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The CVS team at the 80th anniversary celebration event.

The Origins of the Council for Voluntary Service

The Establishment of Blackpool Social Service Council

On 12th January 1934 the Blackpool Borough Council Public Assistance Committee organised a conference in Blackpool Town Hall to address the issues concerning the need for co-ordination of relief of distress. 31 people representing a variety of charitable and voluntary agencies attended the conference.

The conference was called in order to set up a co-ordinating committee representative of the various local charitable and voluntary groups operating in the town. Destitute and needy people in the community currently had their case put before the Public Assistance Committee. Following the decision about the level of support which can be given by the P.A.Committee many people still required further assistance which was outside the province of the P.A. Committee to grant. These cases were referred to local charities and voluntary groups for additional assistance. It was recognised that there was a likelihood of duplication and overlap in the support provided and that co-ordination of assistance was desirable.

Disabled ex-servicemen begging in Victoria Square

The Mayor, Councillor C.E. Tatham explained to the delegates that the Public Assistance Committee had no wish to interfere with the work of local voluntary organisations and he suggested that a Social Service Council could be established in Blackpool. Mr. F Herbert Grime the editor of the Gazette & Herald gave details of requests for help that had been made to his newspaper. If it were not for the Chief Constables Clothing Fund, the Free Feeding Scheme, the Ladies Sick Poor and others, the cases of destitution would be far greater.

The conference passed the following resolution:

“RESOLVED: That in the opinion of this meeting, it is desirable that a committee consisting of one representative of all the various charitable agencies and other persons specifically interested be appointed to obtain the fullest information possible in regard to applications for assistance, and to ensure that there is no unnecessary duplication or overlapping in the relief granted.”

To view the full history of the CVS please download the wonderful document put together by our former trustee Clive Hirst.

History of the CVS