RESIDENTS are being encouraged to donate pre-loved coats to ensure everyone in Stroud can keep warm.

Stroud Town Council is setting up The Stroud Coat Stop on the Subscription Rooms forecourt.

Residents are being encouraged to drop off coats, gloves and hats to the Town Council Offices, 58 London Road, between 9.30-12.30 Monday to Friday.

The coats will be distributed where they are most needed, including through the community hubs. PCSOs, Neighbourhood Wardens, Street Pastors and other agencies, who will be able to access the coats from the locker at any time.

The coat drive is an initiative by the Town Council and NoSH (Network of Stroud Food Hubs).

Sarah Frazer, core team member Trinity Rooms Community Hub, said: “Those people using our food pantry are often in dire straits.

Stroud News and Journal: Stroud Mayor Stella Parkes and Deputy Mayor Camilla Hale at the launch of a new scheme in the town"For them buying a coat is out of the question, so coming along to collect essential food in the cold and rain without a coat is shocking to see.

“We are so grateful that we are able to give sleeping bags courtesy of the town council, basic hygiene items, and now, due to the generosity of the Stroud community, coats.”

Denise Nolson, chair of Middle of the Hill Community Group (MHCG) based at Nouncells Cross in Stroud, said the donated coats can make a huge difference.

She said: “People who have no money for basic food and heating don't have money for buying winter coats, for themselves or their families.

“This hits the vulnerable - the chronically ill, the disabled and the elderly - particularly hard, as it's incredibly important they maintain a stable body temperature to prevent chills, aches and pains.

“It's also vital they are able to get out, have a hot cup of tea and some food and socialise with friends and neighbours while their local hubs are open. Your donation will really make a difference to someone this winter, thank you.”

Mayor Stella Parkes said: “That unused coat in your wardrobe could make sure a difference to someone this winter.

"Please, please support our coat drive and spread the warmth this winter."