Events supporting the community: NEC Group joins forces with CAVA

25 October 2023 Becky Humphries

The UK’s leading live events business, NEC Group, has strengthened its commitment to the local community by joining forces with Warwickshire & Solihull Community and Voluntary Action (CAVA).

CAVA is a Voluntary and Community Sector Infrastructure Organisation local to the NEC Group, that provides vital support to volunteers, groups, organisations, enterprises and charities in Warwickshire and Solihull who are working to strengthen communities.

The team does this by providing a range of services for community groups to help them achieve their goals – from sourcing and matching volunteers, funding and income generation, to advice and training with the help of CAVA’s local network of contacts.

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L-R Ellen Delaney, Paula Madden, Steve Cartmell and Jo Battista

As part of its social impact programme and efforts to reduce event waste, NEC Group FM Contract Support Manager, Steve Cartmell, reached out to CAVA in the hope they could find willing recipients for surplus and/or leftover event materials. Since they began working together in the summer, the partnership has supported numerous local charities including the refurbishment of a community café, donated pencils to local schools and chairs to a community centre.

One such organisation that has benefitted is the Meriden Adventure Playground Association (MAPA). Only five minutes from the NEC Campus, the association team operate from a playground that’s open six days a week, providing activities, companionship and support for families and children in the community and surrounding areas. This can be up to 250 children per day in the school holidays, and in the summer holidays alone, over 6,700 pairs of feet walked through their gates.

Jo Battista, Fundraising Officer from MAPA said:” The NEC Group’s donation of 200 aprons will really enhance the cookery and craft experiences we provide for the children, and I’d like to thank Steve, the Group and CAVA for their ongoing support for our cause.”

This is only the beginning of what is hoped will be a long and fulfilling journey for the NEC Group and CAVA who will continue to work together to share unused items from across the Group’s live event venues.

Steve Cartmell, Group FM Contract Support Manager at the NEC Group said: “As a large business in our region, we have a responsibility to reduce the impact we have on the environment, support our people, and give back to our local community.

“We are proud to foster partnerships that make a meaningful impact, with our sustainable community first approach embedded into all our daily operations. Working with CAVA allows us to identify where we can reduce our waste and ensure that our donations are going directly to those who need them most, working within the communities we serve.”

Donna Norford, Volunteering Coordinator from CAVA, concluded: “We are delighted to work with the NEC Group. Their sustainable community first approach means that we were able to support and connect them with valued charities and community groups within Solihull and Warwickshire. We were able to support the connection with over 10 charities, who all gratefully received furniture and other resources.  This enabled those organisations to continue with or to add to their much needed and valued community services. 

Donations went to community cafes, sewing clubs, children’s play schemes, warm hubs, and adult day care.  The connection with the NEC Group also opened up greater engagement with the receiving charities and CAVA in Warwickshire and Solihull.  We noticed increased attendance to the training sessions, networking events and advice and guidance that CAVA offers to volunteer involving organisations.  All in all, the relationship will go a long way towards helping to sustain stronger communities”.

The partnership marks another step in the Group’s ‘Better Events’ ESG plan. One of three key pillars, ‘better for everyone’, is focused on leaving a legacy that makes a positive impact on staff, stakeholders, and local communities.

To find out more about the NEC Group’s ‘Better Events’ ESG plan, visit

To find out more about CAVA, please visit