This thesis examines the aims and work of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) between 1919 and 1939. The NCSS was a large charity, formed in 1919 with the express aim of promoting voluntary organisation in Britain. It worked closely with other charities, statutory agencies, and local and national government in a number of areas to support a series of reforms and schemes aimed at providing a more organised and efficient voluntary sector. The thesis discusses the history and formation of the NCSS, its national aims and its work in rural and urban areas. It also analyses the development of local clubs specifically for women. It places a large emphasis on the work of the NCSS with the unemployed and contains two large case studies of such work in south Wales and the northeast of England. The thesis discusses the extent to which the NCSS attempted to implement a policy of `bureaucratic citizenship'. It shows that the policies of the National Council were based upon the notion that the state, individuals, charities and organisations could work together and, in so doing, enact the role of the `good citizen'. The NCSS attempted to establish a bureaucratic system of welfare, which could encompass a wide and diverse range of social thought and action. However the thesis also makes broader points about the way in which an idea can develop within a non-politicalo rganisation.It discusses the way in which the central tenets of NCSS ideology were manipulated due to local needs and circumstances and the effect this had on national policy. By examining the way in which an idea develops within a middle class, `middle of the road' organisation the thesis sheds light on a much neglected group.