April Volunteer Coordinators’ Forum networking social

Following the Volunteer Coordinators’ Forum evening networking event in January, we decided to support every Sutton Soup this year and get to know each other and more local organisations in a more relaxed setting.

Many volunteer coordinators work alone and/or are volunteers themselves so cannot join daytime events when they work. Therefore, we created a friendly and inclsuive evening option to get to meet other volunteer coordinators at Shinner and Sudtone. It is followed by going together to Sutton Soup, one of the most heart warming nights in our borough and a great chance to learn about other local organisations making a difference to residents. Read about our visit in January here.

Volunteer Coordinators' Forum at Shinner and Sudtone pub

The Sutton Soup team have done a lovely write up in their newsletter you can read here.

The four organisations pitching included Melody from Volunteer Centre Sutton who was speaking for She Sings, a women’s wellbeing singing group. They are a diverse group, many with long term health conditions and most having felt the effects of the cost of living crisis…No-one who was there will hear the word ‘mango’ without remembering them!

Volunteer Coordinators' Forum April 2024 Melody pitching

The other three organisations were:


The name is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘a meeting place where rivers from all directions merge’ and they welcome everyone regardless of colour, religion etc. They have about 60 members who meet every Monday from 11-2pm, getting out of the house, being social and gaining many other benefits, important as 90% of their members are over 80.

Sangam image for Sutton Soup

Sutton, Kingston & Epsom Parkinson’s Group

Arthur told us how Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world with 50 people diagnosed per day in the UK.  It is progressive, getting worse with time and there is, as yet, no cure. This group with 450 members, formed in 1989 and run by volunteers, is there to improve people’s lives. Apart from the tremor which people associate with it there are more than 40 symptoms. Parkinson’s can affect speech, limiting the ability to communicate. They run regular karaoke sessions to help and hope to set up a voice training programme”.

Parkinsons image for Sutton Soup

And Kids Clothes 4 All

A charity who collect pre-loved clothing, stopping it from going into landfill, and rehome it with children in need. “All donations are welcome and if they can’t find a home for it they find a purpose. A bundle of clothes was more than a practical necessity - it sends a message to each child that they matter, that they are seen and valued.”

Kids Clothes 4 All at Sutton Soup

Winning by just one vote, Kids Clothes 4 All were delighted, but other pitchers were all pleased that they had been part of such an enjoyable evening and were really pleased with the publicity and networking experiences: no-one taking part in Sutton Soup is a loser.

Sutton Soup winners Kids Clothes 4 All with their cheque

If you are an organisation interested in pitching at Sutton Soup click here.

Read more from Sutton Soup here. Especially this lovely quote:

It was wonderful to see the church so full of happy people, all contributing greatly to the atmosphere throughout the evening. We must make a special mention of our amazing volunteers who rose to the occasion and coped brilliantly with so many people, from welcoming them and taking money at the door, serving refreshments, soup and bread to managing all the washing up and stowing everything away at the end of the evening. Everything went without a hitch and we are very lucky to have them.

If you’re interested in volunteering with them contact them here.

The next Volunteer Coordinators' Forum event is virtual DBS training

  • May 2024 - Tuesday 21st May – ONLINE ONLY 10:00am – 12:00pm – DBS part 1 - Disclosure & Eligibility by the DBS London team

See more details here.

If you would like to join our next social and Sutton Soup, it will be Thursday 11th July. Tickets available here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/sutton-soup please send Natasha an email to let you know to expect her NatashaBlok@vcsutton.org.uk.

Thanks to Sutton Soup for creating another extraordinary evening, with a massive £1325 prize fund. Also thank you to them for sharing photos and text.