Community Service Volunteers
CSV was founded in 1962 by Mora and Alec Dickson, who also founded Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). In the 2004/2005 financial year, CSV had six operating companies with a total expenditure of £43 million, employing 944 full-time equivalent staff. They organise full-time, part-time and one-off volunteering opportunities for different groups in the community, including young adults (through Millennium Volunteers for 16- to 24-year-olds), people over 50 (through the RSVP - Retired and Senior Volunteer Project) and for employees of large corporations. CSV is one of the largest providers of employee volunteering in the UK, helping businesses to get involved in the community. CSV also runs an annual "CSV Make A Difference Day" on the last Saturday of every October, promoting voluntary and community days of action throughout the UK, which is the UK's biggest day of direct volunteering in the community.
Among the hundreds of volunteering opportunities they can offer opportunities to volunteer in areas of special interest such as the environment, or media. CSV also runs a journalist network through which journalists can volunteer their skills to non profit organisations who need extra promotional help. Additionally, CSV Action Desks work in partnership with the BBC in 36 BBC local radio stations. They broadcast appeals for volunteers, run awareness campaigns and promote Lifelong Learning.
Nearly 16,000 people a year volunteer through CSV, particularly young people. CSV pioneered the idea of teaching citizenship in schools – it became part of the National Curriculum in England in 2002.
CSV has sought to recruit volunteers from all demographics. Over 10,000 senior volunteers who run activities and projects for CSV and recruit other senior volunteers. CSV also runs weekend volunteering projects in London, designed to give busy people a chance to make a difference in one weekend.
The president of the CSV is Lord Levy.
CSV also runs many full-time volunteer projects across the UK. These placements can involve helping children in school, providing support to students with disabilities at university, helping in homeless hostels, enabling people with disabilities to live independently, or mentoring and befriending young people at risk of offending or exclusion from school. CSV Full Time Volunteering is residential and volunteers move away from home and are provided with accommodation, weekly food and subsistence. A full-time placement can last between 4 and 12 months, although it is sometimes possible to extend a placement after this date. No previous experience or qualifications are necessary.
Every year CSV involves thousands of part-time volunteers in a diverse array of projects ranging from clearing a canal to helping children to read. This includes: Mentoring, Millennium Volunteers, 'Go' Volunteering in London, Lending Time, and Allies.