Media Release – VCS Cymru Confirmed as Arts Award Centre

As of 18 April 2017, VCS Cymru has been confirmed as an official Arts Award Centre, adding yet another way in which the unique charity continues to support and provide volunteering opportunities for the local community.

As an Arts Award Centre, VCS Cymru will be able to offer young people new opportunities to learn and develop their artistic skills and creativity while growing as artists and arts leaders.

Arts Award is a unique set of qualifications that support young people in developing as artists and arts leaders. Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England. VCS Cymru is now among a number of organisations bring the programme into Wales.

VCS Cymru will look into developing future projects in all three of its specialty strands (media, heritage, and supported volunteering) in order to support volunteers to earn either their Bronze or Silver level Arts Awards. Stories/Straeon, one of VCS Cymru’s local heritage projects working with Cardiff youth, will be the first of hopefully many projects to award VCS Cymru volunteers with Arts Award qualifications.

VCS Cymru’s Director, Jeremy Rees said:

“VCS Cymru provides the community with volunteering opportunities in many different ways through heritage, media, and supported volunteering projects. With this addition and further emphasis on the arts, VCS Cymru will have another avenue to create opportunities for our volunteers to grow and develop their skills and creativity. We will be able to now even better support our volunteers in becoming a part of an already vibrant and thriving arts scene here in Cardiff.”


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Mike Scott – Development Manager
Phone: 029 2132 2627

Notes to editors

VCS Cymru
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.
From 2017 the charity is wholly funded by trusts and foundations, corporate support and individual donations.

Arts Award
Launched in 2005, Arts Award’s unique qualifications support young people to develop as artists and arts leaders. The programme develops creativity, leadership, and communication skills. Arts Award is open to anyone aged up to 25, and embraces all interests and backgrounds. Through Arts Award, young people learn to work independently, helping them to prepare for further education and employment.

Media Release – MMG Awards

Media Release


LAST weekend, the city’s community radio station, Radio Cardiff, won the prestigious MMG regional award for Best Radio Station – Wales and the South West.  

Radio Cardiff, the city’s only community radio station marks ten years of broadcasting later this year, and following a shake-up of the schedule in January the station has gone on to win the ultimate accolade, being named Best Station in Wales and the South West.

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Media Release – Stories/Straeon

Media Release


Voluntary Community Service Cymru (VCS) joins forces with local young people thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund Wales.

Straeon o’r Ffrynt Cartref/Stories from the Home Front will highlight and share the work done by charities from across Cardiff between 1914 and the end of the Great War.
Continuing the community heritage work of VCS, Stories//Straeon will see young people from across Cardiff working with some of the city’s leading organisations to share the story of volunteering through community journalism, filmmaking, and interactive media; uncovering the hidden stories that helped keep Cardiffians in high spirits during some of its darkest hours.

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Media Release – Radio Cardiff

Media Release


Radio Cardiff, the city’s only community radio station marks ten years of broadcasting later this year, and today announces a new phase in its development as it becomes part of Voluntary Community Service (Cymru) with enhanced community engagement and training capacity, along with a refreshed schedule.

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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
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 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
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.

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