What is the voluntary and community sector?
The voluntary and community sector is also referred to as ‘the third sector’ or the ‘civil society’ sector. It is made up of groups that are:
- Independent of government and self-governing, usually with an unpaid voluntary management committee
- Value-driven – they exist for the good of the community, to promote social, environmental or cultural objectives in order to benefit society as a whole, or particular groups within it
- Not run for financial gain – they re-invest any surpluses to further their objectives
The above encompasses: charities, community groups, social enterprises, co-operatives and clubs and many faith-based organisations.
Voluntary sector organisations vary enormously in size, from small local groups run exclusively by volunteers, to large national charities that are household names with a complex infrastructure and hundreds of staff. They enable individuals to contribute to public life and the development of their communities by providing the opportunity for voluntary action. In doing so they make use of the skills, interests, beliefs and values of individuals and groups.
This factsheet gives a summary of groups registered on the Hull CVS database.
We carry out research into the issues facing voluntary groups in Hull to help in planning our support services.