How we work with the community

Goldsmiths has a long history of engagement with communities. While our reach is world-wide, we have a special commitment to our local communities within south east London.

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We've developed innovative approaches to community engagement and development through our world-class research centres and our academic programmes. These combine theoretical investigation with an understanding of impact, implementation and activism within communities.

Goldsmiths is a civic university committed to active involvement with local communities in south east London, as well as London as a whole. We're able to harness global knowledge, economic and social capital to work for the best interests of our local communities and the local economy. Through our presence and work we will continually increase the social, economic, physical, creative, cultural and educational contributions we make to our communities.

How we work with the community

  • Hundreds of Goldsmiths students and staff volunteer within the community for local charities and voluntary organisations like Action for Refugees in Lewisham and New Cross Learning, our local community library
  • In 2018-19 Goldsmiths staff and students helped to raise funds for local charities and made regular contributions to the local foodbank at St James Church
  • We have world class researchers working in Goldsmiths and two of our research centres focus on community engagement and community development issues:
    • The Centre for Community Engagement Research has created research partnerships between Goldsmiths students and local organisations who need research help
    • The Centre for Urban and Community Research began 20 years ago with research focused on the impact of local regeneration schemes in Lewisham. Today its reach is world-wide
  • We work with many local schools and run workshops for hundreds of local pupils. We run activities such as academic taster sessions, progression schemes and the Art & Design Saturday Club
  • We run a community access scheme that lets local residents use the Goldsmiths’ library
  • Our Archive and Special Collections are open to the public and include the Women's Art Library, Goldsmiths Textile Collection and Constance Howard Gallery
  • We hold over a hundred public lectures and recitals every year and we promote these events through the Goldsmiths Events calendar on our website – everyone is welcome

Opening up our campus

We operate an open campus, enabling members of the public to visit and experience the range of free lectures, exhibitions and other events which take place across the whole year. We promote these events through the Events calendar on our website – everyone is welcome! You are always welcome to pop in and see what is happening – our reception in the main Richard Hoggart Building off Lewisham Way is a good place to start.

In 2018 we opened Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, with free public admission and an exciting events programme. The disused Laurie Grove Victorian-era public baths and cast-iron water tanks have been transformed to bring contemporary art from around the world to New Cross.

Sharing spaces with community groups

We welcome community groups who need a meeting space. We offer room hire discounts of up to 100% for not-for-profit events organised by grassroots community groups based close to our New Cross campus. While we cannot accommodate every request we receive, we do our best to help where the event organiser is a charity or not-for-profit organisation and the event benefits our local community or our student and staff community. Please note that due to its position as a registered charity, Goldsmiths is not able to host regular religious services, regular political meetings or regional/national political conferences.

Goldsmiths is keen to share Deptford Town Hall with the local community. Make a booking enquiry for Deptford Town Hall

To enquire about using other spaces at a free or discounted rate, contact our Conference Services team with details of your request (time, date, numbers expected etc). They will then ascertain availability and send you the relevant forms to complete to request a part or whole remission of our commercial hire rates.

Goldsmiths Good Neighbour Policy

Goldsmiths is aware of the impact its presence has on adjacent neighbourhoods. In addition, the many students who live in the area also have an impact on local communities.

Our Good Neighbour Policy details how we address this impact. Our Community Behaviour Rules page contains what we ask of our students and how members of the community can complain about breaches of these rules.

We also invite our neighbours to come along to Goldsmiths Open Days to find out more about what we offer or just to get a tour of our campus.

We have a Campus Support Team to support our students in our residences and to deal with any concerns of complaints our neighbours may have.

Forging relationships with schools, colleges, and community organisations

We'll continue to work with local schools and colleges to extend the Goldsmiths partnership and outreach programme.

We're going to increase the number of volunteers among our students and staff who work with local community organisations and groups.

We will work closely with Lewisham Local to support volunteering and giving in our local community.

Providing accessible learning and research

We have developed world-class research and we have an active programme of public engagement to engage people with the research findings. We hold events throughout the year to share what we have found out about the world with our community. We also have research partnerships with local community groups and organisations matching research students with local research needs.

We have a range of short courses and offer a 15% discount to Lewisham residents. You can contact us for a discount code and we offer easy booking through Eventbrite.

Our library community membership scheme - local residents can come to the library reception with ID and get a day or annual pass for reference access to library book stock, special collections and archives.

Contributing to local workforce development

We are an accredited London Living Wage employer and we will ensure Goldsmiths job vacancies are advertised locally, using local press and job centres to maximise employment opportunities for local residents.

It's important to us to support professional training for public services like teaching, youth workers and social workers, hundreds of our graduates will take up posts in public services across south-east London every year. We intend to create more support for apprenticeships in our workforce in the future and will also provide new apprenticeship routes to learning.

We'll also support student and graduate entrepreneurs to establish business locally. We have partnerships with the local Lewisham enterprise hubs (Deks) and provide special support for cultural and creative entrepreneurship.

Connecting with community stakeholders

We work closely with our 'anchor' institutions in the community such as Lewisham Council where we have a signed Memorandum of Understanding to underpin our strategic relationship and work together on issues important to residents. We want to work with other large employer organisations in the borough to help maximise our social value and find partnership solutions for some of our borough's most entrenched problems.

We also work closely with a wide range of local community groups and voluntary organisations. This support has taken many forms, from our students and staff volunteering, our staff contributing to governance activity and sitting on local charitable trusts and governing bodies, to financial sponsorship of local events.

To illustrate, some of the organisations and community groups we have worked with over recent years include Action for Refugees in Lewisham, The Albany, Brockley Max Festival, Deptford X Festival, Entelechy, The Horniman Museum & Gardens, Hilly Fields Festival, Lewisham Citizens Advice Bureau, Lewisham Education & Arts Network, Lewisham Foodbank, Lewisham Live, Lewisham Local, New Cross Learning, Second Wave, Telegraph Hill Festival, U3A South East (University of the Third Age) and Voluntary Action Lewisham.

Supporting business in the local community

We will ensure that our procurement opportunities are accessible for local business - we know that around £8 million is spent annually with local suppliers from south east London.

We will continue to work with local businesses to support their ambition to achieve Fairtrade status and a more sustainable business practices.

We are active supporters of the Lewisham Contributor card to recognise the contribution that volunteering makes across our community and provide a discount to some of our services for card holders.

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