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SDC staff answer SOS call from Severnside life savers


A charity headquarters has been transformed thanks to a team of volunteers from Stroud District Council and property services contractor Bell.

Work was carried out on the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) headquarters in Sharpness earlier this year.

The inshore lifeboat and water-rescue charity was the council’s staff charity of the year from 2020-2022. However, as the Coronavirus pandemic restricted fundraising events, the SARA crew asked for practical help in renovating their base instead.

Members of Property Care, SDC’s housing repairs and maintenance team, carried out the work using company volunteer days alongside staff from property services contractor Bell.

Works included plastering the hallway and front room, painting the hallways, front room, office, staff room, and bannisters, refitting and painting skirting boards, and laying new vinyl flooring to the bathroom.

Colin Drewitt, SARA volunteer said:

“The work Stroud District Council and Bell have done here has made a massive difference to the welfare of the crew. It has uplifted the space and made a big impact.”

Cllr Mattie Ross, Chair of SDC’s Housing Committee said:

“I’m so proud that members of our housing service donated their professional skills and their time to make such a difference to the SARA headquarters.”

Jane Cordier Community Engagement Co-ordinator at Bell South West added: “It was amazing to be part of the team renovating the SARA headquarters. Giving back to the communities we work in is at the heart of Bell, and we were delighted to help.”

To find out more about SARA or make a donation, visit the website https://www.sara-rescue.org.uk/

The charity of the year is chosen by council employees who are invited to nominate a local charity, then vote for their favourite from a shortlist.

Stroud Women’s Refuge is the council’s charity of the year for 2022/23. It supports women who have been forced to leave their homes due to domestic abuse. To find out more about Stroud Women’s Refuge or make a donation visit https://www.stroudwomensrefuge.org/.

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