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Tel: 01256 423816

BVA History

50 Years Anniversary

 For more information and pictures from the event, click here.


Do You Remember?

The Gilbert and Sullivan opera Ruddigore says "We shall toddle off tomorrow from this scene of sin and sorrow for to settle in the town of Basingstoke"

... and so they did. In the late fifties and sixties migration from London increased the population of the little market town causing 11,500 houses to be built according to a development plan that would install people in large new housing estates around the town. There were social and psychological problems for the new migrants which had to be addressed. Part of the process of "adjustment" included the provision of welfare services so the council asked the Workers Education Association to form a study group to explore the implications of the town expansion and to recommend actions to help the incomers settle in their new environment.

In the 60's (Moon landing)

In 1965 Basingstoke Council of Social Service was founded to foster the growth of voluntary organisations and activities in the town. It consisted of representatives from local voluntary groups and statutory organisations who were elected onto an Executive Committee of twenty-one members under the Chairmanship of Alderman J B Peat and the direction of Mr H G W Turner OBE.

BVS was formally constituted, Basingstoke Council of Social Service, at a public meeting on 29th October 1965. Our first priorities were assistance for parents of mentally handicapped children, marriage guidance, setting up women's clubs at Winklebury and Oakridge and setting up a "welcoming organisation" for newcomers to the town.

An appeal to industry yielded £25 from Lansing Bagnall and Eli Lilly and 2 guineas from Bell and Howell and Cannon Electric.

At the very first AGM in 1966 David Ensor was elected as a new Chair and this coincided with the appointment of Mrs Irene Israel as Director of BCSS. Chairman, David Ensor, said "At long last the people of Basingstoke have a new shopping centre and very soon the first Community Centre in the town will be opened".

In 1969 BCSS moved into Chute House. A minibus was donated by the Rotary Club of Basingstoke (this cost £250 per annum to run).

In the 70's (Decimalisation)

We had a new name, Basingstoke Council of Community Service, to reflect the formation of Basingstoke District Council in 1973 and the wider area that BCCS now served.

On 11th April 1975 a fire nearly destroyed our home in Chute House. We were provided with temporary space in the Leisure Centre. The Chairman (G. Rivers) said "... a year of trial ad tribulations culminating in the fire ..."

We moved back into the newly refurbished Chute House in 1976 and the Silver Jubilee Committee is formed "to raise additional funds to bring people together. "Ladies of the district are being invited to send in their favourite recipes so that these may be collated and published in a BCCS Cook Book which is hoped to sell at a modest sum".

In the 80's (Live Aid)

Membership stood at 155 with many schools and community associations and the Beekeepers Association. Fees were dropped due to our better financial position.

"Joint Transport - Dial-a-Ride, Age Concern and BCCS between them covered 84,253 miles in 1985 carrying an estimated 92,750 passengers. They gave thanks to those schools that save newspapers to defray the costs: collecting up to a tonne and a half of paper per week. Unfortunately the van used to collect furniture and paper had to go the following year due to a drastic fall in the cost of re-cycled paper - the paper collection was the only thing keeping the van on the road.

In 1981 Margaret Rowley was appointed as the BCCS General Secretary replacing Irene Israel

In the 90's (Gulf War)

1990 - BCCS Silver Jubilee Celebrations included a Thanksgiving Service, Open House/Exhibition; Barn Dance and Mayor's Reception.

1991 - BCCS set up a support group for servicemen and their families. Margaret Rowley retires and Christine Steer is appointed as Director. Basingstoke Council of Community Service (BCCS) becomes Basingstoke Voluntary Services (BVS). The Orchard Project Team is started as part of Basingstoke's special effort for the Millennium.

1996 - The Volunteer Bureau held its first Celebration of Volunteering Awards in the Jackson Room at Chute House. Len Treglown, the BVS Chairman, presented the awards. The following year the Mayor, Councillor Roger Morris, asked if he could host our event at the Civic Offices where it has been held each year since then by the incumbent Mayor.

21st Century (Social Media Technology)

BVS moves to the Orchard, a purpose built resource centre for the voluntary/community sector.

2007 - Christine Steer retired and Rebecca Kennelly joined BVS as the Chief Executive.

2014 - In September BVS with a membership of over 450, rebranded to BVA (Basingstoke Voluntary Action) to move to a new dynamic brand that demonstrates commitment to community action rather than service delivery.

2015 - Rebecca Kennelly left BVA and Stephen Morgan became the new CEO.

Checkout what BVA are currently delivering locally .....