Community CVS first charity to obtain new national Lead Volunteering Organisation (LVO) quality standard

Community CVS, a charity from Blackburn with Darwen, 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.

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 organisations like CVS’s and Volunteer Centres that exist to support community and voluntary action. 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 submit a substantial portfolio of evidence covering areas that included ‘Promoting & Championing Volunteering’, ‘Connecting people to Volunteering Opportunities’ and ‘Supporting Volunteer Managers & Good Practice.’

The Awarding Body for the LVO quality standard, 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 “Bright and Engaging Newsletter” and volunteer training including “Volunteer Learning Passport”.

The Awarding Body, 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, Community CVS Volunteering Manager stated, “We are proud to have obtained the new LVO quality standard for developing and leading volunteering in Blackburn with Darwen. We have over 30 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 ensure quality volunteering experiences for all in Blackburn with Darwen.

Community CVS CEO Garth Hodgkinson said “Achieving the LVO Quality Mark 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.

Coun 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.

  • For anyone interesting volunteering in Blackburn or any organisations needing volunteer support, please email
  • For any local groups that are keen to gain a Lancashire Volunteering Quality Mark, currently being developed jointly by Volunteer Centres and CVS’s in Lancashire, please contact