Staffordshire Council of Voluntary Youth Services was established in 1982 by the larger traditional voluntary youth services operating in the County, including Scouts, Girlguiding, Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, Boys and Girls Brigades, etc. The network provided a useful way of sharing information and best practice, coming together for training or networking and to lobby local elected members over different issues of interest and concern. SCVYS exists to serve the needs of its members and in turn the children and young people who access the activities provided by those groups and this underlying value is still at the forefront of our operations over thirty years later.
Due initially to the foresight of a former Principal Youth Officer and the arrival of Transforming Youth Work funding, a decision was made to second statutory Youth Service staff into SCVYS to support the development of the local voluntary youth sector. To justify the financial investment, an annual census was created to capture the contribution of the sector and this was added to the statutory data to present a fuller offer available to local young people. Data collected includes number of young people participating, active volunteers, attendance at training and accreditation at both national and local levels. Incentives for groups include access to a free use of school facilities budget, small grants and DBS clearance support.
In 2011, control was handed over to SCVYS, now a charitable company, via a contract with Staffordshire County Council. The partnership has matured as SCVYS has become more and more independent, whilst more than meeting the current contract requirements.
Membership of SCVYS rose from around 15 groups to approximately 100 during the late 1990s, and hovered around that mark until the County Council’s decision to close their in-house youth service in 2014. In August 2015 SCVYS had 140 Voluntary Youth groups in membership.