Link UP London focuses on deepening connections and community cohesion through skills mobilisation. We began in Battersea in 2016 with the aim of connecting people with professional skills to local Social Good Organisations (these include Charities, Social Enterprises, and Community Groups) where they live and/or work on short-term, structured, meaningful projects aimed to help the organisations do their work better and have a greater impact.
Since then we have expanded throughout Wandsworth and entered into Lambeth in summer 2018. We have also developed ReLaunch, a programme focused on helping professional women on a career break take their next steps. Since social distancing measures were introduced in March 2020, all of our services have been offered virtually!
Our approach is to support committed people and organisations to create active and cohesive communities.
Communities are increasingly disconnected and struggle to make use of local skills and resources to overcome their distinct challenges.
Link UP connects highly skilled professionals with meaningful opportunities that strengthen individuals, organisations and communities and foster connection.
We currently achieve this in two ways:
- Skilled Volunteering: We connect skilled volunteers with local charitable organisations in communities where they live and/or work on short-term, structured projects that help organisations build their capacity to do their work better.
- ReLaunch: We engage professional women who are out of the workforce to build confidence, identify their strengths and use their skills to feel more valued, allowing them to take their next steps.
Many people are looking for a way to ‘give back’, however they are busy and can’t find a volunteering role that fits their lives. Our Skilled Volunteering programme offers people an opportunity to use their professional skills to support the capacity development of Social Good Organisations on short-term, structured projects with flexible time commitments. Our projects are not designed to mobilise front-line volunteers, but rather build capacity of organisations from the top down, so they can do their work better and reach more people in their communities. The types of skills needed by SGO's are wide-ranging, and include: Marketing, HR, Finance, Strategy, Legal, Governance, Organisational Developement, IT, and much more. We aim to ensure that volunteers have a positive experience and organisations receive the support they need to make a real difference in the community. Why not share your skills!
When assessing skills in the community, it became clear that one group's, in particular, were vastly underutilised at a loss to the community – professional women out of the workforce. Link UP's response to this, so far, has been our ReLaunch programme. ReLaunch was created to help women build confidence, recognise their strengths and support them in taking their next steps. We aim to help these women to re-connect with their skill sets and find a meaningful way for them to engage these within the community and beyond.
While individuals make up the community, Social Good Organisations (SGOs) are the bed-rock of our community. They are based here, have in-depth knowledge of the issues we are facing and offer support, advice and much needed services to local people. These organisations, which often fill gaps and innovate approaches, hugely support communities to be stronger and more vibrant and provide residents a voice along with valuable support services. Helping them to access high quality industry expertise in areas that support their development to do their work better and have a greater impact is a key component of what we do. By connecting people who live or work in the community, our goal is to create authentic connections, underpinned by genuine relationships that open new and exciting possibilities for a stronger community.
I’m committed to the idea of helping build capacity of charities in a resource efficient way. I’m also a firm believer in re-connecting professional women who are out of the workforce with their skills and confidence. Becoming a Link UP volunteer consultant provides a window to a new world – new ideas, people, experiences, networks and more. So really a win-win for everyone!
I am a strong believer in helping people to re-engage into the business world after a career break whilst helping local communities. Volunteering is a great stepping-stone to keep skills and experience relevant and a fantastic enabler of a happy and healthy life. Volunteers often report having a greater sense of purpose and achievement, having an increased sense of belonging and connection in the community.
We need more local people getting involved in more local charities and community groups, so that we’re supporting one another. Simple really! There are loads of local people who can do some amazing stuff with local charities but need the structure and support that Link UP provides. Come on. Get involved and get in touch with us.
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Link UP is all about harnessing professional skills within the community. While Skilled Volunteering is vital to the growth of many organisations, it’s also proven to help individuals make new friends, expand their knowledge and even feel happier and healthier. Together, we are building stronger communities with healthier, happier and more confident individuals – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!
ReLaunch enables women to regain confidence in their strengths and abilities. I worked as a lawyer for many years, following a career break to raise my family, I had first-hand experience of the challenges of returning to paid employment. I passionately believe that professional women have significant skills and experience to make a valuable contribution in the workforce, regardless of the length of their career break.
Link UP London's process is centred around community cohesion, connecting traditionally separated sectors (professional and charitable). I believe that separation is counter intuitive to a successful society and naturally forming links can be made stronger through the work of companies like us. It is also wonderful to be at the centre of these fledgling relationships and watching them grow into meaningful connections.
Link UP London is grateful for funding received from the Battersea Power Station Foundation to help us build and grow our work.
In June 2018 we were registered as a Community Interest Company.