Making a Difference

Local Newspaper Week's Making a Difference campaign highlights the power of local newspapers to campaign for positive change in the communities they serve. Below is a showcase of the strongest editorial campaigns from the past year which have been shortlisted for the Making a Difference award.

A three-day public vote for the best campaign has now concluded, with the winner to be announced at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards by News Media Association chairman David Dinsmore on Friday 18 May.  

Making a Difference

Cambs Times

Cambs Times reporter, Kath Sansom, spearheaded the campaign after suffering ongoing pain from a gynaecology operation. What started out as a local campaign quickly turned international.
Kath underwent an operation to have a TVT mesh sling for bladder problems and whilst researching what went wrong discovered it was a global problem.
Kath became a regular guest of MPs - to seek acknowledgement that the operation is flawed and to get it suspended.
Kath said: “I found out what I thought was a body-friendly sling is made from polypropylene plastic mesh – the same material used to make drinks bottles. The tape can twist or shrink, degrade and harbour bacteria. It can damage nerves during insertion, and the bladder can be perforated.”
Campaign highlights include a Parliamentary lobby in July 2017 with MPs who heard harrowing stories of how mesh has changed women’s lives beyond recognition. Kath joined the Scottish Mesh Survivors to speak – by phone- at the Australian senate inquiry into pelvic mesh implants. The Labour Party in October called for immediate suspension of vaginal mesh. Professor Carl Heneghan and the British Media Journal reveal mesh implants have been used in patients without clinical trials. December 2017 sees New Zealand as the first country in world to ban pelvic mesh.