Our Vision

"Confident charities that aspire and achieve"


Our Mission

To be a valued, innovative and independent organisation empowering the voluntary and community sector through:

  • Support and development
  • Networking and representation
  • Strategic partnership working

Our History

3VA was formed in November 2009 when Eastbourne Association of Voluntary Services (EAVS) joined forces with South Downs Council for Voluntary Service (SDCVS) to create one Council for Voluntary Services for Eastbourne, Lewes District and Wealden.


Our  Work

3VA supports and develops the voluntary and community sector in Eastbourne, Lewes District and Wealden. We do this by helping new groups to set up, find funding, improve their governance, and by providing training. We also provide networking opportunities that enable groups to share experience and expertise, and support the sector to have a say in policy and local decision making.


3VA builds the capacity of the sector, enabling people and organisations to do things for themselves. Local volunteers alone contribute nearly 90,000 hours of their time every week, which is worth over £50 million per year to the community, and the sector needs specialist support to grow and be sustainable.


As a charity ourselves, we know the importance of getting low cost, high quality support and believe our work is essential to the future of the local voluntary and community sector. Why don’t you come and see us – you are always welcome.


Our work broadly fits into five main areas:

1) Development: We work with a range of partner organisations to identify gaps in service provision and work to support emerging needs locally.


2) Support: We provide a wide range of support from information services such as newsletters and the website to meeting room hire, funding advice, quality standards, governance, policies and trustee support.


3) Networking: We support organisations to share information, ideas, expertise and knowledge, and to work collaboratively where appropriate through a range of local networks.


4) Representation: We support the local voluntary and community sector to have a voice in local and national debates, supporting elected community representatives in their role, working with organisations on embedding and adhering to the East Sussex Compact and working as an activist and advocate of the sector.


5) Strategic Partnership Work: We work with a range of local organizations and partnerships to shape the delivery of relevant projects, services, and research. Like many CVSs, 3VA is a membership organisation with more than 560 members across Eastbourne, Lewes District and Wealden.


Our Funding

3VA's core work is supported by East Sussex County Council, Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Wealden District Council, Eastbourne Seaford and Hailsham Clinical Commissioning Group and High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group. We also have specific projects funded by The BIG Lottery.


CVS Network

3VA is one of over 100 Councils for Voluntary Service in England and Wales. Hastings Voluntary Action and Rother Voluntary Action are the other two CVSs operating within East Sussex.


For contact details of CVSs in other areas, please visit NAVCA's Members Directory.


Our Partners: Support for Voluntary and Community Groups in East Sussex.

There are a number of organisations and projects providing support to voluntary and community groups in East Sussex:
A network for young people’s organisations, SPARK supports, represents and celebrates voluntary and community groups who are improving the lives of children and young people aged 0–19 in East Sussex. SPARK is free to join and we can provide information about the latest funding opportunities as well as advice on bids, training information and resources and  practical advice on running your organisation and ensuring you have all the correct policies and procedures in place.  We also provide opportunities for networking so that your views are heard by key decision makers and keep you in touch with colleagues in your sector. Further information from www.sparknetwork.org.uk 
SpeakUp Forum
SpeakUp Forum is a countywide forum for voluntary and community sector representatives in East Sussex.  We bring together chief executives and senior staff from countywide organisations, networks and the local CVSs (Councils for Voluntary Services). We support them in developing effective relationships with the public sector and representing the voluntary sector at key decision-making and strategic meetings at county level. We work towards achieving a strong, informed and influential voluntary sector in East Sussex. Further information from: www.speakupforum.org.uk.
Action in Rural Sussex
Action in rural Sussex (AirS) provides practical support, advice and assistance to rural communities to improve the quality of life for those living in rural areas of the County. In particular AirS provides direct support to those engaging with younger people and their families, older people and  those in rural isolation or disadvanataged by their rurality. In addition AirS is an expert on community engagement and involvement, community and neighbourhood planning and individual  project development and implementation. AirS operates a specialist Village Halls and Community Buildings service to support all those volunteers who are part of management teams and Charity Trustee bodies and who have responsibility for these key rural facilities.  AirS provides the rural voice for Sussex  where it can with policy and decision makers, both locally and at a national level. For further information go to www.ruralsussex.org.uk
Hastings Voluntary Action (HVA)
Hastings Voluntary Action (HVA) works to enhance the quality of life of people in the Hastings area by promoting the principle and practice of voluntary action by both individuals and organised groups, and by supporting the development of local initiatives to meet community needs. We provide services to help voluntary and community groups operate effectively and deliver quality services, run effectives networks, enable the sector’s views to be represented in an effective and accountable way and ensure that the sector is included in strategic partnerships with other sectors. For further information go to www.hastingsvoluntaryaction.org
Rother Voluntary Action (RVA)
As a local development organisation, RVA works to both support voluntary and community groups based and working in Rother and where appropriate directly deliver community services. We offer expert community development services such as bid writing, community consultation and project management services. We offer practical services, such as, printing, producing newsletters and providing meeting space. We provide information about what is happening in the local voluntary sector, including funding information. We provide advice and support, for example around setting up and running a voluntary or community group, and about funding, staff and volunteers. Finally we offer networking opportunities with voluntary groups locally and across the region, the local authority and other agencies. For further information go to www.rva.uk.com