13th May 2019

People living with dementia in Salisbury are enjoying the great outdoors at a new community group. 

Wiltshire charity Alzheimer’s Support has joined forces with social enterprise Foragers Farm to start a wildlife and gardening club at Bemerton Heath for people affected by any type of dementia and their family carers.

The new fortnightly club will help people interact with the natural environment and keep up with their gardening and building skills as they work on the community garden at St Michael’s Church, Bemerton Heath. It is partly funded by Wiltshire Community Foundation.

At the first meeting members sowed seeds and planted strawberry plants in hanging baskets before enjoying lunch in the adjacent church café.

Sarah Marriott, head of community services at Alzheimer’s Support said: “Being out of doors and working together is so beneficial for people living with dementia. We know from our wildlife groups in North Wiltshire how people love being out of doors with others in a supportive, friendly group, and the great benefits of working on practical projects.”

Connect with nature

Gary Lamont of Foragers Farm is leading the new group. He said: “This is an amazing opportunity to work with Alzheimer’s Support. The group will allow people to connect with nature, learn new skills, have fun and provide an outdoor point of focus.

“At each session people will learn new horticultural techniques, to plant and maintain trees through orchard husbandry, find out about organic gardening and build a community centrepiece they can feel proud of.

“Thanks to the new group the space will become more than just a set of raised vegetable beds; rather it will become an open and welcoming space that encourages people to connect with each other. We’ll be literally sowing seeds, while sowing the seeds of community and creativity.”

The group is meeting on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Contact Sarah on 01380 739055 to find out more or enquire online.