Water rescue heroes are Stroud District Council’s charity of the year

Published: Friday, 24 April, 2020

Stroud District Council staff have nominated the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) as their new charity of the year in Drowning Prevention Week.

The inshore lifeboat and water-rescue charity base in Sharpness will now be the focus of fundraising efforts for the next 12 months, alongside national events and charities such as Sport Relief and Children in Need.

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.

SARA Sharpness provides emergency rescue services along the Severn estuary and River Severn, and assists the emergency services including evacuating people when the county is hit by floods.

This week is the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Drowning Prevention Week, raising awareness of the risk of accidental drowning with the #BeWaterAware campaign.

Deryck Pritchard, the SARA Sharpness Fundraising Officer said:

“We are so grateful for the support of Stroud District Council and absolutely delighted that the council’s employees have voted SARA Sharpness as their Charity of the Year - especially so at this most difficult time for everyone.

“We are currently taking precautions to deal with the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. It is clearly vital that we maintain our ability to respond when life is in danger, so we need to minimise the risk of many of our volunteer crew members becoming infected at the same time.  We have therefore cancelled all non-essential activities but we continue to respond to incidents where life is, or may be, in immediate danger.

We trust that the public and our supporters will bear with us at this difficult time.  We may be out of sight at the moment, but hopefully not out of mind. We still need your support and we will always respond when we are needed.”

Tara Skidmore, chair of Stroud District Council’s charity group said:

“Like many charities, the Coronavirus pandemic will have a detrimental effect on SARA’s fundraising campaigns, and we look forward to boosting these when things get back to normal.”

Last year council employees raised £1,991 for Allsorts with events including a rounders match supported by councillors and bake sales.

To find out more about SARA or make a donation, visit the website  https://www.sara-rescue.org.uk/ , or follow them on Facebook @SARASharpness or Twitter @SARASharpness

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