Council for Voluntary Service (CVS)
Over the last 100 years, a Network has developed, of organisations which describe themselves as Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS or an equivalent name).
While the characteristics, history and even name of individual CVS may differ from place to place, they share the same purpose and values. 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 public and private 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 activities
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
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.
CVS work in partnership with local government and other public sector 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, neighbourhood renewal, health and social care, learning and other government initiatives. Strategic partnerships may be sub-regional, district wide or neighbourhood. They may cover several issues or have a particular focus.
Across the county of Kent you will find a number of CVS’s supporting local voluntary and community groups.