Wales Council for Voluntary Action
Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) is the national membership organisation for the Third Sector and volunteering in Wales. Its aim is to make Wales a better place by championing volunteering, voluntary organisations and community groups.
WCVA provides services and support to frontline charities, community groups, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and volunteers.
WCVA’s membership consists of over 2,500 third sector organisations. It can also boast members from the private and statutory sectors who support its work.
In Wales, there is also a county level infrastructure body. Each county has a County Voluntary Council as well as volunteer centres. The equivalent infrastructure and representative body for voluntary organisations in Scotland is SCVO. In Northern Ireland it is NICVA and in England it is NCVO. The equivalent bodies for the promotion, support and celebration of volunteering are Volunteer Now (in Northern Ireland), Volunteer Development Scotland and NCVO in England. Along with WCVA, these are the members of the UK Volunteering Forum.
WCVA has three offices in Wales, in Cardiff, Rhyl and Aberystwyth.
WCVA was born in 1934 and known as the South Wales and Monmouthshire Council of Social Service. During the Depression, the Council funded district nurses at a cost of £100 a year, and supported co-op schemes to dig mountain coal and keep fit classes for women. In the following decades WCVA’s scope increased, and it supported the founding of organisations like Citizens’ Advice Bureaux and Disability Wales.
Since then, WCVA has promoted volunteering across Wales, launched the Wales Volunteer of the Year scheme, taken on the co-ordination of the Communities First Support Service  and helps manage the Environment Wales project, which offers funding to groups working in the climate change arena. It also provides training opportunities for the third sector in Wales and runs a range of conferences and seminars for the sector each year.
Current WCVA projects
Explore Internship Programme - working in partnership with Cardiff University and the University of South Wales to provide placements for students and graduates within voluntary organisations
Gwirvol - a youth volunteering programme
CRU - For the third sector in Wales to receive DBS checks and safeguarding advice
Recruit3 - Run in conjunction with Big Issue Cymru, this is a recruitment site for the third sector.
Communities First - WCVA manages the Communities First Trust Fund.
Participation Cymru - To encourage participation in public life in Wales.
Wales Africa Community Links - A project encouraging volunteering and knowledge exchange between communities in Wales and Africa.
Environment Wales - Funding groups working with the environment.
Volunteering in Wales Fund - WCVA manages this Welsh Government funded grant scheme.
- WCVA website for Wales
- Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Registered Charity no. 218093 at the Charity Commission