More than half a million pounds has been secured by Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) to safeguard the city’s charity and community groups.
BVSC has been awarded a three-year contract, worth nearly £545,000, from Birmingham City Council, to support Birmingham’s community groups and volunteers on the council’s behalf.
The contract – which was awarded following a widely-advertised procurement exercise open to tenderers from across the UK and Europe – means the City Council will continue to purchase BVSC’s services in providing one-to-one help for volunteers and active citizens, as well as business development support for the full range of Birmingham’s local community groups, charities,and social enterprises.
The contract award will also see BVSC continuing to take the lead in brokering relationships and communication channels between the council and the city’s diverse charitable sector.
BVSC – originally founded in 1916 as Birmingham’s Citizens Society and operating in its current form since 1946 – is one of a number of independent Councils for Voluntary Service operating across England and Wales. The organisation is itself a charity governed by trustees drawn from local voluntary groups and residents.
Its work is resourced through a combination of bidding for public sector contracts, charitable trust funding and generating independent income through social enterprise activity. In 2011, it was announced that around 30 per cent of BVSC’s income was self-generated, and that the organisation had brought upwards of £40 million of funding into the city’s local voluntary sector since 2001.
BVSC’s chief executive Brian Carr said: “We’re really pleased to have won this tender. The result is a vote of confidence in BVSC and a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our staff and volunteers.
“All resources invested in us allow us to provide support for Birmingham’s residents. Last year our volunteers generated around £7.5 million for Birmingham’s economy and since 2000 we have secured more than £40.9 million for Birmingham’s charity and community groups. We look forward to continuing our long-standing good relationship with Birmingham City Council.
“Their welcome investment will help us to continue to work with our partners in delivering the highest quality backing for Birmingham’s charities, community groups and volunteers.”
Councillor Sue Anderson, the city council cabinet’s third sector champion, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to sustain full support to the sector by awarding this contract.
"The importance of the sector in Birmingham is self-evident. This award will allow us to continue to work together to maintain support and services to the most vulnerable in the city”.