By Grant Newton, Head of Day Care at Alzheimer's Support

As the Old Silk Works Club celebrates its first anniversary (where did a year go ?) I feel the need to watch the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams where the phrase ‘If you build it they will come’ became a saying.

We built it and indeed the right people, the Warminster community and many, many, helpers and supporters came.

We knew that sadly the demand for our services was significant in the Warminster and surrounding villages. The club was full within weeks and has remained so since then. The great challenge - outside of renovating an old and somewhat uncooperative and dilapidated building - was to engage with the community and get a brand new team of staff and volunteers fully functioning.

And it happened! Yes, we put the effort in, and yes, we have years of understanding of what works gained from our existing clubs but that is just the starter. Most importantly the right people appeared, a great staff team with huge energy coalesced, a committed volunteer team was pretty much at capacity from opening and for the whole year we have experienced generosity in terms of time and finance from people wanting help put the finishing touches to the club or fund things we just couldn't afford on opening. 

'Laughter and normality'

And so it all came together - right from the opening really. And one year on at the Old Silk Works, I occasionally have the luxury of being able to just sit in the club and watch the smiles on club members' faces, see the dedicated, loving care and attention given by staff and volunteers, the shared humour and banter with carers and families despite the distressing situations they find themselves in, the atmosphere which encourages laughter and normality.

This didn't exist 12 short months ago and now it does and already this simple space has helped so many and has so many stories.

Everyone who was and is involved in this, at times overwhelmingly ambitious project for a charity our size, should feel very proud. Thank you.

And a big Happy Birthday OSW!

 Grant with Higby the whippet  Grant (and Higby)