* 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.

* Currently, our Swindon group has approximately one hundred and forty members. We are affiliated to the IA National Council charity and also the Midlands IA charity. Our group is very fortunate in having a superb small army of friends and relations who actively support our work and fund-raising events.

* Swindon IA has in recent years widened its constitutional objectives to embrace all ostomists and currently has several colostomist members.

* 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.

* We funded the training of a third specialist stoma care nurse based at the Great Western Hospital. 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 laparascopic surgical instruments at a cost of nearly £24,000 to the hospital. Our current project is to raise £28,000 for a transanal operation equipment.

* 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, various fund raising events are organised throughout the year.

* Currently, the annual membership subscription is £5 for those aged 60 and over and £8 for those under 60 years of age. Members receive seven ostomy magazines per year direct to their homes.

* 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.

* With our stoma care nurses, we established visiters to visit and encourage patients and their families.

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

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