The lilly mathews fund


“An outstanding citizen”

Lily Matthews was the maiden name of Anne Swingler who died in 2011 aged 96, and the Lily Matthews Fund set up in her honour.  Anne had an extremely difficult start in life, born into the slums of Shieldfield in Newcastle, her mother dying when she was 8, and then raped by her father in her early teens.  Despite that, she went on to make her mark as a outstanding citizen, as Labour Councillor, school governess and magistrate, in high-powered jobs at the Daily Mirror, Milton Keynes Development Corporation and Shelter national housing & homelessness charity, as well as being the wife of Stephen Swingler MP PC and mother of 4 children.  She was a socialist throughout her life, and generous donors to many charities.

Her youngest son Oliver founded the Fund in conjunction with the Community Foundation in 2013, subsequently distributing some £190,000, the bulk going in grants to more than 50 North East charities in need of cash.  Oliver has himself been a mental health survivor for almost 60 years, and was glad to be able to help North East mental health charities – beginning with a £5,000 grant to Launchpad – including many which had helped support him in battles with various official bodies.