What is the Business?

Voluntary Centre Services (the trading name of Urban Challenge Ltd), supports volunteers, voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises across west Lincolnshire from Centres based in Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford.


They have been in operation since 1997 and have been involved in a range of projects and initiatives to support the VSE sector in the area for almost 25 years. Current activities include promoting volunteering, Social Prescribing, and providing advice/support for VCSE organisations. They also run employability and youth support programmes including the Greater Lincolnshire MOVE project and the West Lindsey Youth and Employer Support (YES) project.

How did LORIC help?

LORIC provided a report which used Open Data and desktop research to detail the charities, mutuals, community interest companies (CICs) and Community Land Trusts operating in West Lindsey. Voluntary Centre Services’ West Lindsey Team also attended a “Data for Marketing” workshop delivered by the LORIC Team which helped them to understand and implement techniques to improve marketing and partnerships.

Plans for the Future

The report provided was a valuable tool to map out the landscape and market routes to the local community and voluntary sector in West Lindsey. Gainsborough is a pilot area for a national programme that aims to strengthen local organisations by them implementing income generation models. Growing social enterprise activity in the area supports economic activity and helps to tackle inequalities. Enabling this growth through the resources within the Gainsborough Local Access Programme is a key ambition for Voluntary Centre Services.

Check out Voluntary Centre Services here: voluntarycentreservices.org.uk

Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash

Partnering with LORIC to develop a data baseline for the programme has been key to unlocking the insight from which we will build a social enterprise growth approach. Voluntary Centre Services is not merely the only beneficiary though – as a local infrastructure organisation we serve communities, community groups and volunteers and the support from LORIC will impact our service plans.

Helen Kearsley-Cree
VCS Local Access Programme Co-ordinator