CVS5- Supporting VCS in Cambridgeshire

CVS5 is the collective name for the three CVS organisations that together cover Cambridgeshire.  CCVS covers Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and Fenland, Hunts Forum covers Huntingdonshire and VCAEC covers East Cambridgeshire.  CVS5 co-ordinate its work so that its support is consistent and jointly-planned, producing greater efficiency and outreach.  An annual survey of Cambridgeshire groups determines each year’s training priorities as perceived by the groups themselves, as well highlighting different development needs in different parts of the county.

Organisational development

Organisational development is the overall term used for the work that CVS5 do with individual groups, often on a one-to-one expert consultancy basis to deal with issues or problems that groups have encountered in running their organisation.  It also includes fundraising advice and introductions to funders through individual consultancy, emailed bulletins and organised surgeries with funding agencies.  Scheduled surgeries around the county enable groups to meet CVS5 skilled workers as near to their place of operation as possible Training sessions are developed to provide opportunities for groups to keep up-to-date with statutory and other compliance issues as well as up-skilling individuals in areas that enhance their abilities to keep their group sustainable.  Small groups are the major users of these services.

Consultation and collaboration

Consultation and collaboration opportunities are generated throughout each year in response to the changing political and economic climate, sometimes as a result of a request by a statuatory service provider, but also on a regular basis so that groups can come together to explore themes and ways of developing co-production models.  This can lead to the development of consortia and joint commissioning groups, which CVS5 then facilitate.  A series of email networks, newsletters and forums ensure that conversations continue in between meetings.  Medium to larger groups that employ staff are the major users of these facilities


Representation of the voluntary and community sector at joint meetings with the statutory authorities and others is undertaken on a regular and ad hoc basis by CVS5.  Every effort is made to ensure that frontline groups can attend relevant meetings to share their expertise, capacity allowing, with CVS5 staff acting on their members behalf if they cannot attend, following consultation with them.