimes CVS 

This January, Lifetimes CVS facilitated 2 days of 1:1 meetings for local organisations to discuss their applications for the Wimbledon Foundation’s Community Fund. Lifetimes are keen to see more successful applications in the borough (currently 28% of applications are from Wandsworth Groups).

9 Wandsworth Charities and Community groups took up the opportunity to meet with Thelfa Quick, Programme and Relationships Manager from The London Community Foundation, at Lifetimes’ Office. Meetings were an opportunity to receive support and guidance on their applications, before they are submitted for the 4th March deadline.

Thelfa fed back to us: 
It was really productive to spend time with the groups in one to one meetings… I really enjoyed meeting all the groups and finding out about some really interesting work taking place run by inspiring staff!

Lifetimes also received thanks from The Wimbledon Foundation…for organising and hosting the one to one sessions” ~ Wai Chan,
Grants and Community Officer.

Groups too felt that the experience was a positive one, feeling supported and more confident to proceed with the application process.

Lifetimes CVS wish all the groups that attended the meetings and those across the borough, the very best with their applications over the coming weeks.


Homeless Rights Training delivered at Lifetimes Premises

Specialist solicitor Valerie Clark from Youth Legal delivered bespoke training to 13 people at Lifetimes Charity last Friday.

Each year more than 1 million young people get no help with’ difficult to solve’ social welfare problems, especially homelessness. 75% of those are experiencing mental health problems and are extremely vulnerable. Youth Legal’s ‘Opening gates’ training workshop guided us through the complex legislation around homelessness applications and brought the difficult subject alive with case studies and great examples.

'Great in-depth training.' 
'Very well delivered'
'Thank you and I will be recommending it'

Watch out for more specialist training workshops by checking our ebulletins and website.

 2,500 local people benefit from a Lifetimes “Chance”

Using our in-depth knowledge of grant funding, Lifetimes set up their own scheme in 2008 to assist necessitous parents with children under 13 years of age living in the Borough of Wandsworth. Chances ( the grant giving arm of Lifetimes Charity) has donated over £120,000 of their own money to projects benefitting necessitous parents since 2008.

Putting OUR money into needed services in the Borough of Wandsworth.
The funds distributed by Lifetimes/Chances is money generated by Lifetimes’ trading activities and is NOT provided by any other statutory body. 

We do not merely act as an administrator for these funds but work hard to secure these funds for distribution.

In many instances the funding has been given to small voluntary sector groups based in the borough, who although they provide much needed grassroots services are turned away by the main funding trusts.

In total, over 2,500 residents have received education, training, help and support via charities and community groups funded by Chances.

To read more please click here.

Great Success of theVolunteer Brokerage Platform on Care4me

The volunteer brokerage platform on Lifetime’s community directory, www.care4me.org.uk has proved to be a great success for both volunteers and organisations.

WOW! What a great response, thank you so much for sending our details, it really is paying dividends. Tony Sanders, Caius House.

Using the volunteering button on the site, all organisations registered with Care4Me can now promote their volunteering opportunities. Any individual with an interest in volunteering can also sign up to the site’s Volunteer Bank, with a brief profile of their skills they wish to share and areas of volunteering they are interested in.

The brokerage platform is entirely self-funded by Lifetimes, who work to empower and support the voluntary sector in Wandsworth. This development was made to assist organisations in the borough that have experienced difficulties gaining volunteers since the Local Authority’s decision last year to cease funding a volunteer brokerage service in the borough. To list your organisation’s volunteering opportunities, simply register or sign in at www.care4me.org.uk, and then register your opportunity.

If you are an individual looking to volunteer, you can register with the volunteer bank here.

If you have any questions about using the service, please do not hesitate to contact us at 0208 875 2846 or assistant@life-times.org.uk.  


Lifetimes’ Health & Wellbeing Event 
9th October 2014







Three hundred people joined Lifetimes to hold a community event day on 9th October 2014.

The overall consensus was that the event was very worthwhile and provided the means of not only a showcasing for different organisation’s services but also networking and building relationships for future joint working and referrals.

The event was formally opened by the Mayor of Wandsworth  who, together with Lifetimes CEO, was pleased to meet all stall holders  and hand out the special Mayor volunteering badges to selected volunteers on the day.  In total 41 volunteers were pleased to receive badges and have their names submitted to the roll of honour.

We had excellent feedback from our attendees:
“Very informative” 
“This is important and empowers our community”
“We need more events like these ...”
"Excellent work”
“Good for the community “
“Remarkable day “
“When is the next one?”

A special Meet the Funders event was held.  Demand for tickets for this event was exceptional and spaces were filled within 24 hours of the announcement made via Lifetimes email and website adverts. 4 different funders presented at this event and a special presentation on the new Wandsworth Grant Fund was also delivered by Wandsworth Council.

Lifetimes would like to extend their thanks to the hugely talented staff of Wheelhouse productions for the filming they carried out on the day and the post production they provided to Lifetimes.  Wheelhouse productions have a wealth of experience and if you feel that they could assist your organisation please contact them on www.wheelhouse.org.uk
or email peter@wheelhouse.org.uk.

Community Project Volunteers

Do you have a project that you need help with? South Thames College have launched a campaign to give young people the opportunity to volunteer in the community. Previous and current voluntary projects include painting nurseries and relaying gardens at schools. The team supported our '5 Ways to Wellbeing' event in Balham on World Mental Health Day and did a brilliant job, so if you need help with anything, please get in touch on 020 8918 7069 or e-mail: volunteering@south-thames.ac.uk



Ben Richardson

It is with great sadness that we report that Ben Richardson has died.

Ben was a valued member of the volunteer team at Lifetimes up to March 2011.

He will be sadly missed. We send our condolences to his family.  


Developing and Improving Service Frameworks for Patient Care

Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group (WCCG) came into being on 1 April 2013, taking
over from Wandsworth Primary Care Trust as the local commissioner of health services for
the residents of Wandsworth. Reporting to the CCG Board and as part of its governance
structure, the CCG set up a number of Clinical Reference Groups tasked with developing and
improving service frameworks to improve patient care. A key duty for these groups is to
ensure that the public voice is included within the decision-making process and so, in order
to support this, the CCG commissioned Lifetimes to provide a series of community
engagement events during 2013/14.

The engagement programme consisted of a series of 6 highly successful and different events
(with a 7th arranged for early 2014/15), covering a range of health-related topics. Led by
individual Clinical Reference Groups, each event provided an important opportunity to
engage with the community about their work and inform service development and
commissioning decisions through a range of activities.

Lifetimes provided valuable support to organise each event, both in the run-up and on the
day. Most importantly, they facilitated access to a broad range of individuals and groups
from across Wandsworth, enabling a wide range of opinions and needs to be voiced.

To read more please click here

Cancer pop-up shop in Tooting

The Wandsworth Get to Know Cancer pop-up shop opens in Tooting on Monday 18 January.

Everyone is welcome to pop into the shop, which opens from 9am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, from 18 January to 11 February. Find it at 138-140 Mitcham Road, SW17 9NH.

The shop is being run by the council’s public health team, with support from Pearl Chemist. There is a programme of specialised advice.

This year the pop-up shop aims to tackle the 700 cancers in Wandsworth that could be prevented by lifestyle changes. Friendly nurses will be on hand to give advice and free health check-ups, including blood sugar, blood pressure and BMI monitoring, as well as to look at worrying lumps and moles. 

To read more please click here.

Healthy Hearts Programme

Thrive is the leading charity in the UK that uses
gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health, or who are
isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. This therapy is known as social and therapeutic horticulture.

Our Healthy Heart programme will help those at risk of a cardiac event or in rehabilitation following a cardiac event through:
- Increased level of exercise through gardening,
- Learning about healthy eating
- Improved psychological health

Programme starts—28th
October for Wandsworth residents
Where: Battersea Park
How do I join? Contact Ellen Swygart on — 020 7720 2212 or

To read more please click here.


Charity Law Update

Charity Commission publishes revised trustee guidance.

The Charity Commission has recently published a revised version of its trustee guidance - The Essential Trustee (CC3). This comes after a public consultation on the draft guidance, and aims to make it clearer and more concise, to ensure that all trustees are aware of their duties and what is expected of them.

To read the full summary, click here.

Visit our website - for past legal updates and details on our seminars.

It's not too late to volunteer abroad this summer!

If you want to volunteer abroad this summer it's not too late! There are still lots of projects available worldwide and some new projects are being announced in several countries like Iceland, Italy, France, Japan and a few more destinations.

To read more please click here

Lifetimes to deliver accredited Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) throughout Wandsworth

Lifetimes is delighted to be commissioned by Wandsworth Borough Council and Public Health to deliver MHFA training to a large number of statutory and voluntary sector staff, volunteers, carers and members of the public throughout the borough.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an educational course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help a person who may be developing a mental health problem. In the same way as we learn physical first aid, mental health first aid teaches you how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health.

Courses will run throughout 2015 and details will be advertised through our website and other media.  Expressions of interest for attending this course and a firm commitment to attend will be required prior to acceptance of bookings.

For more information please email Kirstie Sheehy, Specialist Projects Manager at Lifetimes. E: specialist@life-times.org.uk

To read more please click here.

Self Help Wandsworth

Self Help Wandsworth, 
a new programme of support for self help groups in the borough. 

What is a self help group?
Self help groups are support groups that offer and provide mutual support or mutual aid. People often gain huge benefits from talking to others who have a shared experience, whether it be a diagnosis of a long term condition or having faced a similar life experience such as loss, recovery or survival.

What support and services will the Self Help Wandsworth Programme offer?
• 1:1 Tailored meetings to offer support, advice and guidance
• Training workshops for new and existing groups
• Themed meetings and Discussion evenings
• Development and promotional events
• Networking Opportunities

Read more about the programme here.

To book an appointment or find out more, contact the Self Help Wandsworth Programme Advisors on selfhelpwandsworth@life-times.org.uk or 0208 875 2840, 0208 875 2841, or 0208 875 2846.

Lifetimes' Hearing Voices Group

Whilst there are over 180 groups nationwide, we know there are still many areas where people can’t access a Hearing Voices Group and Wandsworth is one of those areas, untill now. Please click here for more informaion and to register your interest 


Queen's Speech - key points for the voluntary sector

Today’s Queen’s Speech brought us announcements on Charity Commission powers, liability for volunteers, and some also some big wins for a couple of charity campaigns.

To read more about The Queen's Speech — key points for the voluntary sector .

 Volunteers Week



Volunteer’s week seemed a fitting time to present Share Community with a cheque for £500 as the winners of Lifetimes Best Practice in Volunteering Award.

Leanne Brayne (Volunteer Co-ordinator) has demonstrated her ability to implement the training she has received from Lifetimes specialist volunteering trainer; Kirsty Sheehy and we were honoured to be invited to Share’s Volunteering Celebration party on Thursday 5th June.

Lifetimes also launched their new volunteering online brokerage project which has been self funded by the organisation.

Tina Champion, CEO of Lifetimes, said that “since the cessation of any support from the local authority since April 20114 for volunteering brokerage, we knew that the Voluntary Sector in Wandsworth would still continue to need a local presence to be able to maintain their service delivery using volunteers”. 

Lifetimes Board of Trustees were pleased to agree to self funding the development of this service on www.care4me.org.uk which is Lifetimes community directory

Lifetimes Training and Events

Lifetimes runs a training and events program throughout the year for voluntary and community organisations. While some events are free to local organisations, from 2013 our full day courses cost £99.00 per person for voluntary organisations and £149.00 per person for statutory organisations and businesses. We use Eventbrite to manage our training bookings. If you have any questions about any of our courses please call 020 8875 2846 or e-mail info@life-times.org.uk.

Free, Portable Criminal Record Check for Volunteers

The Home Office has confirmed plans for a new system making it easier for volunteers to obtain free, portable criminal records checks. Read more in this article from Kensington & Chelsea Social Council. For information on the distiction between being eligible for checks and being required to carry them out see Sandy Adirondack's latest update on the subject here

YOUth Legal
YOUth Advice Network 

Transition+  is offering specialist legal advice in community care law to young people with disabilities, care leavers and young carers. Young Carers can often be overlooked by local authorities, but with support, they can receive services that help them to achieve their potential.

Focussing on ensuring that the local authority carry out an assessment, pathway plan and transition assessment for our clients where necessary, Transition+  will set up outreach surgeries at local organisations who work with these client groups.

The service will target young people who have physical or mental disabilities including learning disabilities and those in care particularly Care leavers who experience transitional difficulties when leaving care to live independently and those who have been receiving little or no leaving care services. 

For more information please contact Valerie Clark-Solicitor Tel: 07956 039039
















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