Londoners are being given the chance to have their say on how a pan-London grants budget of up to Â£28 million a year is spent.
London Councils, one of the biggest funders of the capital's voluntary sector, is launching an extensive consultation to ensure that its funding meets the needs of London's diverse population needs, wherever they live in the capital.
Currently around 360 voluntary groups receive funding from London Councils across 59 priority areas including schemes giving disabled people the opportunity to play sport, helping women affected by domestic violence work towards independent lives and working with young people to prevent them becoming involved with gun crime
Voluntary services have seen an increase in demand as a consequence of the recession with rises in unemployment, an increase in debt and other related side-effects - like more people suffering from depression.
London Councils is now looking at what areas should be a priority for its funding from April 2011.
The consultation will run until the end of January next year and London Councils is urging anyone with an interest or working in the voluntary sector to take part.
People will be able to respond online, in writing or at one of a series of consultation meetings which have been arranged.
"Voluntary groups in the capital provide a crutch to many of our most vulnerable citizens and their services are in particular demand at this time of economic uncertainty," says thechairman of London Councils' Grants Committee, Councillor Lynne Hillan.
"This is a very important consultation as it will help shape who and what we provide funding for in the future.
"There are no preconceived ideas about the services we want to fund. It is important that as many people as possible tell us how they think this money should be spent to ensure that the services that we fund benefit those people in the capital who need it."
Places at the meetings are strictly limited and will be issued on a first come, first served basis.
Related website: www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/grants