Changemaker: one who desires change in the world and, by gathering knowledge and resources, makes that change happen.

Lewisham Changemakers is a programme and network for social entrepreneurs, charities, community groups or local businesses who wish to create or grow a social enterprise* in Lewisham.

We’re looking for individuals and groups who have a passion for creating positive social change in Lewisham and have innovative ideas for generating an income that can fund this work. 

We have created a programme to train people to become investment ready and we are building a network of local changemakers where people can access support and build power.

The 2019 programme is an intensive 7-week course consisting of 6 evening classes and 2 whole day sessions. We have brought together an exceptional team of specialist trainers, industry experts and social investors to train successful applicants to become investment ready**. 

The 2019 programme has begun. Watch this space for updates on who is coming through and their amazing social enterprises!

The network we are building will get together regularly through the year and will feature guest speakers and contributors. This network is open to all and will be hosted on meetup.

*A Social Enterprise is A business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose.” – 2002  Department of Trade and Industry  report ‘Social Enterprise: a strategy for success’ report. 

**investment may be in the form of small grants, loans and costs in-kind i.e. office or hall space. 

Applications for the 2019 programme are now closed.

You can however join our network and attend our series of meetups.


Join our network of changemakers in Lewisham.

We are hosting regular meetups in Lewisham with community leaders, creatives, entrepreneurs and innovators to come up with ways we can: 

  • Build thriving communities and places people are proud to call home. 
  • Work in partnership to improve life chances. 
  • Secure investment in our communities. 

These meetings will be an open forum where people can come and share ideas and help identify opportunities for change.  

We will build power and take action together. 

Credits: photo taken by Emily Lovell at the 999 Club.
Credits: photo taken by Emily Lovell at the 999 Club.

Programme Content

These are some of the topics that will be covered during the programme

Social Impact and Theory of Change

How to define and measure social impact. How to design for change.

Markets and Customers. Products and Services.

How to target groups with specific needs with specific services that meet these needs.

Budgets and Forecasts

How to create a budget and to create a cash flow. What do funders want to see? We will be joined by a major social investor and grant maker.


Overview of all the different ways to fundraise. We will be joined by a major social investor for this session.


The principles of good governance in a social enterprise context. An overview of legal structures.


How to create a communications strategy and action plan to achieve your aims.


These are the people behind Lewisham Changemakers and the organisations supporting the programme.

Reetu Sood - Lead Trainer

Reetu is a freelance consultant, coach, facilitator, trainer and grants assessor, bringing more than 13 years’ experience working with commercial start-ups, charities and social enterprises. She brings expertise in funding, governance, strategy and business development, impact measurement, and accelerator programme design. Reetu has just completed her MSc Management at Birkbeck University, and is currently researching the support needs of BAME female entrepreneurs. She has held trustee positions with numerous charities, and is currently a trustee of Impact Hub Brixton.

Fan Gu - CAF Venturesome

CAF Venturesome is the social investment team at Charities Aid Foundation. We are proud to be part of CAF, a charity helping other charities, supporting them by using philanthropic money specifically given to drive social impact.

Our mission is to provide social enterprises and charities with affordable repayable finance they need to sustain and grow their social impact.

We are unique as a wholly philanthropic social investor, and are funded by over 130 individuals and their families, grant-making trusts and corporates

We have made over 590 high social investments since 2002 worth £48m

Fan Gu is an Investment Executive within the Venturesome team. She manages a portfolio of social investments across Venturesome’s funds, with responsibilities ranging from assessing investment applications to monitoring existing investee performances.

Kareem Dayes - Co-creator

Kareem is a Community Organiser, Social Entrepreneur and Musician with extensive experience setting up social enterprises. Kareem has set up a successful record label and a Community Land Trust called RUSS that is working with local people to self-build affordable and sustainable homes. Kareem currently works for Lewisham Homes where he is using his experience to try and raise more investment in local projects. As a community organiser Kareem is passionate about building power in the civil sector to drive change in our communities. Kareem is also a lifelong resident Lewisham, “Lewisham is full of hard working and compassionate people, this gives us the potential to make Lewisham a global leader on issues of social and environmental justice.”

Whitni Thomas - Triodos Corporate Finance

Triodos Corporate Finance support organisations making positive social or environmental change raise capital to grow.

They can advise you on finding and preparing for investment before introducing you to a community of social investors.

They also run their own online crowdfunding platform.

They have a long and successful track record of helping social enterprises raise million of pounds and are a leader in the social investment sector.

Whitni Thomas is the senior manager of investor relations and crowdfunding.

Christine Wykes Driver - Co-creator

Chris has worked in the non-profit sector for many years, enjoying a variety of roles in financial management, fundraising, volunteer management, training and organisational development support. At VAL she provides specialist advice on governance and financial management and she holds an ILM diploma in social enterprise support. Chris is a creative problem solver who enjoys finding new solutions to the challenges faced by small community groups, charities and social enterprises. She is currently studying for an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology and enjoys bringing this learning into her work through positive organisational consultancy and one-to-one coaching.

Sponsors and Partners

Lewisham Changemakers is sponsored by Lewisham Homes and delivered in partnership with Voluntary Action Lewisham.