Sailing for people with disabilities
CVSS is a registered charity run entirely by volunteers
We make sailing accessible, inexpensive and FUN for people with disabilities of all ages
We do this using special boats and equipment and having a positive approach:
"You want to sail - let's work out how you can do so safely"
Regrettably, we are unable to accept new membership applications
as our sailing sessions are now fully booked
CVSS is a local charity. We provide sailing and katakanuing for people of all ages with various disabilities in Bury Lake, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. We are staffed entirely by volunteers who enjoy the social experience, the friendship, the pleasure of sailing but most importantly - the rewards of helping others. CVSS is based at the Rickmansworth Aquadrome and has been since March of 2001.
We share facilities with the Rickmansworth-based Bury Lake Young Mariners (BLYM). This enables activities for both organisations to thrive.
We are part of 'Sailability' the RYA’s national programme enabling people with disabilities to try sailing and take part regularly. RYA is the governing body for sailing in the UK.
Visit BLYM's website here
What can CVSS do for you if you are disabled?
Affordable opportunities to have fun outdoors in a safe enviroment!
Enjoy the fresh air in a beautiful lake
Try sailing or katakanuing
Gain confidence and independence!
Make new friends!
We welcome all ages
We welcome sailors from all over Hertfordshire as well as those that travel (sometimes) considerable distances to join us. This includes schools, groups and individuals from Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and several London Boroughs.
We welcome sailors of all ages and cater for 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, while others come with family members, partners or friends, or as part of a group with schools, colleges, care homes or social groups such as Mencap.
Our fleet of access dinghies are specially designed and built to match our sailors' needs. They can be adapted to meet the individual needs of sailors and enable them to enjoy an experience on the water. In normal times a sailor can sail with one of our volunteers (a 'Buddy Sailor'), but also with a family member or support worker with the consent of the Leader on the day.
We have two hoists plus slings and slider boards to enable access for those who require them and our volunteers are specially trained in their use.
Sailors are encouraged to sail and with practice some are able to sail on their own. If you, a family member or friend would like to try sailing please get in touch here
CVSS is run entirely by volunteers. As a Volunteer and after initial training – you'll welcome sailors, make sure they're correctly prepared for sailing, help them in and out of boats (using a hoist if required), act as a 'buddy' sailor, helm and crew safety boats, prepare the site and maintain our boats and equipment.
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 regular volunteers are aged between 16 and 90 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.
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
Application for Voluntary Membership
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