Website Accessibility

What is GMVSS?

Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector Support (GMVSS) is a partnership of organisations that provide support to voluntary sector* organisations in Greater Manchester. It was formally established in 2005 to help improve support through a collaborative, co-ordinated approach.

Led by GMCVO, the partnership was set up in response to a national government programme called ‘ChangeUp’ – a 10-year vision for the voluntary sector in which high quality, accessible and sustainable support services would be embedded.

GMVSS is made up of over 30 member organisations that provide a mix of general and specialist development support and skills to frontline voluntary organisations.
Independently and collectively, members offer information, advice and guidance to help voluntary sector organisations set up, develop and grow. For instance they might help a group to develop a constitution, adopt the right policies and procedures, find the funding that they need or recruit volunteers.

Some of the practical outcomes delivered by GMVSS include a searchable database of funding opportunities and a bank of factsheets.

Capacitybuilders (a non-departmental public body) provided the funding for GMVSS from 2006 but this funding ceased at the end of March 2011. The GMVSS partnership continues, though without any further funding at present.

* Here, the term ‘voluntary sector’ includes voluntary, community and faith groups and organisations, social enterprises, co-operatives and other not-for-profit organisations with a social purpose.


Demonstrating the impact, outcomes and benefits:

The following seven case studies demonstrate how GMVSS members have made an impact on community groups.  Click on the case studies or downloadable versions below to find out more:


Publications archive:

PDF iconSpinning the Spiders Web - A mapping exercise of the Greater Manchester Voluntary and Community Sector infrastructure services, written up by GMCVO at the start of the Changeup programme in 2005. The report identifies gaps in service provision as well as providing a snapshot of what was in place at the beginning of the ChangeUp programme.

Building the Capacity of the Third Sector - Published by the National Audit Office, this report examines ChangeUp and Futurebuilders, two Cabinet Office programmes designed to build the capacity of the 'third sector'. They were introduced by the Home Office in 2004 to address the findings of a 2002 Treasury review that the third sector's ability to contribute to the delivery of public services was constrained by a lack of capacity.