Who we are

Wellbeing Swanage was born out of the profound understanding and commitment of the Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust towards their community. What began as a singular project to repurpose the Youth Club building has now blossomed into an all-embracing community initiative. We recognised the critical role that community participation plays in the preservation and enhancement of our wellbeing facilities, services, and activities.

This idea evolved into a widespread community group, bridging various local entities, public bodies, healthcare groups, interested individuals, and even nationally recognised groups committed to promoting health and wellbeing.

As we have recently become a part of the Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust, we have a guiding hand and a benevolent platform to execute local projects, specifically tailored to tackle the challenges and address the issues our community deems important.

We proudly present our dedicated founding team and committee members who are the driving force behind this initiative:

Kim Gallagher

Hi, I’m Kim and I have a background in local government and have been involved with community volunteering in Swanage since 2008, joining the Swanage Town & Community Partnership, that I now Chair. This led on to setting up and becoming a Trustee of Swanage & Purbeck Development Trust.

One of our first projects was to take on the Swanage Youth Club building from Dorset County Council and develop this into a thriving community space. Because public services are dwindling, particularly locally, and what with the effect of the Covid pandemic the Trust and others felt that it was important that we should focus on a community led approach to wellbeing and health. Hence, setting up the Wellbeing Swanage project!

Alex Brocklesby

Hi I’m Alex, I currently work for the National Trust in Purbeck as the ‘Active Outdoor’ engagement officer focusing on using our amazing local outdoor spaces to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing for our visitors and local community. It also means I have the privilege of getting involved in grass routes projects like Wellbeing Swanage to support communities to thrive (we support people as well as nature!).

Before joining the National Trust in 2018, I worked for a small social enterprise in West Howe (North Bournemouth) working on a Public Health Dorset funded, community health improvement programme; ‘Health Helpers’, as well as setting up a diabetes support group and improving the skills and learning opportunities within the community.

Bob Foster

I am a retired Chartered Surveyor and moved to Swanage in 2010. I have devoted much of my time, since my move, to volunteering in the local community. My background in advising major companies and government departments on commercial, occupational, property management and strategic planning, has helped in my local roles as a school governor, in a local Primary school, and a member of the Steering Group for the Swanage Local Plan.

I see my membership of the Trust as an ideal way to contribute my skills to assisting local community organisations meet the needs of the people of Swanage. I still find time to spend with my family and my own personal retirement pursuits. I thoroughly enjoy living in this lovely town with its strong community feel.

Deirdre Selwyn

I am a nurse by background, mainly working clinically in ITU and A/E before moving to Corfe Castle in 1991 following which I became a Nurse Practitioner at the Corfe Castle Surgery, where my husband – Julian – was the GP.

In 2002 I moved into a Community Services Management role which, a short time later, included being Matron of Swanage Hospital for 3 years, a very rewarding but challenging time! From this I continued to move up the Community Services Management ladder until 2012,when I took early retirement from the post of Head of Community Health Services for Dorset.

Over my time in Purbeck, I have seen a gradual but steady decline in services provided by the statutory organisations as well as the loss of buildings which were vital to the community infrastructure, with a resulting detrimental effect on the community as a whole.