This record is held by London Metropolitan Archives: City of London

Details of ACC/1888
Reference: ACC/1888

The records reflect the variety and depth of activity undertaken by the LCSS. Although the full Council and Committee minutes are retained by the LVSC at their headquarters at 68 Chalton Street, London NW1, LMA has received a good range of committee minutes, correspondence files and publications.


The correspondence files approximate to the various departments although the contents of each one can be quite diverse. The minutes have been grouped together for ease of reference and cross-reference. Series of information files have been retained on London issues and on more general subjects. Miscellaneous files have been grouped together by subject to make the collection usable. Publications are listed, also by subject.


Along with LCSS material is a considerable quantity of material from the NCSS.


LMA has received a deposit of some of the records of the NCSS (now the National Council for Voluntary Organisations) in Accession 2720 (ref ACC/2720): these consist mainly of records of the Rural Department, files relating to unemployment in the 1930's and papers relating to the development of music and drama in rural areas. The remainder of the records are at NCVO, Regent's Wharf, All Saints Street, London N1 9RL.


Correspondence files: General Administration


Local Councils of Social Service


Community Development Department




Race Relations


London Churches Group


London Federation of Local Arts Councils


Community Development Department (A-L)


Race Relations (cont'd)




Minutes: LCSS Minutes


Associated Groups - Race Relations


Children and Young People




Old People


Disabled People




Community Associations


London Churches Consultative Group


Charity Collections


Association of Social Workers


Mary Ward Settlement


Local Css


CSS and Local Government changes


Citizens Advice Bureaux50




LCSS Jubilee


LCSS General files




Visitors Books


Greater London Churches Consultative Group


Information Department


Social Planning Department


Family Services Department


Homemaker Group


Greater London Citizens Advice Bureaux






Termini Working party


Race Relations


Sponsorship and Fund-raising








Councils of Social Service


Other records


London issues


London Boroughs - issues


Other London issues


Information Department: general subject files


LCSS Publications: Annual reports


LCSS Leaflets


The London Supplement


Information Bulletin


LCSS Policy


LCSS Diamond Jubilee


Arts and Leisure




Community Restaurants


Community Work


Councils of Social Service


Directories of CSS












Race Relations


Social Planning


Social Services in the London Boroughs






Other Publications


NCSS Organisation


NCSS - related organisations


NCSS - Consumer protection


NCSS Publications


NCSS for the National Old People's Welfare Council


Standing Conference of Coucils of Social Service Publications


National Institute for Social Work Training

Date: 1922 - 1982

In this list, the records produced by the NCSS have been separated from LCSS records (except where they formed coherent series within LCSS departments) and listed along with their publications held by the LCSS for reference purposes.

Related material:

The collection listed as ACC/1888 complements many other records held at LMA. The pioneering work of the London County Council (LCC), the Middlesex County Council (MCC), the Greater London Council (GLC) and the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) is well documented in their official records here, eg Southwark Wel-care (ACC/2201), the Family Welfare Association (A/FWA), National and local Citizens Advice Bureaux (ACC/73.46, AC/75.87 and ACC/1762).

Held by: London Metropolitan Archives: City of London, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

London Council of Social Service

London Voluntary Service Council

Physical description: 951 Files
  • Social Welfare Association for London
  • Social services
Administrative / biographical background:

The first Council of Social Service was founded in Hampstead in 1907 by Thomas Hancock Nunn (1859-1937) who laid the foundations of the London Council of Social Service. In 1910 the Social Welfare Association for London was inaugurated at a meeting at Mansion House: this body had the active support of both the Lord Mayor of London (Sir John Knill) and the Chairman of the London County Council (Sir Melvill Beachcroft). The aim of the Association was to "secure systematic co-operation between social, charitable and industrial undertakings throughout the metropolis, and the establishment of councils of social welfare in every metropolitan borough to give effect to these objects". In 1919 the Association changed its name to the London Council of Social Service (LCSS). From 1979 onwards, the Council has been known as the London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC), and it is still the central co-ordinating body for social work organisations and activities throughout Greater London.


The LCSS was involved in many different aspects of social work and provided a number of key services to small and disparate organisations. Its core activity was the servicing, support and promotion of local Councils of Social Service in the Metropolitan boroughs. In its early existence, the organisations belonging to Councils of Social Service (CSS) provided direct services which later became the responsibility of statutory bodies. Social service, however, developed a wider interpretation and now most members of CSS's are either self-help groups formed to alleviate distress caused by a particular disease or handicap, or community groups concerned with the improvement of the environment and the quality of life. The CSS's aim to provide the means for a partnership between the voluntary and the statutory services in existence at any one time.


The LCSS was split up into various departments, each having an advisory committee. The Information Department worked to assimilate, assess and process all relevant information from general and specialist sources, making it available in concise form to social workers. From 1923, the LCSS produced a London Supplement, which was circulated with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) monthly bulletin. From 1965 the LCSS had its own independent monthly publication on the Social Services (see Information Bulletin, Acc 1888/267-283).


The London Churches Group, made up of representatives from all the major denominations, Greek Orthodox, Quaker, Salvation Army and Jewish communities, provided a channel of the Churches' thinking to the LCSS.


The Community Development Department played an important role in the activities of the LCSS. In 1937 a committee was formed to consider methods of dealing with social problems on newly designed housing estates and to promote community associations and centres on such estates. In 1945 a full-time officer was appointed to keep in touch with the 120 community associations and advise local authorities on community development work.


Citizens Advice Bureaux grew out of LCSS activities in London during the Second World War. After meeting the emergency need during wartime, the Citizens Advice Bureaux Regional Advisory Committee continued its work in conjunction with the LCSS in looking to provide new Bureaux. LCSS confirmed thereafter to provide advice and support to local Bureaux and helped recruit staff.


An LCSS inquiry into facilities for overseas students in Paddington in 1954 formed the start of its concern on the issue of race relations. The Council sought to promote understanding between immigrants and the host community, and to define or alleviate problems of individual groups. The Immigrants Advisory Committee (IAC) was set up in 1959 to be a source of information and advice on immigrant problems. This body later became known as the Committee for Inter Racial Co-operation consisting of representatives of official bodies and minority ethnic groups. It aimed to promote racial harmony and eliminate discriminatory practices. In 1968 the LCSS took over responsibility for the Commonwealth Students' Children Society.


The Family Services Department was started in the early 1950s after the CAB's had reported a rise in the number of requests for help in the matter of domestic economy. Homemaking Advice Groups, now run by local authorities, were set up under the guidance of a team of Specialists from the Institute of Housecraft and the Ministry of Education. The Department also wished to provide more play facilities for the under fives, encourage domestic safety and locate accommodation for homeless families.


Other activities supported by the LCSS were the Greater London Standing Council of Voluntary Youth Organisations (GL SCVYO), which provided a forum for the discussion of common problems, and the Volunteers Advisory Service, which supports volunteer bureaux in London boroughs and aims to establish standards of practice in placement and training of volunteers.


Much of the LCSS activity in the above departments was pioneering. It was held in high regard by local government, government and overseas groups. In addition it helped found schemes of national importance: for example, the Charity Christmas Card Council was formed after the LCSS Information Officer organised the first display of Christmas cards for good causes in 1958. In response to the expansion of London into Greater London it took on a forward-looking, strategic role through organisations such as the Greater London Arts Association, the Association of London Housing Estates and the Greater London Conference on Old People's Welfare. Many of its schemes were later copied by other CSS's throughout the Country.


The NCSS was founded in 1919 by Thomas Hancock Nunn, Organising Vice-Chairman of the original Social Welfare Association for London. It had close links with the LCSS, their offices being situated near to each other for most of their lives. Some staff worked in both offices: files were often passed from organisation to organisation.

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