CVS Inverclyde was originally set up in 1996 (then called Inverclyde Voluntary Sector Forum) by local voluntary organisations to support them and to represent their interests. In 2001 IVSF joined the national network of CVS (Council for Voluntary Service) organisations and was re-named as CVS Inverclyde.
We are run by a Board of trustees who are elected from our members, who are third sector organisations and people who live, work or volunteer in the Inverclyde area. Since 2011 CVS has been in partnership with Inverclyde Community Development Trust to form the Third Sector Interface (TSI) for Inverclyde. There is a TSI in every council area in Scotland and they work to:
- Build the relationship between the third sector and community planning partners
- Support volunteering and volunteers
- Develop the third sector
- Increase social enterprise.
The third sector (sometimes called the voluntary sector) includes community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. To be part of the third sector an organisation has to:
- have a positive community purpose
- be run by an unpaid (or mostly unpaid) committee
- not be set up to distribute profit to shareholders
- not be run by or affiliated to a political party or a government body.
Within the third sector there are three distinct groupings:
- Community Groups – usually entirely volunteer run with income generated through membership fees and small grants
- Voluntary Organisations – often employing staff and generating income through donations, fundraising and grants
- Social Enterprises – usually employing staff and generating a significant proportion of their income through trading.
The sector is driven by the community and is a key contributor to the success of Inverclyde and its residents. It is involved in nearly every area of local life – providing housing, advice, support, sports, representation, arts, education, health, care, environmental improvements and more.