Lewisham groups brace for cuts

Voluntary groups are facing money issues Photo: Laura Passi

Voluntary groups are facing money issues Photo: Laura Passi

Hundreds of voluntary groups in Lewisham discussed ways to join forces against fallout from the credit crisis at a meeting last night.

The event, Partnership: Into the Future, was hosted by Voluntary Action Lewisham. It is part of its Compact campaign, which aims to co-ordinate the work of local groups in the borough.

Speaking at the meeting, Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock speculated a 10-12 percent reduction in public sector funding.

“We will have to do more things for ourselves rather than look to the police, the NHS or the council to do it for us,” he said.

Chair of NHS Lewisham Michael Richardson said the Lewisham Primary Care Trust would become an “exclusively commissioning organisation” by April 2010, which would mean a review of the way the way they work with local voluntary groups.

Group representatives took part in workshops to brainstorm how the voluntary sector can work together better, provide each other with support, and share resources.

Rose Waghorn from the Alzheimer’s Association said the meeting was very useful, especially for networking.

She said: “I’m very hopeful as a charity the NHS Primary Care Trust will be able to commission a service with us.”

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