What We Do
BVSC is a charity that supports voluntary action in Birmingham and surrounding areas by providing an environment where organisations and community groups can pursue their aims and thrive. We achieve this by providing practical support, demonstrating strong leadership and by forging alliances with key strategic partners through our Third Sector Assembly.
We own and manage The Centre for Voluntary Action, a central hub for local and national organisations to get together for learning, networking and debate. Our versatile and modern conference and meeting facilities are run as a social enterprise meaning that profits can be reinvested in our core work supporting Birmingham's voluntary sector.
Our vision and mission
Our vision is for a fair and equitable Birmingham.
Our mission is to help people to build and benefit from a fair and equitable Birmingham.
We have more than 1,000 members drawn from Birmingham's vibrant voluntary and community sector. Information about local organisations can be searched via our Online Directory. We help them by providing specialist support and advice, opportunities to collaborate and network, and by keeping them up to date with the news that affects them.
Our practical support includes: back office services (including financial management, payroll services and HR consultancy); training courses; communications and marketing support; and Weekly e-bulletins.
We also run Volunteer Centre Birmingham from our Digbeth premises, where both volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations can access expert help and advice.
We are the lead body for three sector-led service delivery partnership programmes in Birmingham, including Talent Match Birmingham & Solihull, Birmingham Changing Futures Together and Ageing Better in Birmingham.
In 2016 we celebrated our Centenary year! BVSC was formed in 1916 as the Birmingham Citizens Society, bringing together the previously-established City of Birmingham Aid Society (founded by Joseph Chamberlain in the 1890) and several kindred societies, including the Birmingham Charitable Organisations Society. Its focus then was to support those affected by war and poverty.
In 1946, it became Birmingham Council for Social Services, and began to build a library of information on local charities so that support could be coordinated. Papers from the time note that the organisation was “wholly voluntary...founded solely with the idea of acting as a clearing house for relief agencies” and thus demonstrated an early form of the now well-established Council for Voluntary Service model.
BVSC is governed by a 12-person Board of Trustees, led by Chair, Jonathan Driffill. Find out more about our Board on Our People page.
The quality of our work and organisational management is recognised through a range of awards and accreditations including the Quality Award from the National Association of Voluntary and Community Action, the Volunteer Centre Quality Accreditation, the Governance Assessment Process (GAP) Award, and PQASSO.