Column by leader of Stroud District Council, Doina Cornell.

I hope you have all received your `yellow letter’ from Stroud District Council by now, which contains useful information about staying safe, how to help others, and how to access help. The Stroud District Council Facebook and Twitter pages have been invaluable in getting information directly to people, however not everyone is online, and the letter demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that no-one is left behind.

I was delighted to learn that SDC’s new staff charity of the year is the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) whose inshore lifeboats provide emergency aid on rivers, canals and lakes. This is a difficult time for SARA, as it is for many charities, as they have less fundraising opportunities yet are still operating their rescue service. You can find out more about their work at

Staff at SDC’s leisure centre The Pulse, in Dursley, have become increasingly adept at finding new ways to help residents stay fit and healthy during lockdown. The personal fitness programmes the instructors provided for members have proved so popular that they have extended the offer to any resident in the district. The programmes are free, with an invitation to make a donation to NHS Charities. There are more details here

Finally, it’s been lovely to see the collections of rainbows around my neighbourhood. The Museum in the Park are planning a contemporary collection of rainbow pictures, so please keep hold of them, or take pictures if you can. Where I live people have been sitting on their porches in the sunshine chatting across the way to neighbours. If we take one positive thing out of the situation we all find ourselves in, it’s the greater sense of our community that many people are reporting. Here’s hoping that will continue when things are `back to normal.’