50th anniversary


CVST celebrates 50 years

Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST) began life as a steering group, which then became Clacton Council of Social Services in February 1973.
Its ethos was to bring all voluntary services and support together in way that meant people needing help were not forgotten and services weren’t duplicated.
In the first decade, the organisation launched services such as the Tendring Talking Times, a Leukaemia Care Support group, and Clacton Volunteer Bureau and Family Support.
And in the years that followed it started many other groups and services that are still in existence today, though running successfully as independent charities.
Two name changes later, and from employing its first paid member of staff in 1990, CVST has grown substantially, now benefiting from 48 members of staff and boasting more than 200 active volunteers.
It runs more than 50 different groups, classes and sessions every week, supporting hundreds of Tendring residents, as well as offering support, advice and funding to voluntary and community organisations across the district.

Brenda Ellis BEM, chair of CVST, said: “I’m always amazed at the reach of CVST’s services.
“50 years ago, the organisation began as a steering group, but just look at how that has grown.
“Now, in 2023, CVST runs groups in Clacton, Harwich, Walton, Jaywick, and Manningtree.
“So many other great voluntary organisations in Tendring have either begun through CVST or been supported by the wealth of knowledge and expertise the staff here provide.
“And long may that continue.
“I’m so proud to be part of this incredible organisation and witness daily how it helps to change and improve the lives of people in Tendring.”
CVST works across Tendring, from its headquarters at Imperial House in Clacton and it’s Hub in High Street, Dovercourt.
It offers rooms to hire, providing a space for events and meetings, as well as beach huts in Clacton and Dovercourt for community organisations.

Sharon Alexander, CVST’s chief officer, said: “CVST has had an incredible first 50 years, being part of projects that help so many people in Tendring in so many ways.
“For example, we started the Tendring Talking Times, Tendring Community Transport, developed the Tendring Furniture Scheme, Tendring Parentline, and Tendring Carers Support, plus many more.
“In the past few years, particularly throughout Covid, we were reminded of the power of the voluntary sector and CVST, with its outstanding volunteers, shone.
“After 50 years we are still growing and expanding our services, continuing to tackle the issues facing our community and being part of innovative projects such as our Kennedy Way Community Garden.
“We look forward to carrying on that work.”

CVST received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant for our exciting heritage projects. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on the 50 year heritage of the charity and its support within the Tendring community.

Click on this link to see our 50th Exhibition


To celebrate our 50th anniversary, our partners, friends and members have been sharing their thoughts and experiences of working with CVST over the years in our #50voices campaign. To read all of the messages so far search for #50voices on our Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter @CVSTendring. 

“We are fortunate to have such a vibrant and proactive CVS in Tendring. CVST are not only supportive to our citizens,  but they extend their support and guidance to the many charities across the district, enabling them to thrive through challenging times.” </p>
<p>“Our partner relationship with CVST is one of unquestionable trust and equality. You know you are in safe hands”.</p>
<p>“SUMMIT are proud to be a partner of ‘Tendring Together’ working alongside CVST and other local organisations, putting the spotlight on the amazing work that goes on in our district.”<br />
Tendring Specialist Stroke Service</p>
<p>“Congratulations to CVST on sustaining the community for 50 years, the most vulnerable without a voice, supporting people to volunteer and find work from all ages, abilities and backgrounds, offering training and most of all offering hope and opportunity. To partner organisations like ourselves you have always been a constant source of information, support and opportunity to help us learn, grow and feel nurtured. You are open and honest in the face of challenges and you are not afraid to challenge - and to be a critical friend. The community and voluntary sector is strong in Clacton/Tendring under your leadership. Truly a half century worth celebration and strengthening for generations to come!  Thank you from all the team at Tendring Specialist Stroke Services.”


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At Community Voluntary Services Tendring our mission is 'leading and supporting voluntary action and empowering local people'. We aim to support, promote and develop the community and voluntary sector...


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