New Year's Honour for Swindon councillor

By Barrie Hudson - 31 December 2021

CommunityCharity

A Swindon charity worker and councillor's years of public service have earned him a place on the New Year's Honours List.

  • Cllr Swinyard has devoted much of his life to public service

    Cllr Swinyard has devoted much of his life to public service

Timothy Swinyard, 36, has been awarded the British Empire medal for his work, especially during the pandemic.

Cllr Swinyard represents the Lydiard and Freshbrook ward on Swindon Borough Council, where he serves on five committees and is Cabinet Member for Levelling Up.

He also serves on West Swindon Parish Council and is a trustee on a number of charity boards.

The citation announcing his honour says: "As the Covid crisis unfolded, he set up a Facebook Support Group for the local area and a ‘call to arms’ soon attracted hundreds of volunteers.

"These same volunteers have, to date, offered help and support to those in need in the form of offering to carry out shopping, collecting prescriptions, producing PPE gear to supplying activities to children and the elderly to stave off loneliness and boredom.

"He has also recruited the help of a professional volunteer Mental Health Nurse to address those with specific needs.

"He carries out all these administration tasks with great efficiency making sure that every request for help is answered with kindness and discretion."

The citation also mentions that Cllr Swinyard has been a major supporter of the town's domestic abuse support service, applying for a £10,000 grant from his Company Openwork Ltd, and in the interim, arranging donations of food, clothing and other essentials.

Cllr Swinyard responded modestly to the news of his BEM, saying: "It's a huge honour, but to be honest the honour should go to all the volunteers.

"Throughout the pandemic all the volunteers have just been incredible. Everybody just wanted to help. During the worst times of the pandemic it was them who really did this. 

"Ever since I was younger I've liked to help out with different charities. I've been a trustee of Dressability for a number of years. I started off as a school governor. 

"I guess that for my whole life I've liked to get involved, to get stuck in, and to try to help people out when I can.

"It's the most rewarding thing you could ever do - helping someone. When you know you've changed someone's life it's far better than anything you could spend your money on or do in any other way. 

"Public service is incredibly rewarding, and at the same time you are genuinely helping people. If you can help even one person and make their day better, then you have done an amazing thing." 

 

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