FOLLOWING a weekend of events exploring the past, present and future of the health service, community group Stroud Against the Cuts are holding a small gathering to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the NHS.

The event on Tuesday July 5 – the NHS’ 68 birthday - will give people in Stroud the chance to share stories and experiences of how the service has helped them over the years.

There will also be 1940s music, an open mic for tributes, face painting, and ‘NHS colours’ theme.

People will be gathering in Pocket Park opposite Stroud Hospital from 6-8pm.

James Beecher, one of Stroud Against the Cuts organisers’ said: “On the NHS’s birthday we’ll be celebrating its founding principles and its importance to healthcare provision.

“It is necessary to have a health system that enables access to healthcare when you need it, provided by well-trained, well-rewarded workers.

“We want a health system that provides comprehensive, high quality care – promptly and universally, and paid for in the fairest way – through progressive taxation.

“To be affordable, such a system will need to be publicly owned and run – which is far more efficient.

“All of this has been under threat in recent decades, but it has rarely been more important than now that we come together to defend and extend the NHS.”

Recently the group held a weekend of events featuring international health policy expert John Lister, as well as advice for health and social care workers and film screenings, music and comedy.