Phil and Kay were members of our first farm-based group, run in partnership with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust in the spring and summer of 2018. Here they talk about what the Blakehill Farm group meant to them.


I have always enjoyed the outdoors; walking holidays and daily walks with our dog Rolo forms a key part in my daily routine so when this pilot group was first suggested I was very eager to take part.

I was formally diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers in January 2017 at the age of 60.

It was a devastating blow for me although not a great surprise to my family who had been worried about me for some time.  I had been struggling to find alternative employment since being made redundant; having worked from the age of 16.

I remember the visit by Alzheimer's Support to the Forget me Not walking group I attend to talk about the pilot group.  As both Kay and I enjoy the outside I was really interested.

It’s just as well as the first few sessions were held out in the pouring rain, but that didn’t seem to matter when you were surrounded by beautiful scenery, peace and quiet; no traffic.

Helping me to put something back in

The Wiltshire Wildlife team were great. I’m not the best DIY person and Kay would back me up on that!!! However they were so patient; explaining things so calmly that I was able to follow. I made a bird feeder using a wine bottle that still stands proud in our garden also a fat ball/apple feeder.  I have a wooden pallet waiting in our garden. I am determined Kay and I will make it into a herb planter as we did in the group.  I never would have made these things without the group.  Everytime I go into my garden I see the things I made; great!

We went on nature walks helping to maintain the walkways; helping me to feel I was putting something back in.

The lunches were great; giving us the opportunity to socialise together, I looked forward to and enjoyed every session. I genuinely didn’t want it to finish.


I found the group so therapeutic for us both; in different ways.  I could tell Phil thoroughly enjoyed the experience, very animated about what he made and who ever visited our home he would always show them his works or art!

Phil and Kay using a drill I was able to soak up, literally some weeks, the peace and quiet, and the beautiful surroundings. I would go home feeling shattered but a very relaxing shattered if that makes sense.

Having the Alzheimer’s Support team there was crucial as it enabled me to talk openly about our daily experiences and any concerns, they were all so approachable.

I firmly believe that Phil’s continuing interest in our developing garden has been supported by the things he experienced during the project.

Phil still to this day remembers where the bird feeders in the garden came from and that he made them; so emotionally for him there is a connection still there.

Although tired after the group Phil was always very calm.  I could tell he really enjoyed himself.

It was great doing something, together as a couple that we both really enjoyed; at the same time I didn’t have to worry about Phil’s safety when using the tools as he was supported by others during the process. This was great as they were able to guide him in a way that he would be less likely to accept from me!

We are both keeping everything crossed that the funding is found to enable this group to continue so others can experience what this group offered.