North Herts and Stevenage CVS is a membership organisation that provides support for local charities, community groups and new start up projects in order to help them carry out their work effectively, and ensure that they are well represented. We are here to help you, whether you are a local voluntary or community group, a social enterprise, a charity looking for support and advice or an individual looking to volunteer.
As well as providing a range of information, services and support for voluntary and community groups, we also manage several local community schemes in the area. These include valuable respite play schemes for children and young people with special needs, a busy community transport scheme to help those with special access needs. We manage #Team Herts Volunteering which supports organisations Countywide with volunteer recruitment, helps people into volunteering and runs a variety of training courses and workshops to promote and champion volunteering and good practice in volunteering. We also run Reach Out Hertfordshire which provides companionship and practical support to older people who are medically vulnerable and at risk of hospital admission, or have recently been discharged from hospital. Reach Out assists people by linking them up with a volunteer in their neighbourhood who can offer support to them in their own home – helping them to adjust to and recover from illness, whilst also reducing social isolation and loneliness.
We can offer members free one-to-one advice and development support on anything and everything, from funding and finance to setting up a new community group or becoming a Trustee. The first three hours are free to our Full Members, after which there is an hourly charge. We also send regular information updates on the latest developments, news and resources to all CVS Members.
There has been a long history of community activity in the North Herts area:
- The Letchworth Guild of Help, a forerunner organisation to North Herts CVS, goes right back to 1907.
- The Guild of Help provided a range of services for the community for more than 42 years.
In 1949 a meeting was held to close down the Guild of Help and it was replaced with the Letchworth Council of Social Service.
- The first official meeting of this new group was held in 1950 at the Brotherhood Hall in Letchworth.
- For the first eight years the minutes were written in copper plate handwriting with titles of topics underlined in red ink. Then in July 1957 technology arrived and from then on minutes were typed and then stuck into the minute book.
- The 100th Meeting of the Executive Committee of the newly named “Letchworth and District Council for Social Service” was held in the Council Chamber of Letchworth Urban District Council on March 28th 1960.
- Letchworth merged with the other North Herts towns to form the new local government area of North Hertfordshire District Council with the local government reforms in the 1970’s. Since then we've been supporting and encouraging voluntary activity in North Hertfordshire.
- In June 2014 we were offered a grant by Stevenage Borough Council to support the voluntary and community sector in the borough of Stevenage with advice, support and information as well as continuing to run the Stevenage Volunteer Centre. Sadly, Stevenage CVS closed and the Stevenage Community Transport Scheme transferred over to our management. In September 2015 our constitution was changed to reflect our wider geographic area.
Our CVS continues to support both North Herts and Stevenage with support, advice and information as well as managing a number of local and Countywide projects.