VISITORS to Gloucestershire County Council's website can now see the dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle for themselves.

As part of the council's 'Meeting the Challenge - Together We Can' consultation, visitors can watch a new animated video following the story of married mum Melanie whose hectic lifestyle means she struggles to eat healthily or to exercise.

Her health deteriorates and the help and support she ends up requiring costs more than if her problems had been dealt with earlier, although in the end she improves her life through diet and exercise.

The video can be viewed at More videos about social issues in Gloucestershire will be added to the site in the coming weeks.

The change of direction in public services with which the council is hoping to save £75m over the next three years is also explained.

Dorcas Binns, Gloucestershire County Council member for public health and communities, said: "Melanie's story is a great way of showing how we want to support people to lead independent and fulfilling lives.

"She is one of many characters being used to explain why we need to think differently about our services and the financial challenges facing us."

More than 500 people have already given their views on the future of Gloucestershire's public services.

The deadline for responses to the consultation is Monday, August 4. Those interested in finding out more can attend an upcoming roadshow by completing an online survey at, where details of the roadshows are available.