The success of a café set up inside a Swindon community centre has exceeded expectations.

The Kelly Foundation opened Kell's Kitchen at Pinetrees in September as part of the good cause's effort to support adults with mental health issues in the Swindon area by providing a place to meet up and chat, join workshops, or try their hand behind the counter.

Altogether, 24 volunteers are helping out at the cafe and two part-time staff are supervising the cooking with the aim of serving up good quality and affordable food to customers.

The foundation is set up in memory of BBC journalist Kelly Jobanputra, who took her own life in 2019 after struggling to find the right support for her mental wellbeing and cope with the loss of her brother Corrie, who died in 2003.

Kelly's mum Danusia 'Diane' Stooke is the oldest volunteer at the cafe.

She added: "It was a big thing when Kelly left us but it feels like she's here and behind it all.

"She would have loved all this, especially helping people in need, that was so important to her.

"We help any issue people have that makes them unwell and we want to be there for them.

"It's hard work but it's worth every ache, we are all one happy family."

Kelly's father John added: "It's not about making money, it's about making a difference.

"We connect with a lot of people and get a lot of walk-ins. We feed people who have nothing to eat, help people grow their confidence and learn new skills, connect them with social services or the council's housing team,  to support them with anything they need.

"Every parish needs a heart of the community. Pinetress is the heart of it and adding a cafe brings people together even more.

"After having a piece of cake or cup of tea, people open up about their problems."

John recalled one gentleman who had not had any gas or electricity supplied to his home since February 2022. After he popped into the cafe and talked about his situation, they helped get his utilities sorted out and ensured he was safe and fed.

A craft club tackling social isolation, a support group for people with eating disorders, roast dinner and raffle evenings on the last Thursday of each month, are among the regular events held there.

A special offer will allow children to eat for a penny during the school summer holidays.

Once the parish council moves out of its downstairs offices, The Kelly Foundation will be able to use the space for its own headquarters and set up three more therapy rooms for its clients.

One will be known as the Owen Room, in reference to Kelly's love of Mark Owen from Take That, who she once met and interviewed.

Kelly Jobanputra (nee Stooke) and Mark OwenKelly Jobanputra (nee Stooke) and Mark Owen (Image: John Stooke)

Chief operating officer Emma Rees added: "The amount of people we get in every day has exceeded expectations, it's really snowballed.

"We have a waiting list for people who want to volunteer. It's nice to have so much interest, there's a real community feel with the regulars who get to know us all, and this place is constantly evolving."

A volunteer is needed to run the cafe on Saturday mornings, and a trained mental health support worker is being sought for a few hours a month to help people with complex backgrounds who feel abandoned or overlooked by other mental health services.

The charity relies on donations and fundraising events, including the return of a Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon concert on October 11 and an Abba-themed Christmas concert on December 21, both at Christ Church in Old Town.

For more information, visit or call 01793 200710.