May 30, 2012

Feature on a proposal by Professor Heinz Wolff to tackle the nation’s ageing population with a volunteer time-bank scheme. 


South Bank Forum : What exactly is the ‘cooperative council’?

April 17, 2012

The leader of Lambeth Council, Steve Reed, will speaking about the co-op council in Waterloo on this coming thursday evening. Free refreshments.


Thursday 19 April 2012 7pm – 9pm

Coin Street neighbourhood centre, 108 Stamford Street, SE1 9NH


To find out Lambeth and Southwark crime fighting priorities


And new public toilets for the South Bank


What exactly is the ‘cooperative council’?



  • Free refreshments
  • Please note there will be no crèche service available for this meeting
  • We welcome your suggestions for future Forum topics – please get in touch on 020 7202 6900 or

The Big Society and the voluntary sector : Parliamentary Briefing Note

March 28, 2012

In a February 2011 speech, the Prime Minister described the Big Society as his “absolute passion” and as “a different way of governing, a different way of going about trying to change our country for the better”. The Big Society involves three key elements:

• Community empowerment: giving local councils and neighbourhoods more power to take decisions and shape their area

• Opening up public services: enabling voluntary organisations, charities, social enterprises, and employee-owned co-operatives to compete to offer public services

• Social action: encouraging and enabling people to play a more active part in society

This parliamentary briefing note provides further background to the Big Society concept; the role of the voluntary and community sector and outlines some of the Government’s initiatives in this area.

Data about co-production and cooperative working

March 27, 2012

We are updating our State of the Borough report, which is a digest of socio-demographic facts about Lambeth. We are considering including a section on co-production & co-operative working – is anyone aware of any data we could include? E.g. number of people involved in timebanking, no of local organisations working cooperatively, etc


How to set up a community buying group

December 7, 2011

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published practical information and advice on how to set up and run a collective purchasing or community buying group. It aims to help consumers combine their buying power to get better deals from shops and other suppliers. It includes case studies and is intended for groups of consumers operating on a not-for-profit basis.

BIS guide to community buying and collective purchasing (published 7th December 2011).

Guide to measuring social impact

December 6, 2011

The SIM Handbook: West Sussex County Council’s guide to social impact measurement.

Organisations interested in social value, like social enterprises, often need to show they are making an impact with what they do. West Sussex County Council have produced a handbook on measuring the social impact of these kinds of organisations. It suggests creating a Storyboard from eight relevant questions (below) to formally plan and measure an organisation’s impact. This better understanding is useful for when they need to improve or communicate that impact. It is suitable for complete beginners as well as those who are regularly thinking about the impact they make.

It has a lot of information in 40 pages, including some sensible advice – such as “Often social impact measurement will seek to ‘measure everything and tell absolutely everyone about it’. This will drain your resources as an organization as well as yourself personally and will be quite ineffective!” – and some useful tips. It is low on jargon, but it does help if you are practiced in reading rather sprawling sentences – for example, “The Storyboard exercise provides an opportunity at the start of a project (and its evaluation) of bringing people together who stand to benefit (or who are already benefiting) from the work of an organisation, in order to plan the detailed actions and activities that need to be undertaken, identify where to look for evidence of impact, and generate interest and buy-in from potential partners. “  The sections on use of data, and commissioning and procurement are however rather basic – they may only be of use as introductions to these detailed subjects.

This accessible and thought-through approach to thinking about the impact of organisations could easily be used by Lambeth organisations intending to co-produce services.

Questions for the Storyboard method

1. What is the context in which your organisation operates, in terms of citizen’s needs?2. What are the main activities that are undertaken (or planned) as part of the organisation’s day-to-day running?

3. What initial results or changes have you seen (or would expect to see) as a result of these activities and actions?

4. What medium-term changes do you expect to see as a result of the work of the organisation?

5. What are the long term changes you create for:

  • Citizens. E.g. Independence, well-being?
  • What are the impacts on society or the economy more broadly?

6. How do the initial results (from Question 3 above) lead to the medium-term changes that you identified in response to Question 4?

7. How do the medium-term changes (from Question 4 above) lead to the longer-term changes that you identified in response to Question 5?

8. What challenges or barriers have you encountered (or foresee) in terms of: operational challenges; policy/ regulation barriers; other issues? 

West Sussex Social Impact Handbook

Coproduction presentation from New Economics Foundation

November 21, 2011

See below: Useful slides from nef about Coproduction activities in Lambeth.

nef presentation for Lambeth Oct 11