The Early Years

CB Plus was initially a Council for Voluntary Services, registered as a charity with the Charity Commission in 1979. It provided an umbrella under which diverse and disconnected communities could unite as a sector to create a single identity. The service allowed key public service providers to liaise directly with the sector to design appropriate services.

Over the Years

For over 40 years, CB Plus has actively supported numerous community, voluntary, and social enterprises, striving to deliver impactful activities for our valued members and partners.

As we reflect on our journey, it becomes evident that our progress and accomplishments have been diligently documented through our comprehensive annual reports. These reports serve as a testament to our commitment to transparency and accountability, showcasing the significant milestones we have achieved year after year.

Let’s take a closer look at some of our key achievements, as highlighted in our annual reports timeline below:

New Chapter: CB Plus

We began with a mission to empower and support local communities in Barnet and soon expanded to multiple London boroughs. As our impact grew, we recognised the need to reflect better our commitment to building stronger, more resilient communities.

And so, in 2022-23, we underwent a significant transformation, rebranding as CB Plus. Our new name represents our dedication to empowering and supporting local communities.


Achieving Equity

Explore CB Plus’s 2022-23 Annual Report, which highlights our strides towards achieving equity. Discover our impactful programmes, collaborative efforts with over 700 partners, and significant milestones in early intervention and prevention services. Join us in celebrating a year dedicated to creating fairer, more inclusive communities across London.


Connecting Communities

We developed a new strategy to build stronger connections between residents and communities, support inclusivity and diversity, and respond to societal changes. We consulted with stakeholders and adapted to changing community needs post-pandemic. Our Healthwatch Newham team supported over 11,900 people, and our Community Services helped 52 organisations raise £350,000 in grants while supporting 63 organisations with funding applications and advice. We began our relaunching and rebranding project to reflect our evolving work.


Community Empowerment

Despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, our charity worked tirelessly to anticipate and meet the needs of our staff, volunteers, members, residents, and the wider sector. As a result, we raised £299,500 of funding through our organisational development work and generated over £516,000 for the community. Our infrastructure support helped around 50 organisations, with 40 completing successful funding applications.


Community Progress

As an organisation, we made significant progress towards our mission of working with marginalised communities in London. We continued to expand our services and address important issues such as digital poverty, food insecurity, and homelessness, even amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic. Our team also established the Romanian & Eastern European Hub through collaboration with 25 partners, demonstrating our commitment to building lasting partnerships.


Our 40th Year

In 2018-2019, we celebrated our 40th anniversary, marking a significant milestone for our organisation. It was a year of highlights, including winning awards, establishing new partnerships, and expanding our services across several London boroughs. Our commitment to building collaborative partnerships was evident in establishing the Romanian & Eastern European Hub, and we’re proud to have secured almost £400,000 of funding for organisations. Two thousand people attended the Nowruz Festival, bringing together diverse communities and cultures. In addition, we were honoured to have been awarded the prime contractor responsible for delivering the integrated Barnet Wellbeing Service by Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group.


Community Impact

Over the year, we provided advice, support, and governance to 40 start-ups and 72 new organisations, which reflects our commitment to increasing the capacity and capability of the sector. We also collaborated with local charities and community organisations to deliver the Barnet Wellbeing Hub and Brent Young People Thrive. The Online Wellbeing Programme, a free virtual therapeutic service, was launched to improve Barnet’s residents’ mental and emotional wellbeing. The Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group was shortlisted at the 2017 Health Service Journal awards. We hosted a Pop-Up Shop at Brent Cross Shopping Centre in collaboration with Middlesex University. Finally, we took on the guardianship of Barnet Neighbourhood Watch.


Funding Innovation

We secured over 250,000 pounds of essential funding through our innovative funders fair. Our collaborative partnerships with commercial, public, charitable, and entrepreneurial organisations allowed us to gain unique insights into different sectors, leading to the development of our ‘enterprising charities’ social enterprise program. We were also honoured to be part of an expert panel for the final conference of LIVEWHAT, an EU-funded research project in Brussels. Our collaboration with the National Council of Voluntary Organisations allowed us to contribute to the commissioning academy established by the cabinet office.


Building Resilience

Our focus this year was on building organisational resilience and sustainability while forging new opportunities for voluntary organisations. We celebrated Global Enterprise Week in partnership with Middlesex University and held a successful Funding Master Class and Funder’s Fair in March. In addition, our Barnet Giving initiative gained momentum. We were honoured to receive several awards, including the Public Services Excellence in Innovation Award and the Early Intervention Award for our Barnet Parenting Plus programme. The awards serve as a testament to our volunteers’ value and our work to strengthen the community.


Volunteering & Innovation

This was a year of change and consolidation in 2014-2015, focusing on supporting volunteering and testing innovative approaches. The Timebanking program expanded, and the new CommUNITY Barnet Volunteer Centre opened its doors. A seed funding initiative enabled six families with learning-disabled parents to complete the Solihull Parenting Programme and resulting in one child being returned home. Volunteers were recognised for their significant contributions at the Civic Awards.


Change & Growth

In 2013-2014, we experienced a period of change and growth. With the appointment of our new CEO Julie Pal, we set high ambitions for the future. We moved offices twice and finally settled into our new home at Barnet House. Our Partnerships and Innovation Team successfully launched the Fundraising Coaching Service, published the State of the Sector Report, and completed our Lottery-funded Basis Programme. The launch of the Healthwatch contract and the flourishing Timebanking and Volunteer Youth Engagement Projects were highlights of the year. Our new “Working Together Works” strategy reflects our commitment to building strong relationships across sectors, inspiring confidence in CommUNITY Barnet and the wider voluntary and community sector.