Defining Councils for Voluntary Services (CVSs)

What is a CVS?

A CVS is an organisation that supports and brings together local charities and community groups. In London CVSs are borough-based, operating in 29 of the 33 London boroughs. Many (but not all) incorporate a local volunteer centre. Check out the short video above to find out more.

What does a CVS do?

London CVS Network: Connects, promotes, supports, represents the voluntary and community sector


  • Links local voluntary, community, and faith organisations with public and private sector organisations.

  • Brings together local charities and community groups through networks and forums, subsequently encouraging collaboration.


  • Shares information, advice, and funding opportunities.

  • Offers training and development support for community organisations.

  • Supports the local voluntary and community sector response to major incidents, or specifically, in times of crisis.

  • Some CVSs support local residents and communities, i.e., through training, events and other services.

  • Some also deliver social prescribing services.


  • Raises the profile of local voluntary, community, and faith organisations. Accordingly, this increases awareness amongst the general public, policymakers and funders.


  • Represents and advocates significantly for the local voluntary sector.

  • Provides local insights and further amplifies the voice of communities.

  • Facilitates collective action to address issues specifically affecting the local community.

London CVS Network 

London Plus facilitates the pan-London CVS Directors’ Network, chaired by Tony Wong (Hackney CVS). The network meets quarterly. This provides a forum for collaboration, peer support and the sharing of insights.

CVS Impact Report

Take a look at the 2022/23 London CVS Network impact report, which highlights the vital role of local infrastructure in connecting, supporting, promoting and representing London’s voluntary and community sector. 

Read the report


Volunteer Centres Page

Back to top