What We Do
Harris Voluntary Service was set up as Harris Council of Social Service in January 1964 and has continued to serve the community of Harris until now. Our mission is to serve the needs of the Harris community. HVS co-ordinates and supports local initiatives which aim to improve the services and facilities available in Harris.
Over the years, we have supported the young, the elderly, the vulnerable, and carers via a variety of schemes such as hardship funds, summer playschemes for children, grass cutting for the less mobile, and more. The most ambitious project initiated by HVS was the construction of the Harris Sports and Leisure Centre. It took 11 years and £100,000 raised from local fundraising from the time the committee was set up in 1993 to the opening of the centre in 2004.
We continue to support the Harris community today through a variety of projects. Find out more here.
Partnership is at the heart of everything we do. Harris Voluntary Service is one of the six partners which make up the Third Sector Interface Western Isles, the single point of access for support and advice for the Third Sector locally.
HVS is a membership organisation comprising of 40+ community groups, local organisations, and charities based in the Isle of Harris. Together, we aim to promote collaboration and information exchange to build capacity and increase efficiency in the third sector.
We assist our members by providing advice on charity law, volunteering, and work collaboratively to deliver projects for the community. We are also available to identify sources of funding, and help our members review and complete their funding applications.
HVS membership comes with a range of benefits. You can find out how to become a member here.
HVS is also a member of the Harris Forum. The Forum was set up in 2017 to discuss and promote the social and economic issues which affect the island. The Forum is responsible for the Harris Plan, the five year strategic vision for the development of the Isle of Harris. You can read the latest Harris Plan, here.
HVS also publishes Dè tha dol? the printed community newsletter. As part of its service Dè tha dol? carries local planning and crofting applications, grant opportunities, bin collection timetables and the Leabhar La - a What’s On page which provides an overview of the fortnight’s activities (inclusion is free of charge).
Dè tha dol? is available from shops around Harris for £1 per issue. You can also subscribe for £50 p.a and receive Dè tha dol? straight to your door, or to your mailbox for £30 p.a. The newsletter is paid for by a combination of sales, support from advertisers and HVS funds. Advertising rates are reduced for Harris Voluntary Service Members.
The relatively low level of digital connection within our islands means that news and events advertised through on-line and social media channels, might not reach the community.
Paul Munro, Chair
John Mitchell, Vice Chair