Media Release – VCS Cymru

VCS Cymru would like to announce that as of April 2016 we intend to hand over the running of Cardiff Volunteer Centre to our partners at  Cardiff Third Sector Council (C3SC). We will continue to exist as an independent social action charity that will concentrate on developing supported volunteering initiatives, whilst retaining our purpose of helping others through community service

VCS Cymru will focus on initiatives to help people with barriers that prevent them from volunteering and engaging with wider civic life. In our experience of dealing with thousands of people we see how difficult it can be for some groups to participate through volunteering. We have also seen how challenging it is for organisations to support these individuals in the face of cuts to their funding.

We have taken this decision to redefine our role as a result of changes to funding, and the move to a standardized system of volunteer centres across Wales being a core service of the County Voluntary Councils.

In order to strengthen community work that is done by volunteer involving organisations we are forming an umbrella group of small charities.  We will use our expertise and that of others in the group to create a pool of volunteers and services to better help marginalised people access volunteering and participate further in their community.

VCS (Cymru) was established in 1964, and started the Volunteer Centre in Cardiff in 1975. We have many things to be proud of – we were the first volunteer centre in Britain and we developed many ground breaking projects in South Wales including initiatives in Swansea,  Newport and the Vale of Glamorgan as well as the Capital. The movement went on to spread across the UK playing a major part in shaping the volunteer involving ethos of the third sector. Some of the people who came through our doors went on to form groups of their own which grew and became part of the fabric of life in Wales. We were also integral in forming another volunteer centre in the Vale of Glamorgan in 1991 which now continues to thrive in GVS.  We remain a small charity but our achievements have been great and we will ensure our future builds on our success whilst remaining true to our roots in volunteering and community engagement.

We will continue in our current role until the end of March 2016 when the running of the Cardiff volunteer centre will be handed over to C3SC in what we intend to be a seamless transition. We are confident that they will continue to provide a valued service to the people of Cardiff and its third sector, and we will continue to work closely together to ensure the continued success of the centre.

We are excited by what the future holds for VCS Cymru and look forward to sharing more about this new phase in our long history at our Annual General Meeting which is being held on 28th September.

We wish to thank two of our main funders WCVA and Cardiff Council for their support of the volunteer centre over a number of decades and look forward to working together in the future. We also want to thank all the organisations that have truly engaged with volunteers and helped people contribute to society in a meaningful way.

Our greatest thanks continue to go to all the volunteers who make up the heart of VCS Cymru.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Jeremy Rees – Director
Phone: 029 2132 2627

Notes to editors
Established in 1964, Volunteer Community Services Cardiff (later Cymru) was the first local volunteering service to be established in the UK, outside of London.

For over 50 years VCS Cymru has been enabling the most disadvantaged to engage with their communities, facilitating the positive health and well-being of individuals and the places they call home, through community media, heritage and supported volunteering opportunities.