Supporting the Community Sector


There is usually a Councils for Voluntary Services (CVS) based in each district, borough, or city across the country. CVSs are sometimes called local infrastructure organisations, and exist to support, develop and deliver services to front line voluntary and community organisations.

Each CVS works behind the scenes in their locality to ensure that local voluntary sector groups and organisations get the support they need. They provide their members, and the local voluntary and community sector, with a range of services and development support in a number of ways:

  • Identifying gaps in services and developing new initiatives to meet unmet need
  • Raising standards by promoting the national, countywide, and local Compact
  • Enabling communication and collaboration through newsletters, bulletins, and network meetings
  • Providing a voice for the sector through consultations and policy development
  • Promoting strategic involvement of the sector at strategic partnership meetings
  • Delivering direct services for organisations such as funding advice, accommodation, training, finance and volunteering

Each CVS in Essex is part of a network that is in touch with over 164,000 local charities, voluntary and community groups across the country.  For more information about local support and development agencies visit the NAVCA website.

To see a map of the CVS organisations in Essex, along with their contact details, please click here.

Essex CVS

Essex CVS is a network of the local CVS organisations across Greater Essex. By working together, the CVSs aim to present a unified voice for the county as well as progress opportunities for the sector, and share information and best practice for mutual benefit.

You can read more about their work on their website:


Essex Council for Voluntary Youth Services (ECVYS) is a member-led umbrella organisation, providing representation, training, grants, sign-posting and networking for Voluntary Youth Organisations throughout Essex. Collectively, ECVYS is the independent voice of over 107,000 thousand young people and over 15,000 volunteers!

For updates on ECVYS activities, meetings, events, training and grants, visit their website:


Healthwatch Essex is an independent charity which aims to capture the Lived Experience of the people of Essex around Health & Social care. The charity does this in various ways including academic research, high quality engagement and our telephone information and signposting service.  The charity uses this information to add insight to commissioning, design and delivery of services across Essex. The charity uses this Insight to raise the debate around ongoing issues and to ensure that the Lived Experience of the residents of Essex are heard at the strategic level of decision making.