Celebration at St James's Palace

2013: To bring our 50th anniversary celebrations to an exciting close, CSV headed to St James's place to meet the Queen!


Five decades of making a difference

2013: One of the founding principles of CSV is that everyone should have the chance to volunteer and gain new skills. Lisa volunteers with Troy in a local cafe, and Daniel is gaining skills with help from Valery.

One hundred and eighty volunteers

2013: Barbara has been assisted by 180 volunteers since 1981. Watch her explain how volunteers have supported her to look after her family, gain a degree in counselling and take up volunteering.




Ellie and Liz share their digital skills

2009: Working with 36 local BBC radio stations, a band of volunteers (and their helpers) helped nearly 700,000 vulnerable people negotiate the digital switch-over.


Volunteers help to conserve Britain's heritage

2009: Teams of young people aged between 16-25 take up the challenge to conserve some of the historic buildings at the heart of our communities. Here, a former volunteer, Julia, explains why this sort of work makes a difference.

Celebrating Year of the Volunteer

2005: The year that celebrated volunteering all over the UK. These 'Millennium Volunteers' had their achievements recognised by Her Majesty The Queen, and thousands more volunteers made it truly a year to remember.


Volunteers Supporting Families project established

2004: Tasha is a volunteer who provides support to Lisa and her young family. Initially set up to help vulnerable families, our mentors now provide support to families facing many different issues.

Volunteering in the new millennium

2004: Rachel volunteered with us early in the new millennium. Take a look at how her experiences inspired her to establish a community project to help young families.




Thousands join in the first Make a Difference Day

1996: Here are two of our first CSV Make a Difference Day volunteers. With support from the New Internationalist magazine,volunteers across the UK planted thousands of trees, tidied community gardens and much more.


Action Earth volunteers plant 15,000 trees

1992: Volunteers set the bar high during the first summer of Action Earth by planting thousands of trees. Last year volunteers like this little group continued the environmental tradition by helping to plant a wildflower meadow.



Poll Tax demonstrations

1989: When the poll tax looked like it would impact on volunteering - we gained some high profile support to protest the charge.


Ian Dury, rock star fundraiser

1986: Our fundraisers and donors are definitely volunteer champions. Whether running marathons, cake sales or taking a collection tin to the pub - their hard work ensures that projects can run and lives are changed.

Volunteers make sure that age is no barrier

1985: From business skills sharing projects in the 1980's to knitting classes in the 2010's, RSVP volunteers have always made sure that age is no barrier to volunteering.


Tour about Glasgow

1981: In the summer of 1981, CSV project Clyde Action was lent a bus for the day and given food for a picnic at Rouken Glen Park. 35 volunteers used these gifts to take 35 children on a tour of the sights of Glasgow.

Gap year volunteering

1981: Sarah Robinson left school at 17 and before heading to university she volunteered at a CSV project supporting people with disabilities. The project and Sarah's commitment to volunteering are still going strong today!




Clyde Action tandem day

1978: Meet Malcolm. He was a volunteer at a Clyde Action community fun day, where people were encouraged to help each other to participate in the events.


The most co-operative street in the country

1977: As part of Granada TV's Report Action series, Bob Greaves went to find out how communities can help each other by collecting and recycling paper.

Volunteering in the 1970's

1976: Ever wondered what it was like to volunteer in the 70's? Our former volunteer Peter Fell tells us what he did at Wirral Action and how the experience changed his life.


New project aims to help people find work

1975: With unemployment rife in the North East of England, CSV established Springboard Sunderland, a project where people could learn new skills for the workplace and provide a valuable contribution to their community.

CSV and Granada TV 'Report Action'

1975: We're pleased to see the Reports Action broadcasting team rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in to the volunteering projects they reported on.


Student activism, the NUS and CSV

1970: Alec Dickson, the founder of CSV, was invited to speak at the annual NUS conference. Both Alec and students spoke about the lively debate they had discussing young people how they were involved in their communities.

An education project that changed lives

1970: Watch former volunteer Chris Hull explain his work with marginalised communities in West London including work with the National Gypsy Education Council.




Wanstead bike workshop

1969: Our two budding bike mechanics pictured here adapting a bicycle for a disabled child are part of a long history of bike-related volunteering at CSV that continues today.


Blackfriars Settlement provides a warm welcome

1965: This community project in South London provided space for a workshop for older people, befriending projects and classes for children with learning difficulties.

Supporting young people at a detention centre

1963: At a time when very few people left home to volunteer, CSV supported young people to make that step. Like Peter, pictured, many went to help in detention centres and homeless shelters teaching skills to other young people.


Our first volunteer steps into the unknown

1962: When Nigel Potter stepped onto the train from London to Glasgow to start a summer working with young people, he became our first Community Service Volunteer. A year later, a small group of organisers founded the charity, CSV.