golden statuette and stars on yellow background
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

Making a Difference Awards

In 2019 CVS Uttlesford launched the “Making a Difference Awards” to recognise the contribution of individuals, voluntary organisations and enterprises that make a difference to the quality of life in our district.

Nominations were invited from across Uttlesford against the following categories:

  • Voluntary sector or community organisation making a significant contribution to the lives of those living in Uttlesford
  • Outstanding contribution in Uttlesford by an employee within the voluntary sector
  • Outstanding contribution in Uttlesford by a volunteer

The awards were judged by an independent panel and presented at the first CVSU Celebration Ball held on 22nd June 2019.

It is our intention to present the awards every two years.

Award Recipients 2019

Voluntary sector or community organisation making a significant contribution to the lives of those living in Uttlesford

“Imagine losing your sight. You can understand how traumatic and distressing this would be. People struggle with a range of emotions from shock, anger, sadness and frustration, to depression and grief. Coping with these emotions can be very difficult, not to mention the practical adjustments you would have to make to your life to stay safe, and retain your independence and quality of life”.

Support4Sight assists people with sight loss, their carers and families. They are there to support them and their families with advice, information and the equipment that they need to give them every opportunity to retain their independence.

Combined with this, is the encouragement they provide, to attend social lunches, coffee mornings and outings and along with talking news and books service and a digital training service, it enables people to engage with their peer group and maintain their confidence.

Their early intervention approach over the last 25 years of delivering services to the blind and partially sighted people of Uttlesford has literally helped many thousands of people in our community to avoid sinking into social isolation and loneliness and has given them hope and comfort in living a normal and safe life, coping well with their sight loss.

They work extensively with a team of 12 highly trained staff and 123 volunteers, many of themselves who are blind or partially sighted, to ensure that they are at the forefront of high quality service for the visual impaired.

It was with great pleasure we presented this Award to Support4Sight

Outstanding contribution in Uttlesford by an Employee within the voluntary sector.

Lyndie Taylor has been running the disability home benefit team at Uttlesford Citizens Advice, for over 17 years.

With the introduction of PIP, Lyndie now deals solely with the Re-Considerations and Appeals for many clients who have either been refused PIP or have been given a lower amount than they are entitled to.

Lyndie engages with DWP every day to get them to send out the evidence and avoid delaying making a decision, to prevent the client having to go to appeal stage, that takes 6 months.

Even though Lyndie is only paid for 18 hours a week, she works much longer hours from the office and at home; speaking to clients, many of whom have mental health issues, depression and find the whole PIP process overwhelming.

Lyndie has made massive difference to many people’s lives and supported them at their darkest time.

It was with great pleasure we presented this Award to Lyndie Taylor.

Outstanding contribution in Uttlesford by a volunteer

Philippa Bennett is Chair of the Maternity Voices Partnership in West Essex.

The MVP is a group that listens to the feedback of women and partners who use maternity services and shares it with the Commissioners and the Hospitals in order to try and improve maternity services for everyone. The MVP is independent of the NHS but supported by them.

Philippa is a volunteer.  She works several hours every week managing the social media accounts, meeting with parents and health care professionals and organising meetings and events.

Philippa has made an enormous difference to the parents in all areas of West Essex but as she lives in Manuden, Uttlesford she has the most contact with parents around Stansted Mountfitchet.

All the work Philippa has done is without any funding. She believes it is important that the people planning and providing maternity services listen to the people who use them, especially at such an important time in their lives.

Last month, Philippa Chaired the AGM of West Essex MVP at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. She presented the Annual report which shows the hard work over the last year. She presented feedback from hundreds of parents, some gathered via face to face meetings, some via email and some via surveys on social media.

She has earned the respect of the Commissioners and the Maternity Department at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and along with the rest of the MVP members is often consulted on changes in the unit or in guidelines.

She has so much passion for this and gives so much of her own time to do this and deserves to be recognised.   Philippa is a mother of five children and an antenatal teacher.

It was with great pleasure we presented this Award to Philippa Bennett