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London Borough of Southwark

Community profile

Southwark is one of the thirty two boroughs of the City of London and is made up of eight very distinctive neighbourhoods that extend along the river Thames down into South East London. Founded in 880 by King Alfred, Southwark is London’s most historic borough, encompassing some of London’s top attractions, creative hotspots, scenic villages and acclaimed green spaces such as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern art gallery and the famous Borough Market.

It is categorised as both an ‘Inner London’ and ‘Central London’ borough and as such features many of the characteristics of urban, inner city areas including high population density, ethnic diversity, and significant contrasts of wealth and poverty. Although Southwark is the tenth smallest borough in London, it has the tenth largest population with over 300,000 people. In that way, the London borough of Southwark is the ninth most densely populated area in England and Wales and its population is expected to continue to grow further in the next years.


WeGovNow in the region

With respect to its demographics, the London Borough of Southwark is facing two major challenges. Southwark has the sixth highest unemployment rate in London and has been ranked as the 41st most deprived local authority in England. Moreover, despite having currently a relatively youthful population, the number of people aged 65 plus is forecasted to increase over the next decade.

Against this background, major social and economic wellbeing programmes have been underway in Southwark that aim at helping families, individuals and businesses through the challenges that the current economic climate brings. As such the council has made a number of commitments to equality and fairness including transforming the borough into an age friendly place.

In Southwark, it is envisaged that the WeGovNow platform ( can provide an interactive approach contributing to the council’s fairer future vision of the borough and the concrete strategies and services to be implemented by the Southwark Council. More specifically, this will include:

  • Training & employment for young people: The WeGovNow platform will help bring together young local young people seeking training and employment with businesses and their offers. Businesses across all sectors will be able to use the platform to market themselves and their employment opportunities in a way that reaches young people in Southwark.  Young people can then utilise the platform to look for practical information as well as access to training and skills development opportunities and support they need to thrive in the workplace.
  • Ageing well in Southwark: Some of the most important issues an age friendly city needs to address are accessible city spaces, as well as social and cultural opportunities for older people to lead an active and engaged life. The WeGovNow platform will host related information and see how it can be used effectively by older citizens and the people who support them, be they volunteers or professional carers. As such WeGovNow also helps with increasing civic participation and building both digital and social inclusion which are important for the quality of life and well-being of the elderly in Southwark.

In addition, the local authority in Southwark wants to use the WeGovNow platform to test more current and efficient methods of engagement with its residents, aiming at reaching a wider audience and becoming more representative of its community.