What we do

We champion and support the voluntary sector in pursuit of our vision for a fair and equitable Birmingham in which voluntary and community organisations and citizens can thrive. We aim to achieve this by keeping the sector up to date with the news that affects them, by providing expert support and advice, and by forging beneficial alliances and partnerships.

At our Centre in Digbeth, we provide modern conference and meeting facilities through our social enterprise arm, BVSC Enterprises, the profits from which are ploughed back into our core work supporting the sector.

Support for charities and community groups

Our established range of support includes our back office services (financial management, payroll services and HR consultancy); as well as a programme of training and weekly news bulletins.

Our current programmes

We are the lead accountable body for two, sector-led, Lottery funded, service delivery partnership programmes in Birmingham: Birmingham Changing Futures Together and Ageing Better in Birmingham.

Our history

In 2016 we celebrated our Centenary year! BVSC was formed in 1916 as the Birmingham Citizens Society, bringing together the previously-established City of Birmingham Aid Society (founded by Joseph Chamberlain in 1890) and several kindred societies, including the Birmingham Charitable Organisations Society. Its focus then was to support those affected by war and poverty.

In 1946, it became Birmingham Council for Social Services and began to build a library of information on local charities so that support could be coordinated. Papers from the time note that the organisation was “wholly voluntary...founded solely with the idea of acting as a clearing house for relief agencies” and thus demonstrated an early form of the now well-established Council for Voluntary Service model.

Our governance

BVSC is a charity (No 218795) governed by a 12-person Board of Trustees, led by Chair, Jonathan Driffill. Find out more about our Board on our Staff & Trustees page.