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What does a CVS do?

All CVS support, promote and develop local voluntary and community action through the following five key functions:


Services and support

CVS promote the effectiveness of local voluntary and community groups by providing them with a range of services. These may include access to basic facilities, such as meeting rooms, photocopiers and ICT equipment or more involved services such as community accountancy and employment advice. CVS also support local groups through regular newsletters, training, funding advice and specialist services.



As a focal point for the local voluntary and community sector, CVS encourage networking between individuals and groups within the sector, and between local groups and the statutory sectors. This allows local groups to learn from one another, establish contacts and work more effectively. CVS also help different communities to organise their own networking activity.



With government encouraging involvement of voluntary and community groups in shaping and delivering services, CVS enable the views of local groups to be represented. For example, many CVS run voluntary and community sector forums which provide an opportunity for local groups to put forward their views on national and local policies.


Development work

Over the years, the local voluntary and community sector has pioneered some of the essential public services that we now take for granted. Child protection and care for the elderly, for example, had their origins in, and were developed by, the voluntary sector. This tradition has continued into the 21st century, and today CVS take the lead in identifying gaps in service provision and work with groups to develop new and innovative services to meet these needs.


Strategic partnerships

CVS work in partnership with local government and other statutory agencies to shape the delivery of services. CVS play a key role in empowering local groups to take part in partnerships and are directly involved in a wide range of regeneration, neighborhood renewal, health and social care, learning and other government initiatives. Strategic partnerships may be sub-regional, district wide or neighborhood. They may cover several issues or have a particular focus.


Celebrates 40 years serving local people.

1983 – 2023.


What do Volunteer Centres do?

Volunteer Development Agencies (often know as volunteer centres or volunteer bureaux) provide support at a local level for individual volunteers and volunteer involving organisations. They have six core functions:


Primary function is to match both individuals and groups interested in volunteering with appropriate opportunities in the local community. We hold information on a comprehensive range of opportunities. They offer potential volunteers support and advice matching their motivation to volunteer with appropriate volunteering opportunities.

Marketing volunteering
We stimulate and encourage local interest in volunteering and community activity. This may include promoting and marketing volunteering through local, regional and national events and campaigns. We manage and promote a national brand for volunteering.

Good practice development
We promote good practice in working with volunteers to all volunteer involving organisations. They deliver training and accreditation for potential volunteers, volunteers, volunteer managers and the volunteering infrastructure.


Develop volunteering opportunities
We work in close partnership with statutory, voluntary and private sector agencies as well as community groups and faith groups to develop local volunteering opportunities. We understand the potential offered by the local communities and work with them to realise this potential. We will target specific groups which face barriers to volunteering. We work creatively to develop imaginative, non-formal opportunities for potential volunteers.


Policy response and campaigning
We identify proposals or legislation that may impact on volunteering. We will lead and/or participate in campaigns on issues that affect volunteers or volunteering. We campaign proactively for a more volunteer-literate and volunteer-friendly climate.


Strategic development of volunteering

As the local experts on volunteering we inform strategic thinking and planning at a regional and national level.

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