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



DASCAS are looking for peer volunteers!

CAW's Disability and Social Care Advice team (DASCAS) is an organisation in Wandsworth dedicated to empowering disabled people to access the benefits they are entitled to. DASCAS are aware that some disabled people are not getting the benefits they are entitled to and have recently been awarded funding to undertake a research project looking into unmet disability advice need.

DASCAS is looking for volunteers with disabilities who would like to develop research skills to take part in this exciting and needed project. If you know anyone who is able to dedicate just 3.5 hours per week for the next 6 months (March-August) please let us know. They will receive full training in telephone interview techniques, develop research skills and boost their employability (references can be provided post-completion) and be a part of a project that will ultimately make a real difference to the lives of disabled people in the borough.

The research will be done in the form of questionnaires and interviews which may be conducted in the office, over the telephone or through home visits. The quantitative/qualitative findings will then be reproduced in a report and form the basis for support material which will be disseminated where it is needed most, with the view to ultimately improving access to vital benefit advice for disabled people across the borough. The peer volunteers will play a central role in collecting this information, interpreting the findings and helping to feed-back information in the borough.

The project is committed to equal access and will therefore work to ensure that everyone engaged in the project is able to fully participate.

If you are interested pleas complete this application and email to Matthew Stocks or or contact Matthew directly for further information or alternative means of applying.

ValueYou - Volunteer Recognition Scheme

ValueYou is a volunteer recognition scheme that provides regular volunteers with a free discount card that they can use in almost 500 independent businesses across eleven London Boroughs including Wandsworth. Volunteers can also choose a gift voucher. The scheme is a charity, setup to say thank you to volunteers - there is no charge for using the service.

Butchers, bakers, cafes, restaurants, dry cleaners, florists, greengrocers-there are a huge range of businesses taking part. They all offer a discount of 10% or more for card holders. Gift vouchers include a hot drink and a cake, free dry cleaning, flowers, lunches and many more. Click here for a map of Wandsworth Businesses taking part in the scheme. 

To register with the scheme in Wandsworth you need to have volunteered 100 hours or more over the previous 12 months. Volunteers can visit the website to register with the scheme and will need the email address of your volunteer manager to confirm your volunteering activity.

A resolution to the anti-lobbying clause

The government has this morning published a major overhaul of the anti-lobbying clause, the implementation of which was paused in April.

The effect of this is to significantly avoid the damage that the clause would have done to charities’ advocacy role.

Since the beginning of the year and continuing after the pause we have been in an ongoing dialogue with the government on this topic. These exchanges have at times been robust. But today’s announcement shows the government has listened and acted to address the clear problems we raised.

This has only been possible because NCVO members and the voluntary sector have stood together, and I would like to thank all of those who gave so much of their time to this.

Read more please click here.

Free counter fraud guide launched for charities

As reported by Civil Society News, this guide follows the Annual Fraud Indicator released in May which shows that the cost of fraud to the charity sector has increased by 73 per cent from £1.1bn in 2013 to £1.9bn.

Is your charity up to date with policies on fraud protection, business continuity plans, strong financial controls?  Find information on charity commission website or become a member of the charity finance group

Grant funding opportunities for the Wandsworth Voluntary Sector

On Wednesday 22nd June, Lifetimes Charity welcomed representatives from 20 Wandsworth Voluntary Sector Organisations, to our day long Grant Funding Event.

The morning session began with BIG Lottery Fund’s Grant officers, Hugh Stultz & Kemar Walford, presenting an overview of the different funds offered by the Lottery, giving tips for applications and answering individual questions. The presentation was followed by several 1:1 meetings offering bespoke advice to voluntary sector groups.

Lloyds Bank Foundation Grant Manager, Sara Cooney joined us for the afternoon session to give an informative overview on Lloyds eligibility criteria and the ENABLE & ENHANCE funding programmes. Sara wrapped up the afternoon with several individual appointments, offering advice and support to local organisations.

Feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive:
“I found the event incredibly helpful as it clarified funding criteria and afforded attendees the opportunity to ask questions of the funders themselves, which was invaluable.  Thank you to both the attending funders and Lifetimes for a practical and informative event!”

Lifetimes Charity would like to extend our thanks to the contributing funders and all of the attendees for joining us on the day. 

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

Mental Health in the Community Training

Recognising Symptoms, Resilience and Signposting

After several sold-out sessions in 2016, Lifetimes' popular new training course for the Voluntary and Community Sector is back with course dates available until May 2017. 
Click here for course dates and bookings.

Mental health in the Community’ is a short mental health awareness course for staff and volunteers delivering services in the community, written and delivered by Lifetimes Charity. The 3 1/2 hour course will cover mental health issues such as depression, suicide and anxiety but importantly includes the topics of self- care, resilience and signposting to local and national support and resources.  This bespoke training course is accompanied by a certificate and a training manual for trainees to use as a reference guide.

The course, so far, has been well attended by voluntary and community sector groups in Wandsworth and further afield, including Thrive, Citizens Advice Wandsworth, Rethink, Share Community and staff from the borough’s leisure centres - Enable Leisure and Culture.

We have had fantastic feedback from past delegates:

“The content of this training has greatly improved my knowledge around mental health and how to engage with it as an issue in the community”

“A really useful and informative course which everyone should be encouraged to attend”

Spaces will be charged at £25 per person; ticket prices are highly subsidised by Lifetimes Charity and are the same for both staff and volunteers.

Click here for course dates and bookings.

‘Mental Health in the Community’ Training is one of a number of new initiatives being delivered under the Cascade Project. Cascade is an innovative project which aims to instil confidence and skills, communication and direct empowerment to our community.

logo cascade

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.


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


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.

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.

South West London Recovery Cafes

Theaim of the cafe is to support people to reduce their immediate crisis and anxiety, and to safety plan, drawing on strengths, resilience and coping mechanisms to reduce the need to use crisis services in future. They are an alternative for people who may present at A&E because of their mental health and are an out of hours service to support people when other  services are closed.

Opening hours:
Both cafés will be open 365 days per year
Monday to Friday:   6pm – 11pm  
Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays:   12 noon – 11pm

25 customers at any one time.

To read more please click here.


Faith, Community and Mental Health

Venue: Mushkil Aasaan, 222 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7EW 

A series of evening lectures sponsored by the Near Neighbours Programme from the Church Urban Fund looking at Faith, Community and Mental Health. The evenings will consist of a lecture from one of our esteemed guest speakers followed by a shared meal.

All events will be held at Mushkill Aasaan from 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start.

To read more and to book your place please click here.

Councils’ spending hits new low

Councils’ spending in England will fall by 1% in 2016-17 (£0.9bn) according to official figures, raising concerns over the financial resilience of local authorities.

The figures, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, show cultural services will see the biggest reduction with 5.8% cuts planned.

Education budgets will fall by 2.2% – mainly due to the number of schools converting to academies – with fire and rescue services seeing reduction of 1.3%.

The figures also show £17.3bn of the £21bn held in reserves by councils has been earmarked for specific purposes.

To read more please click here.

Companies House Register of People with Significant Control

A new law has recently come into effect that requires all companies, including charities that are companies, to keep a register of the people that can influence or control a company, known as People with Significant Control (PSCs). The aim is to identify those with ultimate control or ownership of the company, for example major shareholders. Companies will need to identify these 'PSCs', record details on their own register, and file this information with Companies House. It's important to note that the PSCs of charitable companies will not necessarily be your charity's trustees and we expect some charitable companies will not have any PSCs. Companies that don't comply with the regulations may be fined, so make sure you read the information in full.

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


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.

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

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
















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