Cardiff Chronicle #8: the story of VCS volunteering

Alice Campion from VCS Cymru’s Chronicle Project meets Robert Davies – the Founder of VCS – and hears about what inspired him to set up the Charity in 1964 following a summer ‘Work Camp’ in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay. Robert is joined by Laurence Kahn (one of the first VCS Volunteers); Mary Newman MBE (long-term Trustee & current Chair of VCS); John Drysdale (Volunteer Co-ordinator in the 70s) & Martin Pollard (Chief Executive of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs) to reminisce about the early days of a Charity which has been now been opening doors to volunteering in Cardiff for over half a century.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 28th February 2017.
Produced by VCS Cymru.

Cardiff Chronicle #7: the Story of Cardiff’s cinemas

Alice Campion from VCS Cymru’s Chronicle Project hears about the history of Cardiff’s cinema from four people with different perspectives:- John Robinson has been working in cinemas since he left school in the 70s (and his Father was Manager at the Capitol in the 30s) – he now runs a Facebook page ‘Welsh Cinema History in Photos’; Ceri Stennett ran several cinema’s in South Wales & the West in the 80s & 90s with his entertainer father (Stan); Elfed Salmon was a projectionist for much of his career; and Colin James worked ‘front of house’ in the Capitol during the 60s and is now a volunteer usher at the Chapter Arts Centre cinema
This is an edited version of a programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 21st February 2017
Produced by VCS Cymru.

Cardiff Chronicle #6: The Story of Cardiff City FC

The story of how Cardiff City Football Club started and grew, and its crowing glory in winning the FA Cup 90 years ago in 1927 – the only time the cup has left England. Local historian Ceri Stennett is co-ordinating an exhibition of the historic win at the Cardiff Story Museum in the Spring, and he is joined by Dave Collins – Editor of Welsh Football magaizine and Richard Shepherd – official historian on Cardiff FC (and internet match commentator) on the 6th edition of Radio Cardiff’s local history programme, presented by Alice Campion from the VCS Chronicle project.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 14th February 2017
Produced by VCS Cymru

Cardiff Chronicle #5: Iconic Buildings of the Coal Boom

The impact of the ‘coal boom’ on Cardiff’s architecture is the topic for this weeks’ edition of Radio Cardiff’s local history programme presented by Alice Campion from the VCS Chronicle project. Ian Hill – Director of campaign group ‘Save The Coal Exchange’. Neil MC Sinclair – author, historian of Tiger Bay & raconteur; and Juliet Davies – Senior Lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture join Alice to tell the stories of some of the Cities most iconic buildings.

Listen back to an edited version of the programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 7th February 2016
Produced by VCS Cymru.

Cardiff Chronicle #4: The History of Cardiff’s Hospitals

The story of Cardiff’s Hospitals is the topic for this weeks’ edition of Radio Cardiff’s local history programme presented by Alice Campion from the VCS Chronicle project. Gwawr Faulconbridge, Vice Chair of Whitchurch Hospital Historical Society tells Alice about Cardiff’s main psychiatric hospital; Rhian Phillips from Glamorgan Archives discusses the work to chart the history of Ely Hospital which accommodated people wit a learning disability; and two former Hospital Managers – Keith Moger and Keith Botcher reminisce about their careers including work in the Hamadryad Hospital, St Davids and the building of the University Hospital of Wales at the Heath in the early 1970s.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 31st January 2016
Produced by VCS Cymru.

Cardiff Chronicle #3: The Story of Charles Street & digitising history

The fascinating story of community action in Charles Street, and VCS Chronicle’s work in digitizing photographs & documents are the 2 themes the second edition of Radio Cardiff’s new local history programme, Alice Campion from the VCS Cymru Chronicle team meets volunteers Mike Hawkins and Kayleigh Williams; and Antionette Lorraine talks about her days volunteering at R.I.B.(Rights Information Bureau) which operated from 58 Charles Street in the late 60’s and early 1970s.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 24th January 2016

Produced by VCS Cymru.

Cardiff Chronicle #2: Entertainment


Entertainment is the theme for the second edition of our new local history programme, Radio Cardiff Chronicle. Alice Campion from the VCS Cymru Chronicle team meets Geoff Lake from amateur dramatics society The Cardiff Players Theatre which this year celebrates its 90th year; and meets two local writers – Nicky Delgado and Viv Wellington – to talk about the pubs, clubs and nightlife of Tiger Bay.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast live on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 17th January 2016.
Produced by VCS Cymru.

Cardiff Chronicle #1: the First Word War

The First World War is the theme for the first edition of Radio Cardiff’s new local history programme,

Alice Campion from the VCS Cymru Chronicle team meets Grangetown resident Helen Joy who has researched her own family history during the period; Paul McDonald, musician and Cardiff-born academic talks about how the war affected ordinary people and tells Alice about his album, ‘1914’; and Rachel Silverson, Curator of the Firing Line Museum at Cardiff Castle talks about what they do to inform people about the experiences of Cardiffians who served in the trenches.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast live on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 10th January 2017.

Media Release – Chronicle

 Unearthing the story of volunteering over a centry

VCS Cymru has been awarded £66,200.00 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting two year project, ‘Chronicle: History of Volunteering in Cardiff’. The project will research, collate, digitise, and make publicly available the story of charities and volunteering in the Southern Arc of Cardiff from 1914 to 2014.

Using the First World War as a starting point, the project will explore historical records related to volunteering in Cardiff archives, museums and libraries, including the records kept by Cardiff voluntary organisations, and collect the oral stories of past volunteering from local residents. Creating an online archive in partnership with People’s Collection Wales, the project will seek to digitally preserve the records of the voluntary sector in Cardiff. It will deliver a series of workshops, community radio programmes and podcasts, walking trails, and an exhibition.

It will create learning and volunteering opportunities in archive research, museum exhibition, digitisation, oral history, and media production, and enable local residents to explore historical and cultural heritage of Cardiff’s diverse inner city community.

The areas of the Cardiff Southern Arc have changed over time and are still changing today so this project aims to ensure that the memories of current and former local residents are captured for future generations. The project will celebrate the importance of volunteering, and motivate people to participate in future voluntary projects.

In her supporting statement, Julie Morgan, AM, said:

‘I believe that this is a unique project and thoroughly deserves to be awarded funding. It is vital that the history of volunteering in Cardiff is researched and made public. The project will also encourage people to volunteer and aims to reach out to different communities and to groups who may not traditionally have volunteered.’

Explaining the importance of the grant, the Head of HLF in Wales, Richard Bellamy, said

‘Without support from the National Lottery it would be very difficult for projects such as these to see the light of day, meaning that thousands of Welsh volunteers’ voices would be lost. This project will uncover many important stories, reflecting on key periods in Welsh life and periods of great change in our culture but will also demonstrate the important contributions volunteers have made in their local communities over the century.’

More more information please contact:
Klavdija Erzen – Project Co-ordinator
klavdija.e@vcscymru.org.uk
Phone +44 (0)29 2132 2627


Notes to editors
Established in 1964, VCS Cymru finds ways of helping disadvantaged groups through supported volunteering, community media and heritage opportunities. The organisation was the first voluntary services charity to be set up outside London.

The Heritage Lottery Fund
From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is the UK’s largest dedicated funder of heritage:

  • It invests around £430million a year on a broad range of projects – from museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions
  • HLF has supported just over 38,000 projects allocating more than £6.6billion across the UK since the establishment of the Lottery in 1994
  • In Wales HLF has invested over £323million and supported over 2,300 projects in local communities all over the country.
  • Visit our website hlf.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @HLFCymru

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
jeremy.r@vcscymru.org.uk
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.

Page 1 of 11
Accessibility