International Voluntary Service

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International Voluntary Service
International Voluntary Service.jpg
Founded1931; 88 years ago (1931)
FounderPierre Ceresole
HeadquartersEdinburgh, Scotland
Area served
80 countries
Key people
Chief Executive: Amy Blake

International Voluntary Service (IVS), is a peace organisation working for the sustainable development of local and global communities throughout the world. The organisation was formed in 1931[1] and is a registered charity in England, Wales and Scotland.[2]

Guiding ethos[edit]

The mission of the International Voluntary Service is to foster Peace and understanding between peoples and nations through the mutual exchange of volunteers. This ethos is summed up by the strapline 'Volunteering for Peace'.[3]



In 1931, Service Civil International sent a team of international volunteers to the Welsh colliery town of Brynmawr. The volunteers redeveloped a brownfield site into a public park, which included an outdoor swimming pool.[4]

The Brynmawr redevelopment was the first international project in the United Kingdom and marked the beginning of International Voluntary Service, shortly after IVS became the first recognised branch of the SCI.

Second World War[edit]

In 1939 the UK Government officially recognised alternative civilian service as an alternative to military service. This policy change led to sharp rise in the number active volunteers.

Current activities[edit]

Peace education[edit]

Since 2011, IVS has delivered peace education within UK schools.

International volunteering[edit]

European Voluntary Service[edit]

The International Voluntary Service is accredited as a sending and co-ordinating organisation for the European Voluntary Service.

Service Civil International[edit]

The International Voluntary Service is a founding partner of Service Civil International, a global network of international volunteering organisations.

As a Partner, IVS can send and receive volunteers to and from countries with an active SCI branch.

Notable members[edit]

Frank Judd[edit]

Between 1960–1966 Lord Frank Judd, Baron Judd acted as the Secretary General of the International Voluntary Service.[5] Lord Judd remains a Patron for IVS.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hull University Archive" (PDF).
  2. ^ Charity Commission. The International Volutary Service, registered charity no. 275424.
  3. ^ "IVS Mission".
  4. ^ "Brynmawr Welfare Park, Hidden Histories - BBC Two". BBC. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Lord Judd". UK Parliament. Retrieved 16 September 2016.


  • Ethelwyn Best, Bernhard Pike: International Voluntary Service for Peace 1920-1946, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1948
  • Arthur Gillette : One million volunteers: the story of volunteer youth service, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, A pelican original, 1968, 258 p. on-line
  • Hélène Monastier, Alice Brügger: Paix, pelle et pioche, Histoire du Service Civil International, Editions du Service civil international, Switzerland, 1966
  • SCI : Service Civil International 1920-1990 - 70 years of Voluntary Service for Peace and Reconciliation, Verdun, 1990

External links[edit]