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29 April, 2019 | News

The Lily Matthews Fund

Lily Matthews was the maiden name of Anne Swingler who died in 2011 aged 96, and the Lily Matthews Fund was 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 she experienced rape in her early teens. Despite that, she went on to make her mark as an 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 and 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 donor to many charities.

Her youngest son Oliver founded The Lily Matthews Fund in conjunction with the Community Foundation in 2013, subsequently distributing £190,000, the bulk going in grants to more than 50 North East charities in need of cash. In recognition of his mother’s traumatic start in life, Oliver approved the first two grants of £5,000 each to Newcastle Women’s Aid and Tyneside Rape Crisis Centre; continuing with further grants to women’s groups dealing with domestic and sexual violence throughout Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.



Newcastle Women’s Aid were delighted to receive financial support from the Lily Matthews Fund which we used to:

  • Produce a DVD called Saving Lives, which raises awareness and highlights the need for specialist support services. You can watch Saving Lives in the Resources section on this website.
  • Provide a specialist support service to children and young people effected by domestic abuse.