CAVS Becomes an Accredited Hate Reporting Centre (HIRC)

CAVS Receives Grant from Big Lottery Fund for Family Mentoring Service

Keep Safe Essex Celebrates Launch of New Website

Warm and Friendly People Wanted for CAVS Befriending Scheme

Castle Point Volunteer Award Nominations

Castle Point Volunteer Awards 2017 - The Young Person Award

Castle Point Volunteer Awards 2017

Sweyne Park School - First Give Programme

'Water' Performance - Keep it Clear Christmas Panto!

Autumn Community Breakfast

‘Keep-It-Clear’ – Anglian Water’s Mad Science

Castle Point Volunteer Awards 2016 - Winners Announced

October 2017

CAVS Becomes an Accredited Hate Incident Reporting Centre (HIRC)

CAVS are delighted to announce that their office at the Tyrells Centre in Thundersley is now an accredited Hate Incident Reporting Centre (HIRC). In addition, three members of the CAVS team, Katharine Washbrook, Zoe Westwood and Anna Wilson, are Hate Crime Ambassadors.

The training, delivered by Essex Police, enables Hate Crime Ambassadors to identify hate incidents and to support victims through the reporting procedures and signpost them to relevant organisations for support.

If you have experienced Hate Crime and would like to speak with someone in confidence, call CAVS on 01268 638416 or come along to see us here at the Tyrells Centre, 39 Seamore Avenue, Thundersley, SS7 4EX.

pink-small17th July 2017 

CAVS Receives Grant from Big Lottery Fund for Family Mentoring Service

Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS) has been awarded a ‘Reaching Communities Grant’ of £382,571 from the Big Lottery Fund. The grant will fund a new Family Mentoring Service in Castle Point over the next three years.

 The new service, which will launch on 31st July, will provide a network of support to local families with children aged from pre-birth to 19 years by allocating an experienced, non-judgemental support worker and trained volunteer. This support will be tailored to each family’s needs, from general help in coping with daily life to bespoke parenting programmes and one to one mentoring.

 Rebecca Harris, MP commented “CAVS has a solid history of working with local families in  Castle Point and they should be congratulated on being awarded this funding which will support them with their valued work with children and families”. Councillor Colin Riley, Leader, contributed “this is excellent news for CAVS and will enable them to help local children, young people and their families to lead safer, happier lives”.

For more information about the Family Mentoring Service or on how to become a volunteer, call us on 01268 638405 or email

7th June 2017 

'Keep Safe Essex' Celebrates Launch of New Website

The brand new Keep Safe Essex website will be going live on 21st June 2017! 

To mark the occasion, Keep Safe partners and guests are attending a celebration event at The Ideas Hub, Chelmsford during Keep Safe Essex Week 2017, 19th – 25th June 2017.

The website will provide lots of Keep Safe information at the click of a button, including a list of the Keep Safe venues across Essex. Keep Safe members will also be able to join the free scheme online, as well as plan a safer journey close to home or further afield.

Keep Safe is a community partnership scheme, open to people who have disability, mental health issues, learning disability and vulnerable older people, who may find themselves anxious or in trouble when they are out in a town centre or high street.  By accessing an identified Keep Safe shop or business showing the Keep Safe sign, they can get safe access to a telephone to call a nominated trusted contact for help.

Katharine Washbrook, Partnership Support at Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services, who has been involved with the scheme since it started, said, “Keep Safe Essex is delighted to be celebrating the launch of its new website.  The scheme is a great example of how all parts of the community can support others to feel one step safer when they are out and about”.

To find out more about Keep Safe and to order a Keep Safe pack online, visit the new website from 21st June on

16th May 2017

"My Befriender Brings the World to Me"

Warm and Friendly People Wanted for CAVS Befriending Scheme

It’s hard to believe that there are people in Castle Point, Rayleigh and Rochford, right now, who haven’t had any human contact for days, sometimes much longer. They are, through no fault of their own, completely alone. Nobody is going to pop in for a cup of tea and nobody is going to call. Together we can help change that.

CAVS Volunteer Befrienders are donating their time and their friendship to put a smile on the faces of local people living in isolation. Just an hours’ visit can quite simply make someone’s day.

CAVS Befriending Scheme currently support 300 local elderly people by providing carefully matched volunteers.  Our volunteers offer companionship and help restore a sense of belonging that so many of us take for granted. 

There are people waiting for a Befriender right now and CAVS urgently need more kind, caring, individuals in the Castle Point, Rayleigh and Rochford areas to join our team of volunteers.

You will be carefully matched with someone living in your area who has similar interests and hobbies, and won’t be expected to commit to any more than one or two hours per week. Training and ongoing support will be provided.

To find out more about becoming a Volunteer Befriender, call CAVS Volunteer Centre now on 01268 638416 or email  

4th May 2017

Castle Point Volunteer Award Nominations

The nomination process for the Castle Point Volunteer Awards is now closed. Good luck to the many fantastic volunteers that were nominated!

More details to follow...

Date: 12th April 2017

Castle Point Volunteer Awards 2017 - The Young Person Award

‘Volunteer’ noun [ C ]
UK  /ˌvɒl.ənˈtɪər/ 
‘a person who does something, especially helping other peoplewillingly and without being forced or paid to do it’.

Volunteering isn’t always a formal arrangement. There are many young people in Castle Point that are regularly giving up their time to help others at home, at school or for a club.  It may be that they’re always there for those scout meetings, regularly helping with fundraising or events or simply supporting an elderly neighbour by walking their dog. Whichever way you look at it, they’re volunteering. 

We want to hear about them. 

Tell us about a young volunteer, under 21 years old, that has made an impact on you. Who has gone the extra mile and made a difference? This is your opportunity to show just how much you appreciate them. A time to say thank youAnyone can nominate, parents, family members, teachers or club leaders.

The Castle Point Volunteer Awards are hosted annually by Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS) and this year the event, which will be held on Saturday 3rd June 2017 at Runnymede Hall, Thundersley, is kindly supported by the Mayor of Castle Point, Affinity 1777 Restaurant, Sceptre Football League, Design4 Print and Ellie Mae Florists.

Every young nominee will receive three invitations to the ceremony.

Deadline for entries is 5pm, Wednesday 3rd May 2017. 

Date: 9th March 2017

Castle Point Volunteer Awards 2017 - nominate your volunteers now!

We want to hear about the stars of Castle Point. Tell us about a volunteer that has made an impact on your community and improved the lives of others. This is your opportunity to show just how much you appreciate them. A time to say thank you.

The Castle Point Volunteer Awards are hosted annually by Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS) and this year the event, which will be held on Saturday 3rd June 2017 at Runnymede Hall, Thundersley, is kindly supported by the Mayor of Castle Point, Affinity 1777 Restaurant, Sceptre Football League, Design4 Print and Ellie Mae Florists.

 Volunteer AwardsPeople across Castle Point are being asked to nominate those special individuals that they feel deserve recognition for their volunteering efforts and commitment, for going that extra mile and making a difference. Every nominee will receive an invitation to the ceremony.

There are two categories to choose from:

  • The Mayor’s Award (adults over 21 years)
  • Young Volunteer Award (young people under 21 years)

Deadline for entries is 5pm, Wednesday 3rd May 2017. 

23rd February 2017

Sweyne Park School – First Give Programme 

CAVS were delighted to welcome Year 9 Sweyne Park School pupils, Connie and Amber, to our offices at the Tyrells Centre on 17th February, to meet with a few of our volunteer Befrienders and learn about the work we’re doing in the community to reduce isolation and loneliness.

The girls are participating in the First Give Programme which encourages teams of students to identify social issues in their area and engage with local charities that address them. The teams then have the opportunity to compete for £1,500 of grant money by making a video and presenting information about their chosen charity in a school competition.

The Befrienders all have their own personal reasons for volunteering but each said how much they thoroughly enjoy their role and felt that they got as much, if not more, out of it than the person they befriend. 

Connie and Amber learnt that it’s not just older people that are isolated.  One volunteer explained how she supported a young mum with post-natal depression who didn’t like to venture out, whilst another said “even when I am not with my befriendee she knows I am invisibly holding her hand”.

The students have taken what they learnt about CAVS and will share this with others from their school alongside presentations from competing teams in their year group.  The winning charity will receive £1,000 with a further two runners up receiving £250.





9th November 2016

'Water' Performance!

In partnership with Anglian Water, CAVS is hosting  a very special Mad Science, Keep-it-Clear Christmas Pantomime to take place at The Paddocks, Canvey Island on Wednesday 30th November.

Working with the Canvey Schools Partnership, the William Read, St. Joseph’s and Northwick Park schools have accepted the invitation to watch performances taking place, morning and afternoon.  
The Pantomime is not open to the general public.

CAVS has been actively involved over many months in raising awareness within the community by engaging local groups to help spread the word. Our specific involvement with the Canvey Schools is a great way to educate children on the importance of correct waste disposal.

 Wet wipes – even those that are labelled as ‘flushable’ – create a big problem for Anglian Water. Along with fats and greases poured down kitchen sinks they can stick to the inside of pipes causing leaks which are unpleasant for nearby residents and bad news for the environment.  Anglian Water’s teams fix more than 30,000 blockages a year 80% of which are caused by wipes and fats – which costs all customers a whopping £15million a year on their bills.

Date: 4th October 2016 

CAVS Welcomes Visitors to the Tyrells Centre

CAVS invited local residents to join them for a cup of tea in the ECL Café at The Tyrells Centre in Thundersley on Monday 3rd October.

Staff members from CAVS projects were on hand to welcome visitors and provide information on the many services they deliver within Castle Point and Rochford including The Befriending Scheme, Ways to Wellness, Children’s Centres and the Keep Safe Scheme

CAVS Staff and Visitors in the ECL Garden CafeCAVS Befriending and Ways to Wellness Co-ordinator, Beverly Parrish said, “It was a fantastic afternoon and a pleasure to be able to engage directly with so many local people”.

This may have been a one off event but CAVS staff are at the Tyrells Centre, 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Date: 22nd September 2016


Autumn 2016 Community Breakfast 

September Community Breakfast attendeesCAVS (Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services) held its autumn 2016 Community Breakfast at Runnymede Hall on Thursday 22nd September.  Around 90 people attended the event which provided the opportunity to browse among the various charity stands before listening to two very different but interesting presentations. 

Appleton School Young Enterprise studentsStudents from Appleton School spoke about how the Young Enterprise scheme teaches them about business skills and gives them a real taste of what it is like to be an entrepreneur.  This was followed by the Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group who spoke about how health services are undergoing a transformation and through actors demonstrated ‘patients of the future’.

CAVS volunteer Jan Eagle and projects staff Anna Wilson and Sam ManningMichaela White from CAVS “Today’s event has received exceptional feedback with the majority of attendees describing it as excellent.  It’s always good to see the networking that takes place at our Community Breakfasts with lots of people exchanging information and learning more about local services.”

To stay up to date with the latest news and announcements of our future events make sure you like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

Date: 24th July 2016

‘Keep-It-Clear’ – Anglian Water’s Mad Science

A Great Success at the Castle Point Show

Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS) in partnership with Anglian Water staged highly successful and action-packed Keep-it-Clear MAD SCIENCE performances at the Castle Point Show, Waterside Farm, Canvey, on Sunday 24th July!

Three fun shows entertained adults and children that were designed to promote the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of waste disposal and what should not go down the sinks and loos. Wipes in particular are a real problem as they do not disintegrate like toilet paper and cause severe blockages. Fat, oil and grease (fog) is also a major issue in our sewer system. Everyone who took part received Anglian Water’s free give-aways, including Gunk Pots to help Keep-it-Clear.

Whacky mad professors performed hands on experiments that created a real spectacle and buzz amongst the audience who learned about Keep-it-Clear and had fun interacting.

The Mayor of Castle Point, Steven Cole demonstrated how strong the wicked wipes really are when pulled together! Chief Executive Officer Janis Gibson was delighted with the interest shown on the day to this important environmental campaign.

For more information on how you can help ‘Keep-it-Clear’ visit: www.keep-it-clear

CAVS is a local voluntary organisation which relies on the goodwill of local people to help others in the community. If you are interested in volunteering, making new friends and using your talents, there are plenty of opportunities to be had, including becoming involved on the Keep-it-Clear campaign.

To register your interest and learn how you can use your time to help others, please contact:

Tel: 01268 638416



Date: 13th June 2016

Volunteers Win Recognition Accolades at Castle Point Volunteer Awards 2016

Over 100 people gathered at Runnymede Hall in Thundersley on Saturday afternoon for the annual Castle Point Volunteer Awards.

The event, hosted by the Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services, was a community affair generously supported once again by local businesses. Mr Browns’ Sweet Shop, Affinity Restaurant, Ellie Mae Florists and Design4Print all stepped up to ensure that the event was a huge success.

Local community groups and members of the public nominated volunteers for two separate categories, all of whom were presented with gifts and a certificate by category sponsors, Neil Bates of The Sylvia Bates Memorial Trust Fund and the new Mayor of Castle Point, Cllr Steven Cole. Cllr Andrew Sheldon compered the event.

 The deserving winners, chosen by a panel were:

The Mayors Award – Sponsored by The Mayor’s Office
Hayley Meagher
For voluntary service with Involved.

The Young Volunteer Award (under 21)
Sponsored by The Sylvia Bates Memorial Trust Fund
Luke Halsey 
For voluntary service with Canvey Island Rotary Club

The Mayor, Cllr Steven Cole said, “It was a pleasure to be part of the Volunteer Awards and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to thank such a wonderful group of people for their hard work and dedication to the community. They truly are our Castle Point heroes.”

The event also saw the release of the new ‘Volunteering and Me’ video, produced by CAVS to demonstrate the power and rewards of volunteering. The video can be viewed on YouTube.

Visit the CAVS Facebook page to see photographs from the event.


Thank you for your support…

Phew…we’ve only just caught our breath here in the CAVS office after a successful Go Red Campaign!

As you are probably aware we were calling upon the wider community to engage in all things Red for one week beginning 28th September to 2nd October to tie in with International Older Persons Day on 1st October. 

For our clients who use the Befriending Service it is a vital link to the wider community and provides support to combat those feelings of social isolation and loneliness.  The purpose of Go Red was to embrace this fantastic community service to get everyone involved in fundraising for this essential cause.

It was a successful week of Afternoon Tea’s, cake sales and Red themed events.  The pictures below give an overview of the week’s celebrations….