Our Vice chair Allison Lofthouse welcomed over 120 people and a Guide Dog in training to Hylands Grand Pavilion who joined us for connecting, cake and catching up through our packed agenda, awards and exhibitors.

Thanks to CVS Trustee Laura Logan-Wood, MBE the cakes were amazing, as always, Keynote speaker Karl Wilding was a big fan…

Lorraine began the meeting with a short video to illustrate that “this past year has been as challenging and risky as riding a surf board.”.

Her presentation ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ covered the work of the Centre over the past year and celebrated

“….all that is good about Chelmsford: Community spirit. Volunteering. Caring. Thanks to the many people in this community who give and give and just keep on giving.”

She thanked funders, strategic partners, her team of trustees, staff and volunteers. And gave some examples of what future challenges are in store for the voluntary sector and the wider community.

Karl Wilding, Director of Public Policy and Volunteering at NCVO, delivered a hard hitting presentation identifying up and coming issues that will challenge and shape the voluntary sector over the next 5 years. You can follow Karl’s blog here. View Karl’s presentation here.

On behalf of the Centre, The Mayor of Chelmsford presented two Certificates of Commendation to local companies for Excellence and for Innovation in support of local charitable causes. He then presented the Chelmsford Awards for Voluntary Service. Highly Commended Certificates were awarded to Michelle Saich from Barrow Farm Riding for the Disabled, Samantha Tracey from Support 4 Sight and Colin Gooday from Grapevine Essex.

Winner of the Mayors Award for Outstanding Voluntary Service was Roy Chandler in appreciation and recognition of the outstanding contribution you have made to Chelmsford as a volunteer with Inland Waterways Association: Essex Waterways Ltd. Nominator, Molly Beard said: “We are absolutely delighted. His [Roy Chandler’s] love of the waterway and 100% commitment to the work is absolute!”

Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Paul Hutchinson said: ‘‘One of the pleasures I have had during my year as Mayor, is to meet and celebrate with numerous charities, organisations, support groups and the like, which rely so much on the generous volunteering skills of so many thousands of our fellow Chelmsfordians. Without those, often unsung, heroes, our City would be very much poorer. The work that these volunteers do enhances almost every aspect of life in our City.’’

Congratulations to all nominees and our worthy winners!

Photos from the event are available on our Flickr page, please feel free to download them and share them on your website or social media pages. Find our Flickr page here.

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