The Lewisham Local Card scheme is a platform that connects local businesses, community projects, and socially responsible individuals who want to work together towards bettering life in the community. Our main aim at the moment is to substantially expand our audience, thus creating a more-community minded Borough for all.
Until now, the card was exclusively available to volunteers, as a thank you for all the work they do for the common wellbeing. With the relaunch, we introduce new and original ways to support the community, thus expanding our reach. People who are unable to volunteer can still access the card in exchange for a £20 donation. We wanted to give everyone a chance to support their community and be rewarded for it with a card.
Over 500 community minded businesses partner with us to bring discounts of up to 50% to cardholders, motivating them to shop locally and creating a common sense of identity and solidarity. Living locally proves to have many benefits, such as a smaller environmental footprint, an increase of jobs in the area and a more original and diverse array of products and services. While multinational corporations find it easier to compete in the changing economic and social climate, independent entrepreneurs struggle to stay relevant. Lewisham Local facilitates this by bringing more engagement and promotion to their business and raising awareness of the importance of the local economy.
Our growing network of over 300 community organisations and local good projects benefit from the scheme not only due to the emphasis on volunteer work and community support, but now also because of the monetary donations. The donations will be allocated in a way that reflects the general community’s focus and concerns, where cardholders are invited vote for which themes and projects should receive the funding.
In the past, users have made great comments about the card. Here are just some examples from volunteers and community organisations. “They love that they can get discounts at places they like locally and that it encourages them to use these businesses.” Many say “It makes a lot of sense to have a paid option for the card as it will make Lewisham Local more sustainable and allow you to deliver more value in the local community.”
Lewisham Local draws attention to all the positive things already happening in the Borough, with the Lewisham Local Card serving as a concrete example. Initially serving the purpose of creating a network of like-minded businesses and individuals, the scheme has led to new initiatives which encourage people to give, such as Lewisham Community Toilets, Lewisham Refill, skills sharing workshops and donations. We are expecting many more changes and contributions to be brought about thanks to our new and more inclusive mission.