A Brief History of SWAG
During the winter of 1969/70 there had been frequent reports in the Press of old people living alone having been found in severe distress, or even having died. Although these tragic events took place mainly in cities the matter was discussed at the St. Luke’s Parochial Church Council meeting in March 1970 and the question was asked, “Could this happen in Sway?” There was a silence!
This question led to the formation of the Sway Welfare Aid Group and an objective: “That everyone living alone in Sway has someone to whom they can turn in an emergency.”
At the beginning bags of coal were supplied to elderly people living alone and the annual Christmas appeal instigated to raise funds. A meals-on-wheels delivery service began, followed a few years later by the start of the Sway Luncheon Club that still runs today. The annual village boules competition was started in 1975 as a SWAG fund raising event. Pressure to raise funds was eased some time later by the receipt of a legacy from Mr G Kelly following the sale of his house.
The coal of the early days has now been replaced by financial grants and the work of SWAG has greatly expanded to include help for people and families of all ages living in the village and suffering any kind of financial hardship. Nowadays SWAG is a registered charity run by its trustees, who are elected by the village community at an annual general meeting.