About SO:Linked

What is SO: LINKED?

SO: Linked is a partnership between four organisations in Southampton who provide Community and Community Development. The organisations are the Southampton Voluntary Services, SPECTRUM CIL, TWICS and Social Enterprise Link.


What is Community Navigation?

We live in challenging times, and it can be difficult to know what services are around to help us; Community Navigation aims to connect you with the services that can help.

We can help you to access groups and services that offer help with things like benefits you can access, meeting new people and feeling less isolated, food banks and pantries, becoming more active, knowing what your rights are and much, much more.

You may have heard Community Navigation described as Social Prescribing.


Who is the Community Navigation service for?

We can help anyone over 18 years old, who lives in Southampton (SO14, SO15, SO16, SO17, SO18 and SO19) or who is registered with a Southampton GP service. If you meet these criteria, we can support you.


Is this information online?

If you have access and confidence to use a computer, our SOLID Database lists many of the services across the city. It also includes information about services in the wider Hampshire area and National support.

Simply click here and select the postcode you live in and what sort of help you need. SOLID will bring up different options that you can explore, including contact details and what they offer.


Can I speak to someone on the phone?

Yes, you can. If you would rather speak to a human, then you can give our Community Navigation Team a call on 02380 216050.

Tell them about what challenges you are facing, where you live, and they can make suggestions as to what services are available in your area or nearby.


I would rather have someone contact me; can you do that?

We can. You can either refer yourself to Community Navigation by filling in the referral form here.  Please include as much relevant information as possible. Once received, a member of the Navigation Team will call you with 10 business days for an initial discussion.


I am being supported by a Professional, can they refer me?

They can. If you are supported by a Professional or an organisation (for example a Social Worker, Support Worker, or Charity), they can refer you to our service, by clicking here  and filling in the referral form. They must have your consent to do so, as we cannot process referrals without your permission.

Again, once a professional referral is received, we will contact you within 10 business days.

SPECTRUM CIL provides our Community Navigation Service.


What is Community Development?

“Every problem has a community solution.”

The United Nations defines community development as “a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.” . Southampton is a city full of groups and individuals dedicated to this.

The SO: Linked partners all provide support to communities, and you can find out more through the links below:

About Us – Southampton Voluntary Services (southamptonvs.org.uk)

About TWICS – twics.org.uk : twics.org.uk

Social Enterprise Link Wessex – Helping social enterprises & cooperatives to build a better future

Alongside this, we work in close partnership with many organisations and groups across the Southampton and Hampshire, regular groups based in each postcode area, projects with the City Council and University of Southampton. Please have a look in our PROJECTS section for more information.

If you would like to find out more or so if we can help, you can reach the Community Development Team here: Contact – So:Linked (solinked.org.uk)


History of SO: LINKED.

The SO: linked Partnership began life on 1st October 2019; its aim, to help people navigate around the many activities across the city and to support the endeavours of organisations and groups of all sizes. The service was funded by Southampton City Council and Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group. This partnership was led by Southampton Voluntary Services with the Alzheimer’s’ Society, Solent Mind, Spectrum, TWICS and Social Enterprise Link.

At the Southampton Voluntary Services AGM on 4th October 2019, our former CEO Jo Ash announced:

“This is an exciting time for Southampton as we work ever more closely as organisations and individuals across the city to make Southampton an even better place to live.

There are so many different voluntary activities and services on offer: from craft clubs to dance classes, singing groups to community cafes, from specialist groups for people who are bereaved to those that support people with health issues. Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start, especially if you have been going through a difficult time; taking those first steps to attend a new group can be daunting. This new service will come alongside people and give them the encouragement and support to find the activity or service that is just right for them at the time, as we know that accessing the right activity at the right time can make the world of difference to someone.

Southampton has so many local activities, there really is something for everyone. Our SO: Linked community development workers will help strengthen these groups and encourage new ones to be born where gaps exist in provision, as well as encouraging more people to become involved as volunteers.”

Over the last 5 years, SO: Linked has helped countless numbers of people access help in their community, wither it be directing to warm spaces, or community cafes to helping people become more active and involved in their local area. Our Community Development work has supported the formation of groups, new charities and social enterprises and provided training to help people be more resilient and skilled in their day to day lives. The service was recommissioned in November 2023, continuing to work with Spectrum CIL, Social Enterprise Link and TWICS.

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