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Community CVS first charity to obtain new national LVO Quality Standard

October 2023

Charity Community CVS in Blackburn has become the first charity in the UK to be awarded the Lead Volunteering Organisation (LVO) quality standard. This new standard is for volunteer infrastructure organisations who want to be accredited for their strategic as well as operational role in leading volunteering in the area they operate.


Dominic Pinkney, CEO of awarding body Works4U (3rd from left), presenting Kate Lee, Volunteering Manager, from Community CVS (4th from left) the Lead Volunteering Organisation (LVO) quality standard certificate

Community CVS, set up in 1986, exists to promote, develop and support voluntary and community action in the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen and across Lancashire. It is committed to delivering its services to organisations and residents to the highest of standards and to help demonstrate that it applied to be assessed for LVO to clearly show its role in leading and developing volunteering.

LVO is a new quality standard for modern volunteer infrastructure organisations. It has been created for these organisations to help them proudly demonstrate their important role to funders, stakeholders as well as the voluntary and community sector organisations and local residents they support. 


To achieve the LVO quality standard Community CVS needed to be independently assessed on the 5 areas of the standard:

1. Acting as Lead Volunteer Agency for Area

2. Connecting People to Volunteering Opportunities

3. Promoting and Championing Volunteering

4. Supporting Volunteer Managers & Good Practice

5. Emergency Volunteering

The robust process includes assessment of submission of evidence for each area as well as independent moderation of all assessments carried out before reaching a result.

The Awarding Body for the LVO quality standard, Works4U, reported that Community CVS passed with “flying colours” and that the assessor and moderator praised their “insight into the area, local communities, and organisations you work and partner with”. In addition, the assessors particularly commended their “Volunteer Learning Passport”.

Works4U CEO Dominic Pinkney added, ‘We have a number of organisations going through the accreditation process at the moment, but we are delighted to award the very deserving Community CVS as the first organisation to achieve the LVO quality standard. We hope obtaining LVO will help them to further their excellent work with funders, partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries.’

Kate Lee, Volunteering Manager from Community CVS stated, ‘We are proud to have obtained the new LVO quality standard for developing and leading volunteering in Blackburn with Darwen. We have over 20 years of experience and knowledge of supporting volunteering,  and this award provides assurance of our ability to mobilise volunteers, connect people to where they are most needed in their neighbourhood, support new groups to get everything they need in place to involve volunteers,  and improve the quality of the volunteering experience for all in Blackburn with Darwen.'

Community CVS CEO Garth Hodgkinson said ‘Achieving the LVO Quality Mark demonstrates the quality of our work in leading and developing volunteering in the borough.  It shines a spotlight on our knowledge and connection with the voluntary and community sector in Blackburn with Darwen and our key role in connecting people together, to communities working together to tackle adversity, and on our development of strong partnerships with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, NHS and other key strategic partners.  Community CVS will continue to deliver high quality services to help grow resilient communities and enable them to thrive– something we need now more than ever.'

Cllr Julie Gunn, Deputy Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said, 'In Blackburn with Darwen, we are incredibly lucky to have a wealth of people who give their time freely as volunteers to help others. The role of Community CVS is vital in connecting volunteers to the right opportunities to truly make a difference. I am pleased and proud that Community CVS has been recognised in this way. I’m delighted especially that Community CVS being the first organisation nationally to gain the LVO Award puts the borough on the map as a place where volunteering truly matters and thrives.'


The world of volunteer infrastructure has changed in the last ten years and there has been significant differences and variations in how volunteer infrastructure organisations are funded and operate across the country. The new LVO quality standard has been established to not just cope with these variations, but to help them show their importance and impact to society.


Works4U's recent report, 'Monetary Value of Charity Trustees', demonstrates that the value of all volunteering in the UK is £324 billion, far higher than has been previously realised. This also shows that the value and importance of volunteer infrastructure organisations is far higher than previously considered. The LVO quality standard will help volunteer infrastructure organisations to demonstrate to local decision makers the impact of their role.


More information about the Lead Volunteering Organisation (LVO) quality standard can be found here.

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