About us

WHO WE ARE

CVS Inverclyde is the third sector interface for Inverclyde. Our goal is to connect, strengthen and support Inverclyde’s charities and voluntary groups

We understand that local people have the skills, knowledge, and energy to change their communities for the better. When they come together to form a community group or voluntary organisation these strengths can be realised, and the result is communities that are better places to live.

We call these community groups and voluntary organisations the ‘third sector’ and this includes both small teams of volunteers and large organisations employing staff.

WHAT WE DO

We are the central point of support and guidance for Inverclyde’s third sector. Our sector is dynamic, creative, lifesaving - and our work is diverse

Some of CVS Inverclyde’s projects include:

  • Offering guidance and training to third sector organisations with practical issues such as funding, governance and volunteering.
  • Supporting Inverclyde’s social enterprises.
  • We link third sector organisations with public sector services like Inverclyde’s HSCP for the benefit of health and wellbeing in our communities.
  • Inverclyde’s community link workers support GP patients with non-medical issues impacting their health (financial problems, isolation, housing) and link them to services that will help them.

Strategic Plan

Discover more about who we are and what we do in our Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025. We outline our values, mission, and what actions we will take to achieve our vision of a confident, inclusive and successful Inverclyde.

Meet the Team

Charlene Elliott, CEO

CEO

I joined CVS Inverclyde in 2019 as Chief Executive and work with the Board to set the strategy and provide leadership support to colleagues. My job is to advance the role of the third sector in Inverclyde by working closely with our members. I am a member of Inverclyde Alliance Community Planning Partnership, Inverclyde Intergated Joint Board and a Trustee of Inverclyde Community Fund. Prior to joining CVS, I held senior roles in large national charities. I’m proud to live in Inverclyde and serve our community.

Caroline Johnstone, Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer Coordinator

I have worked at CVS Inverclyde for 6 years and I’m currently Volunteer Coordinator and the first point of contact for CVSI. My background is in the care sector, working in a Korsakoff Unit caring for people with ARBD. I find working in the Third Sector in Inverclyde very rewarding.

Vicki Cloney, Partnership Facilitator

Partnership Facilitator

I'm a former nurse with a passion for integrated care. I began the MSc Leading People-Centred Integrated Care programme at UWS in 2021. As the Partnership Facilitator, my role promotes the relationships and collaborative working between Third Sector organisations and public sector partners to further the local Third Sector’s contribution to Inverclyde’s health and wellbeing.

Alena, Assistance Dog

Assistance Dog

I'm super helpful and clever! I love offering support to my best friend Vicki and I enjoy the occasional office zoomies!

Penny King, Partnership Coordinator

Community Enterprise Project Officer

Last year I graduated from Heriot Watt University and started at CVS Inverclyde under a graduate project. I am currently working on two Investing in Communities projects and my main role is engaging the community. I work with and support the Project Manager of Investing in Communities Social Enterprise projects. I really enjoy working with such a diverse range of organisations and learning how they help our community to thrive.

Chris Park, Communications Lead

Communications Lead

I’ve worked with CVS Inverclyde for about 2.5 years and I love my communications role because I get to do what I enjoy most: write, tell stories and support incredible organisations. I cover aspects of communications including social media, press, websites, event planning and more!

Communications Assistant

I'm currently working on the ICE, EPIC and Steps to Progression Projects. My degree is in English Language and Linguistics, and I'm currently using it running the comms for our exciting new projects, with a focus on Social Enterprises and Volunteering. As well as running social media, I write reports and presentations, help to organise events and do lots of creative design work. I love this creative side of my role, as well as using my weirdly in-depth knowledge of grammar every day!

I-Promise Coaching and Modelling Practitioner

I recently joined CVS Inverclyde as the new I-Promise Coaching and Modelling Practitioner. I graduated from UWS Paisley in July 2023 after studying BA (Hons) Criminal Justice. I have previous experience as a Senior Project Worker supporting young people with additional support needs. I’m eager to learn more about the Third Sector and to ensure Inverclyde is keeping its promise to care-experienced individuals.

Elaine Cannon, Head Community Link Worker

Lead Community Link Worker

I’ve been part of the Community Link Worker Team for 2 years now as Team Lead. My role involves supporting Inverclyde’s CLWs, planning developments and providing direct patient support when required. I also liaise closely with HSCP colleagues and compile reports on the activity of the team. My background is varied, having worked in justice services, family support and recovery services. I enjoy being part of a great team where no two days are the same and we can see what a valued difference our input can make to local people by providing social prescribing through the GP practices.

Brenda Cox, Community Link Worker

Community Link Worker

I have a background in Childcare and Education, families with disabled children, Carers and people with learning disabilities. Daily I engage with patients with social and economic issues. I enjoy the diversity, learning, partnerships, trust and outcomes in my role.

Elaine McKendrick, Community Link Worker

Community Link Worker

I trained as a mental health nurse and I worked for many years within mental health across several different projects: including supported accommodations, daycare and employability services. I joined CVS in 2017 to become part of the Community Link Worker Team. The things I enjoy about this job are the wide variety of people we work with, the great team I am part of and partnering with the wonderful services in Inverclyde.

Community Link Worker

I live in Inverclyde and have worked in various 3rd sector services over the past 20 years. I joined CVS in 2017 and am one of the original Community Link Workers. Based in 2 local GP surgeries I enjoy assisting patients with resolving social issues.

Heather Pearsall, Community Link Worker

Community Link Worker

I joined the team in February 2022 after 12 years as a Social Worker within Adult Services; hospital discharge; and Addictions services. As a CLW, I provide emotional and practical support to patients and help find solutions to improve their situation, utilising the network of local agencies. I love being part of this fun, energetic and committed team of CLW’s in supporting GP teams to provide a holistic, compassionate and supportive service to the people of Inverclyde.

Cheyne McWilliam, Community Link Worker

Community Link Worker

I originally trained as a registered nurse for the learning disability register. I nursed for a good few years before switching over to social services. The majority of my work here was with people with learning disability, mental health and long-term conditions. I also spend some time working in social work training team and community development. I have worked as a community link worker in Inverclyde for a year now and thoroughly enjoy my post as it is very diverse. My role is to support patients from two GP practices by social prescribing, signposting, linking patients into appropriate identified supports and partnership working.

Community Link Worker

My background has been working within the social care field, in a wide variety of settings. As Community Link Worker, I am based in two local GP surgeries and get referrals for patients who require non-medical support. I provide emotional and practical support and, when a need is apparent, I refer people to local resources to help enhance their situations.

Senior Social Enterprise Officer

I am a former Learning Disability Nurse and have spent the last 20+ years working in both Social Care and Community Development. I am currently brand new to this role but look forward to meeting new people and developing my role in EPIC and being the best cheerleader for new Social Enterprises throughout Inverclyde. I am Inverclyde born and bred and can often be found walking about the area with my dog, Steve. If you see us, please say hello.

Operations Manager

I have a background in social care, creative roles. In 2019 I founded a social enterprise in North Ayrshire which I managed for 4 years before its acquisition by Sense Scotland. My role as Operations Manager at CVS is to provide leadership and support for the TSI team here at CVS Inverclyde, ensure the smooth running of the organisation and its projects and promote the development of CVS and its relationships with third sector organisations across Inverclyde.

Graduate Funding and Organisational Development Officer

I recently graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a degree in Multimedia Journalism. As a published journalist, my speciality has been charities and community organisations, the work they are doing and the social issues they aim to tackle. This is a huge passion of mine and I am excited to combine my knowledge of these issues with my dedication to my local area of Inverclyde as Graduate Funding and Organisational Development Officer. In my role, I support groups and organisations with structure, getting set up and accessing funding, I am particularly looking forward to developing a calendar of training and networking events in this area, including an online best practice tool kit. I also work alongside the communications team to promote the local third sector while sharing funding and development opportunities. In my spare time, I love exploring nature, dancing, and working on an arts publication I edit.

Project Manager

I have joined the lovely CVS Inverclyde team as the Project Manager for the ICE and EPIC projects. I am a public health practitioner who is interested in creating supportive, equitable and connected communities by focusing on the existing strengths of local groups. I have worked in social research and viral hepatitis health promotion, and am particularly interested in the role social processes and stigma can have on the way we respond to various aspects of public health. I look forward to supporting the project team to make positive change within Inverclyde.

Meet the Board

I have over 20 years experience in senior HR and Organisational Development roles gained across the public and private sectors ranging from local government through to IT, financial services and most recently, regulation. I am a chartered fellow of the CIPD and live in Inverclyde and have done most of my life!. I joined the board in 2020 as a Trustee and most recently moved to Chair. Our role as a board is to provide governance and oversight of the work that CVS delivers as a charity and key third sector organisation.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to join the CVSI board in October 2021. Born and bred in Inverclyde my career started when I became a BSC-qualified Sound Engineer, progressing to lecturing full-time in Sound Production at our local James Watt College for 15 years. I am currently the Director of two organisations based in Port Glasgow, Software Training Scotland and Access Technology Scotland CIC. With this knowledge in Technology, IT and navigating the daily challenges faced by all organisations, I am proud to serve with the team of CVSI.

I’ve been a qualified accountant for 16 years and have gained a wealth of experience in Finance across both the public and private sector. I have been a trustee of CVS for almost a year and I look forward to offering support however I can to the organisation.

I am the CEO of Ardgowan Hospice, moving back in 2022 to my childhood West of Scotland. I am an experienced leader and social entrepreneur, and considered a creative thinker and innovator: passionate about being a good leader, service designer, collaborator & building strong working partnerships, business modelling and social change. Winning National Awards and being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, my passion is enabling people and organisations to find solutions and developing services that support vulnerable members of our communities in securing better outcomes. I play drums & guitar badly!

I'm the CEO of the Greenock Medical Aid Society (GMAS). I have a nursing background in both Adult and Mental Health nursing and two years ago she became a Queen’s Nurse. I have extensive senior management experience and have been called upon to advise both local and central governments. I am also an executive member of Scottish Care. I take pride in delivering high quality services and I have a passion for working with older people. I was born in Wales and live in Greenock with my husband and two sons.

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