* Swindon IA (Swindon Ileostomy Association) is a local ostomy & pouch patient self help support group and a UK registered charity. The group was formed in 1980 by an enthusiastic group of people with stomas and our former president, Dr. Michael Hellier FRCP.

* The primary aim of the group is to support and help ostomy and pouch patients, and their families, return to a full and active life following radical bowel surgery. The majority of our members wear a surgical appliance, more commonly referred to as a "bag", or have an internal pouch.

* In 1996 Swindon IA widened its constitutional objectives to embrace all ostomists and currently has many colostomist members.

* Currently, our group has approximately one hundred and twenty members. Our charity is affiliated to the regional Midlands IA ostomy charity, which publishes the Midlands News Bulletin magazine. This full colour magazine is delivered to our members free of charge in addition to our local newsletters.

* Our group is very fortunate in having a superb small army of friends and relations who actively support our work and events.

* Since its formation, the group has donated thousands of pounds of equipment and services to our local hospital’s Day Services Unit and to our Stoma Care Service. As examples; in 1999 we donated two variable height patient trolleys to the Day Services Unit at a cost of £2,600. In 2000, we were pleased to present two additional patient trolleys. Both official presentations of the trolleys to the hospital were featured in the Swindon Advertiser, our local newspaper.

* Until recently, Swindon IA is proud to have financed the specialist training courses of Swindon's specialist stoma care nurses since their introduction in Swindon. In 2004, the group donated an Olympus flexible sigmoidoscope at a cost of £20,339 and in our 25th anniversary year, we created and presented to the hospital a patient information DVD, which is now available, free of charge, to any stoma care clinic. In 2009, we donated an argon plasma coagulator and laparoscopic surgical instruments at a cost of nearly £24,000 to the hospital. Our most recent project sought to raise some £29,000 plus for a Transanal Endoscopic Operating System (TEO). However, a joint venture with 'Brighter Futures', the Great Western Hospital charity, saw both charities donate £14,800 in order to speed up the acquisition. 

* We are very proud of our links with our health professions who are based at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon, England, and try to respond in any way we can to help them to help us.

* Swindon IA holds at least three general meetings for its members annually: A spring general meeting, a summer meeting and in November or early December, an AGM combined with a social event. In addition, we hold regular informal ‘Cuppa and a Chat’ meetings.

* Currently, the annual membership subscription is £5 for those aged 60 and over and £8 for those under 60 years of age.

* Should you wish to learn more about the group, do please contact us.

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