This week we are launching Holding Our Community Together, our campaign to raise awareness about the impact made by your local newspaper every week.

After the last 18 months have disrupted everyday life in ways few of us could have imagined, we remain proud about the positive difference our brand has made during the pandemic and successive lockdowns.

Just as we have done for generations, we have reported on life in our area through the bad times and the good.

With people reading our website and following our title and its staff on social media, we are reaching more people than ever before.

Nobody understands our community like your trusted local newspaper, so we wanted to shout about the difference we make.

We take pride in the reach, audience engagement and editorial coverage we deliver and the impact we make each week in the area we serve.

During the pandemic, we reported on the fantastic community effort which saw neighbours helping each other out, sorting food deliveries and many more people turning thier hands to creating PPE equipment for staff in the NHS.

Food banks were also set up for those hitting hard times after they lost money by being on furlough or in some cases losing their jobs.

Having published news in this area since 1837 we can confidently say nobody understands our community, their strengths and challenges, like us.

As well as holding deep local knowledge, we occupy an unrivalled position celebrating the achievements of our people and holding to account those in authority when questions need to be raised for the public interest.

We can point to the unique ways we have led the public response to important local issues. This includes putting the spotlight on the state of the River Wye and local campaigns to highlight the problems with the environment and residents’ heartfelt views over how the gardens around the town’s War Memorial were affected, dividing opinions over non mowing and letting flowers flourish and the controversy over Monnow Street changes brought in during the pandemic

But we are not here just to report on the problems we have faced. Our brand is built on reporting stories about local people, whether it is the everyday milestones in their lives or their extraordinary achievements.

The good news stories we have enjoyed sharing with you recently include many fundraising activities with people raising thousands of pounds for schools and projects within their local communities of which there are too many to mention without leaving someone out!

The world has changed and continues to change, yet we are proud of the unique place we hold in local life.

We are grateful for your continued support and look forward to sharing all the important news for our community, both in your trusted weekly newspaper or on our website, as we rebuild from the shock of the pandemic.

Most of all, we will value the unique place we hold in the community, reporting on local life as a trusted voice for you. Thank you for supporting us as we carry on, holding our community together.

Gina Robertson

Regional Editor