Issue based support

Support and development bodies for specific activity areas, such as health, advice, immigration.

Also see: generic national and management bodies, function-based support.


Areas of Concern pages have more links, particularly of less formal networks. Selected areas:

Also see: Trade Unions on Employing Staff page.

Health, Care, Social Care

Also see relevant Areas of Concern page.



Public Information, Law and Advice


Also see: Areas of interest – Leisure, culture, education.

  • Fields in Trust (was National Playing Fields Association) works to protect and improve recreation areas like kids playgrounds and leisure areas for older people, not just community playing fields.
  • National Community Boats Association.
  • Working on Wheels (aka National Playbus Association) – for mobile community projects – closed 2017.

Youth, Children

  • Children England provides support to voluntary and community sector organisations working with children, young people and families.
  • Children in Northern Ireland Regional umbrella organisation for the children’s sector.
  • Children in Scotland Agency for voluntary, statutory and professional organisations and individuals working with children and their families in Scotland.
  • Federation for Detached Youth Work.
  • National Council for Voluntary Youth Service closed April 2016. Some services moved to Ambition (was Clubs for Young People), such as representation for voluntary youth sector in England.
  • UK Youth network of youth associations.
  • YouthLink Scotland and its member organisations support 40,000 youth workers across Scotland.

Functional Support

Support and development bodies for specific internal sector functions – admin, comms, tech etc.

Function specific (professional) support and development organisations for charities and other voluntary organisations.

Also see: general national bodies, issue-based support.

Finance, Legal and Admin

For Community Accountancy projects dotted around the country, see Accountancy Services page.


  • Association of Charitable Foundations Exists to promote and support the work of UK grant-making trusts and foundations, membership open to all such bodies and some administrative trustees. Web site has guidance notes available for both funders and applicants, and alphabetical list and web links (with basic info) to ACF members. Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London, WC1H 0AE, phone 020 7255 4499.
  • Community Fundraisers’ Forum (started 2007) designed for fundraisers in smaller charities who are working by themselves and need a bit of support. This may be the same as the IoF special interest group.
  • Chartered Institute of Fundraising Park Place, 12 Lawn Lane, London, SW8 1UD, phone 020 7840 1000. Has various national, regional and special interest groups.
  • Institute of Legacy Management promotes professional standards in legacy administration and provides consultancy, training and support services to its members.
  • London Funders is “open to all London-based local authorities, public, independent and corporate funders and to all charitable funders and investors in the capital’s voluntary and community sector”.

Information, Research, Impact

Communications and Campaigning



  • Charity Retail Association (was Association of Charity Shops). Brings together over 300 member charities which have about 7,000 charity shops between them. Aims to help member organisations through the sharing of information and representing their interests by lobbying and informing. Has developed kitemark scheme. 5th Floor, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London, WC1H 0AE, phone 020 7255 4470.
  • Community Transport Promotes safe and efficient use of community and accessible transport.

Support Bodies

The main national support/ infrastructure bodies, those for community/small/ethnic groups, charity managers.

The number of groups that seek to support particular functions or issues within voluntary organisations has been growing slowly. Co-operation has also generally improved. While many of those listed here operate on a membership or subscription basis, some useful info may be available to non-members.

Also see: function-based support, issue-based supportlocal and regional. And Community Groups Resources for multi-function/ social action centre networks etc.

General National Bodies

  • National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) For organisations in England with a national or local remit. Runs conferences and seminars, sources discounts from various suppliers. Free membership for organisations with income below £30,000 a year. Regent’s Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL, phone 020 7713 6161.
  • Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) Useful weekly email newsletter. 61 Duncairn Gdns, Belfast, BT15 2GB, phone 028 9087 7777.
  • Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) produces weekly newspaper Third Force News, and has free helpline number 0800 169 0022. Members can get discounts on SCVO training and publications, various software, and also access to Pension Scheme and Credit Union. Free membership for organisations with income below £25,000 a year. Phone 0131 474 8000.
  • Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) Membership from £30, plus free limited ‘e-membership’ for smaller voluntary and community groups. Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 5FH, phone 0800 2888 329 (or 029 2043 1700). Offices also in Rhyl, Aberystwyth.
  • Association of Jersey Charities.

For smaller organisations

Gender, ethnicity etc.

Managerial support

Misc support

Service Providers

Service providers intro, pro bono services, outsourcing, admin and misc services.

Note: The amalgamation of some old VolResource pages has meant some services-related material appearing in other sections. Fundraising services/platforms are on the Fundraising Resources page.

Intro on selecting service providers

There are any number of special deals around for voluntary organisations – for registered charities and favoured local groups in particular. Some of these are excellent, but remember that ‘nothing comes for free’.

The service provider could be

  • just wanting some kudos that they can use to enhance their image.
  • gaining experience at your expense (or could be upfront about learning while applying other skills/experience).
  • hiding the true costs, and getting you to pay later.
  • hoping to get repeat business or a commission on future services.
  • genuinely interested and involved in the sector/your particular concern.

It is helpful to get a feel for where they are coming from, to avoid misunderstandings or unpleasantness later. And appreciate the fact that free advice based on inadequate knowledge or research could turn out very expensive!

Pro Bono Services

There are quite a few organisations, varying from informal networks to offshoots of professional bodies, which provide some way of accessing volunteers (or seconded employees) with expertise in a particular area. This can include students doing projects, which could lead to some variability in quality. Most will be listed on VolResource under the relevant subject head, but here are some others.

Maps for change “exists to inspire and empower students to create a better world through making maps and to help NGOs get the maps that they need”. (Source: Whitebarn Consulting, June 2011)

Legal – see Law Works, and others, under Legal Services.

Technology – see CITA under Computer services.

There is a Pro Bono section on the Consultancy services page.

Reach is the “skilled volunteering charity”.

Misc Services

Building Works

CRASH can help if you are running a project involving single homeless people and require help with building work or professional expertise. They can provide, amongst other things, surveys, project management advice, architects, building materials and equipment. 10 Barley Mow Passage, London W4 4PH, phone 020 8742 0717, email:


Key Travel provides travel services for charities, academic and similar bodies. Offices in Manchester and London: 2nd Floor, Lowry House, 17 Mable Street, Manchester, M2 3AW, phone 0161 819 8900; 28-32 Britannia Street, London, WC1X 9JF, phone 020 7843 9600.

Registered charities that are 10% or more voluntarily funded can receive a 20% discount on all Virgin Trains Advance tickets bought via If income is over £500,000 in the last accounting year, a link to your Charity Commission entry will be needed as part of confirming this.

Admin outsourcing, shared services

Sector Matters, a spin-off of Northern Ireland’s umbrella body NICVA, provides a range of support – HR, Finance, Management, Research, Admin etc.

Charity Management Services based in Hampshire.

Not for Proft Business Services An outsourcing company with a charity focus which operates from Ware, Hertfordshire.

Consortium purchasing – see Suppliers page.

Also see Consultancy Services page for e.g. personnel/HR advisers.