Bournemouth and Poole CVS
Supporting Voluntary and Community action in Bournemouth and Poole


What is the Voluntary and Community Sector


What is a voluntary or community group?

There is no universally accepted definition but one often used is that they are:

• Independent of government and constitutionally self-governing, usually with an unpaid voluntary management committee 
• Value-driven - they exist for the good of the community, to promote social, environmental or cultural objectives in order to benefit society as a whole, or particular groups within it
• Not run for financial gain - they re-invest any surpluses to further the ‘good’ they create for the community.

The sorts of groups that make up the sector includes charities (registered and unregistered), community groups, Community Interest Companies, friendly societies, social clubs, many sports clubs, churches and other faith groups, and voluntary organisations

What is the voluntary and community sector like in Bournemouth?

There are about 370 registered charities in the borough and another 600 to1500 community and voluntary organisations (including unregistered charities). These groups are a vital, and essential, part of Bournemouth life which make a difference to at least half the population. They:

• Provide essential services to the most vulnerable
• Improve the quality of life for many residents
• Provide a way for local people to be involved in local life
• Bring people together
• Raise money for good causes and local services
• Provide a voice to local people and particularly for those without one.

For more information about the groups in the borough have a look at the Bournemouth Voluntary Sector Surveys and our recent The Hidden Sector.

In 2010 central government published a survey of registered charities, download this survey here.


Bournemouth Voluntary Sector Survey

In January 2007, with the help of funding from the Safer and Stronger Communities Forum, Bournemouth CVS conducted a survey into the contribution made by the local voluntary sector to the local economy.  This is an ongoing project and further editions were conducted in 2008 and 2009.

To download a copy of the reports please follow the links below:-

Bournemouth State of the Sector Survey 2008

We were also helped by funding from ChangeUp to extend the survey in relation to Children's and Young People's Groups. 

Bournemouth State of the Sector Survey (Children's and Young People's Groups) 2008


In 2008 we compiled a seperate report relating specifically to the activies of the Volunteer Centre

Bournemouth Volunteer Centre Survey 2007


The hidden sector-a picture of voluntary and community groups in Bournemouth

We published ‘The hidden sector –a picture of voluntary and community groups in Bournemouth’with 8 Things you should know about these groups:

  • There are at least 1,000 voluntary and community groups in the borough, and may be as many as 2,000.
  • There are about 370 registered charities in the borough with a total income of more than £65 million a year
  • Two thirds of registered charities and 88% of all voluntary and community groups have an income of less than £100,000 a year
  • Three in ten registered charities and nearly three quarters of all voluntary and community groups have an income of less than £10,000 a year
  • Nearly two thirds of registered charities do not receive any state funding.
  • Over a third of charities work to improve health and wellbeing and nearly a third improve education and lifelong learning.
  • 40% of registered charities mainly work for the benefit of the whole borough and another 28% for their local neighbourhood
  • 8,500 volunteers work for registered charities delivering about 1.5 million hours of unpaid labour per year contributing about £20.5 million a year to the local economy