Speaker Meeting, 6.15 for 6.30pm

Mon, Nov 7th 2022 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Speaker: John Stooke founder of the Kelly Foundation

John Stooke was making a return speaker visit.  

1st November 2021 The Ale and Beer Houses that have disappeared from Swindon between 1700 and the present day.

At this meeting he came to talk about the Kelly Foundation which he founded with others a few months ago. Governed by a board of trustees, it is a Charity Commission registered charity.

Everyone at the Kelly Foundation has been touched by the tragedy of suicide not least John, having lost 2 children himself.  The aim of the Foundation is to tackle mental health issues for anyone over the age of 18.  It focuses mainly on the Pinehurst, Penhill, Moredon and Gorse Hill areas of Swindon.

Currently there are 22,766 people in Swindon diagnosed with clinical depression of which 2,000 suffer severely.    There are 700 hospital admissions each year for self-harm incidents and on average 16 residents a year commit suicide.  The Office of National Statistics records 52 deaths from suicide in the Swindon area from 2018-2020. 

One in four of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives. It could be due to a bereavement, divorce, job loss or another trauma that impacts on our mental health. Some of us will suffer short term and others will suffer much longer.

Due to scarcity of resources, individuals with poor mental health do not receive the same access to NHS services or the quality of care as do people with physical illnesses.  The Kelly Foundation is seeking to address such inequalities in mental health provision. These largely relate to inequalities in society, the conditions in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age. It is the unequal distribution of the social determinants of health such as education, housing and employment that in turn drive inequalities in mental health. 

The Foundation’s work can be summarised under five headings:

1.    Listen and Understand: GP surgeries are limited in what they can offer.  Listening and talking therapy can be highly effective if delivered within a structured and long-term plan.

2.    Signpost: following listening and understanding, one-to-one coaching alongside access to dietary and nutritional specialists, recovery groups, voluntary opportunities or supported employment.

3.    Deliver Practical Support: by liaising with the Department of Work and Pensions, the local Borough Council and other local agencies.

4.    Work Collaboratively: working with parents, supportive family members, local agencies and employers to find part-time or full-time work placements.

5.    Advocate: general advocacy to ensure those who are most vulnerable have their voices heard on issues that are important to them.

The Kelly Foundation’s annual running costs amount to £40,000 all of which has to be fundraised and local firms, especially Zurich and Nationwide have been very supportive.  On 5th February the Foundation is promoting a concert in The Deanery Theatre (the school near Waitrose) featuring “The Swing Birds”.

The Kelly Foundation website

'What We Do' Main Pages:

24th October is World Polio Day


From Rotary Club local heats to national finals, Rotary Youth Competitions in a range of creative areas let young people’s skills flourish.


Brighter Futures launched their Radiotherapy Appeal in 2015. Today, 7 years later, a ribbon cutting ceremony has taken place at the Great Western Hospital


All the funds will go to local charities supported by us


£1286 has been sent from our Emergency Disaster Fund to the Disasters Emergency Committee UKRAINE HUMANITARIAN APPEAL


Rotary’s second major donation, of £208,000, was handed over on 7th July 2021 when local Rotarians visited the Great Western Hospital to view the build progress of the nearly completed radiotherapy unit.


A brief summary of our Rotary year ending 30/06/2022


Giving money and support to the people in Swindon & district who need it most


We went to the races in March. It was a meeting with 10 races, 8 riders in each. It wasn’t at Epsom, or Haydock Park, or just up the M4 at Newbury. It was, of all places, in Wanborough Village Hall.


"In musical entertainment Swindon punches way above its weight. Some of the youngsters we've heard tonight will go on to make a name for themselves"


The Rotary Club of North Wiltshire (the name was changed to the Rotary Club of Swindon North in 2008) received its charter from Rotary International on 28th September 1966


Rotarian Terry Williams' remarkable and unique fund raising effort, living in a ShelterBox emergency tent for a week in the Market Place, Highworth