CVSS - Sailing for people with disabilities is run entirely by volunteers. We are a registered charity organisation and our charity number is 1155165.
Our aim is to make sailing accessible to people with disabilities of all ages and to make sailing FUN.
We do this by making it inexpensive, by using special boats and equipment and by our approach:
"You want to sail - let's work out how you can do it safely!"
We are based at the Rickmansworth Aquadrome and have been since March of 2001
- In 2015 we had 530 Sailors
- 130 Volunteers
- 30 special schools sailed with us
- we provided more than 5,500 hours of disabled sailing
Sailing slots are available on the hour from 10:30 a.m. to 14:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and 10:00 a.m to 14:00 pm on Saturdays from May until half term in October
CVSS share facilities with the Rickmansworth-based Bury Lake Young Mariners (BLYM). This enables activities for both organisations to thrive.
We are part of SAILABLITY the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) section supporting sailing for disabled people.
Learn more about the RYA Sailability: Certificate of Achievement Scheme
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RYA is the governing body for sailing in the UK.
We welcome sailors from all over Hertfordshire as well as those that travel (sometimes) considerable distances to join us.
Schools in Welwyn, High Wycombe, Harrow and Hillingdon as well as from Watford and St Albans make use of our facilities as do individuals from London, Tring, Aylesbury and Henley.
Many of the schools that visit have sailed with us for many years.
Schools sailors range in age from 3 years through to 19. Many (but by no means all) are below 40. We also welcome older sailors - many of whom have never sailed before. They frequently find themselves thoroughly enjoying an activity many may have thought they'd be unable to do.
Our sailors have a wide range of disabilities including autism, health conditions, sensory difficulties, amputees, stroke victims, moderate and severe learning disabilities, diabetics and mental health conditions. Some of our sailors attend alone, or come with family members, partners or friends, or as part of a group with schools, colleges, care homes or social groups such as Mencap.
We have a large fleet of boats, offer inexpensive sailing and provide a friendly, welcoming, fun and a safe environment.
If you, a family member or friend would like to sail, please don't hesitate to get in touch
Availability and Fees
A full description of the membership options and application forms can be found here →
As a guide the cost of a season's sailing is in the region of £30.
CVSS is run entirely by volunteers. We launch sailing and powerboats, act as buddy sailors, helm and crew safety boats, prepare the site, maintain the boats and equipment, welcome sailors and ensure they are correctly prepared for sailing and help them in and out of boats (using a hoist if required).
We liaise with BLYM (our host sailing club), the RYA, Councillors and local officials; we raise funds, produce publicity material, maintain the website, visit schools, apply for grants, prepare our accounts and give presentations to the public.
When someone wants to volunteer – we find them a job.
Volunteers mostly come from the local area but some travel many miles to support the group. The 130 or more regular volunteers are aged between 15 and 94 and some are disabled themselves. Some are retired; some are in full-time employment or education, house-husbands, carers and job-seekers.
Training is provided to match the interests of individual volunteers and the needs of the organisation: above all – to ensure the safety of everyone.
Training includes: first aid, power boat and safety boat driving, sailing skills, radio use, child protection training and disability awareness.
CVSS is a pilot site for the RYA Volunteer development scheme and we always spend a significant part of our annual income on training.
You do not need to have worked with disabled people or have sailing experience to volunteer: you just need to want to work in a team, to help disabled people sail and enjoy the experience. Some volunteers work 4 days a week during the sailing season and others work 3 hours every fortnight. We accommodate many different levels of availability.
Hot and cold drinks and biscuits are available to all volunteers on sailing days.
All adult CVSS volunteers have a mandatory DBS check.
If you'd like to get involved, please get in touch.
How to find CVSS
CVSS is located in Rickmansworth just off the M25 to the north west of London. We operate under the umbrella of the Bury Lake Young Mariners and enjoy the benefits of using their clubhouse.
Clicking the image to the right will reveal a Google Map below.
22 Kilby Close
Postcode for Satnav - WD3 1NB
No post to the Aquadrome address please
Directions from M25
Exit at junction 18 and head down the Chorleywood Road (A404) towards Rickmansworth. When you arrive at a large roundabout take the second turning onto Rectory Road past Rickmansworth train station. You should now come to a second roundabout, also take the second exit. You should shortly come to a third roundabout, here the second exit will take you over the canal. When you come to a forth roundabout effectively turn back on yourself by taking the third exit. Take the first left just before the traffic lights onto Harefield Road passing the pub and Tesco's on your right. Before the road bends left turn right into the Aquadrome. Go through the green gates and over the bridge before following the road left into the car park. Please note that only key holders are permitted through the gates leading directly to BLYM's club house so it's a short walk for other users. On foot, follow the drive along the left fork, keeping the cafe area to your right. From here the lake is clearly visible and signposts mark the way to BLYM and therefore CVSS
From Northwood, Pinner
From Mount Vernon Hospital follow the main road (A404) towards Rickmansworth. Head down Batchworth Hill and turn left as you approach the large roundabout at the bottom. Take the first left just before the traffic lights onto Harefield Road passing the pub and Tesco's on your right. Before the road bends left turn right into the Aquadrome. Go through the green gates and over the bridge before following the road left into the car park. Please note that only key holders are permitted through the gates leading directly to BLYM's club house so it's a short walk for other users. On foot, follow the drive along the left fork, keeping the cafe area to your right. From here the lake is clearly visible and signposts mark the way to BLYM and therefore CVSS.
Trustees and Committee
|CVSS Trustees||CVSS Committee 2016|
|David Harris||Chair||John Bray|
|Graham Vickers||Treasurer||Frances Brown|
|John Bray||Trustee||Dom Hall|
|Frances Brown||Trustee||David Harris|
(Sailing days only) Mobile phone to be used for
|David Harris||Chairman||Send e-mail message||07812 982295|
|Melanie Winward||Membership Secretary||Send e-mail message|
|Frances Brown||Bookings||Send e-mail message|