Council for Voluntary Service Uttlesford Celebrates Silver Jubilee

VOLUNTEERS whose selfless work has helped thousands of people in the Uttlesford district gathered to celebrate a special milestone.

The Council for Voluntary Service Uttlesford (CVSU) held its Silver Jubilee AGM in style at Horham Hall near Thaxted, to mark 25 years of supporting and developing the voluntary and community sector in the district.

As well as the opportunity to look back with pride at what the CVSU has achieved over the last 25 years, the event also gave the chance to discuss future plans to help voluntary organisations.

Attendees heard how over the last 25 years, the CVSU has helped develop many now well-established groups, which continue to provide much-valued services. These include MIND, Uttlesford Carers, Uttlesford Community Travel and many others. The CVSU continues to support the Uttlesford Care Network, which is a ‘good neighbour‘ scheme in rural areas.

Anyone from the Uttlesford district can drop in to the CVSU’s new permanent home at the Old Police Station in Great Dunmow, to take advantage of the services on offer. Information about voluntary and community activity, advice and support, funding or governance advice and networking opportunities, are all available. A recently-established community accounts and book keeping service is also offered.

There are plans to redesign the CVSU website and the CVSU is planning to contribute to the development of a local Help at Home service in partnership with Uttlesford Care Network. This will provide a flexible range of services, which could include transport for health appointments, shopping and practical tasks around the home or just be a friendly visitor to offer emotional support.

The CVSU will also be surveying members of the voluntary sector to find out how they would like to use the Voluntary Sector Forum and determine a new programme of meetings and events.

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Speaking at the AGM, Saffron Walden MP and CVSU honorary president, Sir Alan Haselhurst, paid tribute to all those who gave their time for free through volunteering.

He said: “In 25 years we have gone from a Portakabin in Radwinter Road to an old police station. We have flourished and we are still here – that is certainly worth a celebration. We owe it all to many remarkable people.

“There is a huge range of contributions, from occasional but valuable helpers through to full-time carers. And all the time we are conscious of the need for more volunteers.”

Uttlesford district councillor Eric Hicks, chairman of the CVSU, said: “It is remarkable that the CVSU has provided 25 years of service to the community of Uttlesford and I look forward to many more years to come. Volunteers play such an important role within our community and I thank them all.”

For further information, please contact CVSU on 01371 878400, e-mail or go to