Voluntary Service Lewisham (Formerly Voluntary Care Centre)

The Voluntary Care Centre (now Voluntary Services Lewisham) was found in 1969 by the local Christian Churches. We are a registered Charity (No: 226585) and a company limited by guarantee (No: 1131214) and operate within the London Borough of Lewisham.

We provide an easily accessible support service and a focal point for those in need, delivering direct services such gardening, befriending, shopping, DIY, wheelchair pushing, driving and escorting. We collect and deliver toys and gifts to more than 1,000 children and adults at Christmas and operate a small fund for financial relief in crisis situations.

We recruit, train and place volunteers in activities that develop their skills and confidence, while enhancing and quality of life for others.

The VCC helps people mainly in SE6, SE23 and SE26 who fulfil the individual criteria for our schemes and projects, making life a little easier, adding some quality and helping with community activities.

Services VSL offer

  • Voluntary Driving Scheme – We help residents who would have great difficulty in using public transport, matching a passenger with a driver for a specific journey. Drivers receive mileage costs.
  • Befriending – Volunteers are matched with service users, based on needs, shared interests, motivation and availability.
  • Gardening Project (March to October) – Volunteers provide general gardening maintenance, mainly for elderly or disabled service users. Tasks may include light pruning, weeding, mowing a lawn, trimming a hedge or planting seed or bulbs, or an occasional garden makeover.
  • Christmas Hampers and Gifts – We provide hampers to elderly and isolated adults, food hampers and vouchers to families and toys to children. All of this is to help individuals and families trying to make ends meet at this time of year.
  • Mental Health Drop-ins & Wellbeing Projects – Drop-ins and club for people who have or are experiencing mental health difficulties. They are by a team of VSL volunteers, supervised by a VSL staff member and a support officer from South Maudsley NHS Trust who we partner with.
  • Shopping, Wheelchair Pushing, Escorting – Volunteers to do the weekly or fortnightly shop for someone unable to shop for food, push a wheelchair or provide an escort, e.g. on a trip to the coast.
  • Donated Good, DIY/Decorating – We provide new and quality used items of children’s safety equipment, basic household items (not furniture), and provide one-off DIY assistance.
  • Office Support – All our receptionists are volunteers, as well as many of those helping out behind the scenes, including administrative, publicity, finance and fundraising.

What is a Friend of the VSL?

Friends of the VSL are local people who care enough to support the VSL on a regular financial basis and/or in Fundraising activities. Through fund raising and assistance in many other ways, our Friends help to maintain the vital community services the VSL is able to deliver, bringing relief, practical help, friendship and a smile to their neighbours when it is most needed.

Friends of the VSL make a minimum annual donation of £20 to support the VSL. In return they receive:

  • A certificate of membership in appreciation of their support.
  • Regular Newsletters to keep you up to date as to what we are doing.
  • Information about volunteering opportunities.
  • Invitations to attend events, AGM and Thanksgiving.

Most importantly, Friends of the VSL know that they are helping by their financial contribution to make a real difference to people’s lives.