London Voluntary Service Council to close after 107 years

03 Nov 2017 News

The London Voluntary Service Council has gone into voluntary liquidation, the charity announced today.

LVSC is the infrastructure body for charities working in London. The move to close it is part of the establishment of a new central hub to serve voluntary sector organisations in London, funded by the City Bridge Trust, which will provide many of the same services previously offered by LVSC.

As part of the preparation for the establishment of the new charity, LVSC's assets will be transferred to another charity, Greater London Volunteering, which will administer the new hub.

It is not yet clear how the services provided through the new hub will differ from those provided by LVSC.

LVSC said in a statement on its website said that it was placed into creditors' voluntary liquidation on 31 October 2017 and Adam Stephens and Finbarr O'Connell of Smith and Williamson LLP were appointed joint liquidators.

Pension issues may potentially have played a significant role in the decision to close LVSC. The charity had commitments to make annual payments for ten years from April 2013 to eliminate its pension deficit, which was around 60 per cent of its annual income. It was due to pay £23,445 to 2019 and £45,970 after that.

For the year ending March 2016 it has an income of £827,400, and an expenditure of £902,900.

The Charity Commission’s website showed LVSC had eight employees at the year end of March 2016. At least one member of staff, Jonathan Slater, has moved over to GLV to become its employment and skills policy and project manager.

The hub follows the publication of a report, 'The Way Ahead - Civil Society at the Heart of London', funded by City Bridge Trust and produced in partnership with LVSC and GLV. The report recommended the establishment of a new central hub.

The board of LVSC said in a statement: “After 107 years supporting London's thousands of civil society organisations so they can meet the needs of our communities, London Voluntary Service Council has transferred its remaining functions over to Greater London Volunteering in preparation for the establishment of a hub for London.

“Our involvement with The Way Ahead has been the latest example of how LVSC has tried to best meet the needs of civil society groups.  We are delighted that this proposal has secured funding from City Bridge Trust and will be recruiting soon.

“We would like to thank the hundreds of members of staff, trustees and volunteers who have been involved with LVSC over the years.”

Hub for London

The new charity support body, Hub for London, was awarded £350,000 towards the new organisation. The Hub aims to “strengthen the charity sector in the capital by providing access to business, organisational, technical and enterprise support to civil society organisations, as well as online resources”.

Membership of the hub will be open to any individual or organisation based in London.

City Bridge Trust’s funding will secure the first year of operation for Hub for London, which will be run by GLV.

Cam Fitzwilliam-Grey, chair of GLV, said: “We have long recognised the need for a cohesive, cross-sector approach to civil society in the capital. This funding will see us establish a Hub that, at its core, will aim to serve every Londoner.

“We are very grateful to City Bridge Trust and continue to be inspired by their commitment to civil society infrastructure.”


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