World Health Day at Central Library, 7th April, 2014

Robert Buckland and James Cracknell

Robert Buckland MP and James Cracknell, OBE, double Olympic gold medalist, adventurer and Conservative Party politician, talk to representatives of the Osteoporosis Support Group at Central Library

World Health Day is an annual event organised by the World Health Organisation to raise awareness of conditions and diseases that affect millions of people across the world. To mark the awareness day, on Monday 7th April 2014, the Central Library were delighted to welcome a range of local organisations offering advice and guidance as well as information about their services. It was a busy morning with lots of local residents coming along to find out about available services, but if you weren’t able to come along why not check through our list of attending organisations to find out a little bit more about what they can do for you?

Free NHS health checksFree NHS Health Checks are being offered to eligible people aged between 40 and 74. The aim is to find out your risk of developing a serious illness such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease or diabetes. The health check will take about 30 minutes and is based on straightforward questions and measurements such as your height and blood pressure. The health check normally includes a free cholesterol check. Following the health check you will receive free advice, based on your results, with ideas about what you can do to stay healthy. To book your free NHS Health Check call 01793 465543.

There are a wide range of venues in Swindon where health checks can be carried out, and some are held in Swindon Libraries on various Fridays including Highworth Library (01793 463500), West Swindon Library (01793 465555) and Wroughton Library (01793 798112) . Ring library for dates and times and to book your appointment.

Health Watch SwindonHealthwatch Swindon – a new independent organisation to champion the voice of the people on health and social care services.
Work includes:

  • Gathering and representing the views of the people of Swindon on the way services are delivered and influencing how services are commissioned.
  • Through advocacy offering free confidential and impartial service those in Swindon who need support through the NHS complaints procedure
  • Signposting people to appropriate health and social care services to help them make informed choices.
  • Working with community groups and other service providers to raise awareness and to publicise the latest news and events.

Your health, your care, your say! You can find out more at:

Arthritis CareLearn more about managing your arthritis with Arthritis Care. Make a difference to your life today and get in touch! The arthritis care helpline is only a free phone call away – ring for a confidential chat, support and information 0808 8004050 (10am-4pm weekdays) or email the team direct on:

Parkinson's UKIt is also Parkinson’s Awareness Week and Parkinson’s UK were at the Central Library with face to face information including Parkinson’s UK booklets and leaflets. We were delighted to have Robert Buckland, MP for North Swindon, and Geoff King, Parkinson’s UK South West Influence and Service Development Officer also attending along with James Cracknell OBE as part of Parkinson’s Awareness Week.
If you have Parkinson’s or you know someone who has, you probably have a lot of questions and that is where Parkinson’s UK come in! The organisation brings together people with Parkinson’s, their carers, and families via a network of local groups and free confidential support. Their website is packed with information and contact details for all of the information and support services and groups:
You can also call the free* confidential helpline on 0808 8000303 (Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 10am-2pm)
*Free from UK landlines and most mobile networks.

During Parkinson’s Awareness Week, Parkinson’s UK will also be at

  • Blunsdon House Leisure Club, Swimming Pool, Blunsdon, Swindon, 8th April from 12-2pm
  • Stratton Community Leisure Centre, Grange Drive, Swindon, 9th April 2014 from 9.00am until 5.00pm
  • The Great Western Hospital, Marlborough Road, Swindon, 10 April 2014, 9.00am- 5.00pm

British Red CrossBritish Red Cross help people in times of crisis, providing a range of services to offer short term assistance to people in need of help. All services are delivered by skilled volunteers. On Health Awareness Day, the Red Cross were promoting their services, particularly mobility aids service and the Home from Hospital Service available to Swindon residents aged 18 or over who live on their own with little or no support available. Trained volunteers can provide companionship and assist with everyday tasks such as shopping or collecting prescriptions for those who have returned from a stay in hospital. You can call Red Cross directly or ask the person arranging your discharge to contact on your behalf. For further information visit or for Home from Hospital Service contact 01793 646376, email:

British Red CrossThe Health Ambassador Service provides help and support from within your community to help you gain a healthier lifestyle. Anyone 16 or over can access or be referred to the Health Ambassador Service. “If you want to change the way you look and feel, you really can – just go for it!” That’s the message from Grace Wiles, (pictured above) who has shed four stone in the past 18 months.Read Grace’s inspirational story on the Swindon news website.

The Health Ambassador service is totally confidential, free-of-charge and is provided through a team of expertly-trained Health Ambassadors who can meet with you for 6 one-to-one sessions in your local area.
Swindon Health and Well Being Ambassador Service can help you with:

  • Healthy eating and working towards a healthy weight
  • Becoming more physically active
  • Stopping smoking
  • Sensible drinking
  • Improving your sexual health
  • Emotional health

…and it is free!   For more information about the Health Ambassadors, go online at

Lift PsychologyLift Psychology run a wide variety of free psycho-educational courses around a range of psychological and emotional difficulties.  They aim to help people feel as comfortable and as welcome as possible, so no-one will be asked to do anything that they do not wish to. Find out more at:

The Books on Prescription is a scheme provided jointly by Swindon and Wiltshire Libraries and your local Primary Care Mental Health Trust.  It aims to help people cope with common mental health problems by allowing GPs and Mental Health Practitioners to “prescribe” or recommend self-help books, which cover a wide range of difficulties. Books on Prescription forms are available from the Mental Health Practitioner in your local surgery, your GP, or from a member of the LIFT Psychology team.  If you are a library member, you can take the form to your local library and borrow the book.  If not, you will need to become a member, but joining is quick and easy.

Lift also run a monthly self-help book club where a group of people meet up to talk about any self-help material they may have read.  While the main focus is on the books listed in the Books on Prescription scheme, you are more than welcome to bring along any other books you may have found helpful.  The club is run once a month at Swindon Central Library. If you would like to attend or have any queries, please email:


Survivors of Bereavement by SuicideSurvivors of Bereavement by Suicide offer emotional support, help and information to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend by:

  • Telephone helpline
  • Information
  • Support group meetings
  • Support days
  • Residential events.

Meetings are held in Swindon on the 3rd Thursday of the month (07543 242 332) are free of charge, and open to all survivors of bereavement by suicide aged 18 and over.
National helpline: 0844 5616855 (daily 9am-9pm)

Swindon MindSwindon Mind provide advice, support and services to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem in Swindon. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. To find out more information and download referral forms visit: . Swindon Mind are based at 1 Regents Circus, Swindon, SN1 1PN. Tel: 01793 432031, e-mail:
Swindon Mindful PsychologyRidgeway Mindful Psychology – mindfulness courses and consultancy in Swindon and surrounding areas. So often, we are in “problem solving mode” – thinking about how to get to a certain place, or achieve a certain goal. This is a human mind state, necessary for survival. Sometimes we may be on “automatic pilot” – playing out old, familiar habits that may have served us well over time.Mindfulness is about stepping out of these mind states, – simply stopping and noticing what is happening, moment by moment For more information the Ridgeway Mindful Psychology website.

Swindon Osteoporosis GroupThe Swindon Osteoporosis Support Group is a community self-help group which was set up with the aim of improving the quality of life of people with osteoporosis living in the Swindon area. Specific objectives are to:

  • Raise awareness and understanding of osteoporosis
  • Identify practical ways of coping with the condition
  • Provide opportunities for people with osteoporosis to give each other practical support
  • Improve the self-confidence of people with osteoporosis.

For more information about the Group and their meetings, visit the website at:
e-mail: or telephone 07771608018

Root and BranchRoot and Branch are a therapeutic garden and craft project based at Westmill Farm, Watchfield for people who experience mental health difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder. As it is based in Oxfordshire, services are not available to Swindon residents, but Root and branch are currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with activities in craft, gardening, woodwork and metal work and to provide a supportive listening ear. Telephone 01793 780380 or find out more at:

Save the Children Save the Children work in 120 countries to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and to help them fulfil their potential. Find out more at:

We would like to extend a big thank you to all the organisations who came along to make this such a successful day.