Southwark has been described as a borough of ‘two halves’, with pockets of extreme need sitting alongside considerable wealth and opportunity. The One Southwark programme, launched in March 2022 as an alternative to other London Giving Programmes, seeks to address the effects of this disparity on young people in the borough. It does this by mobilising businesses, funders, community groups and residents to give their time, money, networks and influence to ‘level the playing field’ for underrepresented young people. The ambition is for young people to become active contributors to conversations with local stakeholders about how to bring about longer-term, sustainable change.
IVAR has been working alongside the programme to understand the barriers young people face and what learning can be applied as the work evolves. This briefing, at the end of our first year working together, draws out emerging findings from our research in relation to progress achieved against One Southwark’s objectives, and considers the implications for the programme’s second year – for example, what to replicate, strengthen or adapt.