Mary Jones

Stroud News and Journal: Mary JonesMary Jones (Image: Newsquest)


A DEDICATED scout leader who has made an “exceptional contribution” to the lives of young people has been nominated for a Stroud News and Journal Community Award.

Mary Jones is Rodborough Scout Group’s longest serving volunteer leader, having started the first beaver scout colony in Gloucestershire over 37 years ago.

She has been nominated for best volunteer of the year at the awards by scouting colleague Martyn Weaver.

He said: “Mary has given outstanding service to Rodborough Scout Group and also to Stroud & Tetbury District Scouts.

“Mary is always the first to step forward and volunteer to help and organize an event, whether it’s a sleepover for the young beavers, a street party or decorating our scout building.

“Apart from her commitments to scouting, she still found the time to volunteer in the local community. She helped at Stroud Hospital coffee bar for 30 years and delivered Meals on Wheels for 24 years.

“Sadly she now feels, after 37 years, it is time to step down from actively leading the weekly meetings.

“Mary will be greatly missed when she steps down at the end of this term, but will pass on her skills and experience to the new leaders to ensure a thriving colony going forward.”


Eric Torrington



Stroud News and Journal: Eric TorringtonEric Torrington (Image: Newsquest)

Eric Torrington is a volunteer litter picker who goes out almost every day and collects thousands of items of litter all across the Stroud District (and beyond), mainly from laybys along busy main roads.
He reports on his collections and is an outspoken and vocal advocate for changes to packaging and waste and improved awareness with local businesses and retailers.
That one man can do so much to promote understanding and change, through a commitment to completing a thankless task every single day shows that he deserves this award. He is a credit to the goodwill and tenacity of the people of Dursley.
Eric has visited Stroud District Council voluntarily to ask a public question about waste generation and littering, calling on the Council and our local MP Siobhan Baillie to write to local businesses and to challenge national policy around packaging and waste. 
He brought with him a bag of 300,000 items of litter that he had recently collected in a memorable and visual demonstration of the scale of the problem.

Jonathon Brough

Stroud News and Journal: Jonathon BroughJonathon Brough (Image: Newsquest)


Jonathan Brough has been paralysed from the neck down since the age of 19 (he’s now in his early 30s) since contracting meningitis on a gap year, learning to become a ski instructor in Canada. He sings in public (Stroud Brewery); beat boxes (Prince Albert, Rodborough); writes poetry; and races in his wheelchair for charity. He constantly sets himself challenges and achieves them.
Literally, he cannot move. He is on a ventilator, 24/7, and had to learn to speak again. Yet he controls his wheelchair by mouth, and is an inspiration to all he knows - including the two carers he has to have, every minute of day and night.
Katie Jarvis, who nominated Jonathon for the award, said: “I have never known him anything but cheerful, despite having various other health conditions arising, and being admitted to emergency care on a not-irregular basis. He is an inspiration.”
He raises money for NHS charities, spinal charities and others.
So far and counting, Jonathan has raised £1,545 for NHS Charities Together.
He is also fundraising for the Matt Hampson Foundation.