January 28th 2019

‘One of our best days ever’ was the unanimous opinion of club members, staff and volunteers at the Old Silk Works Club following a visit from Longleat staff and animals.

Keepers from the safari park rolled up in their zebra striped van from which they unloaded a large South American Tegu lizard called Diego, a Royal Python snake, a loveable armadillo, two tarantulas and a military Macaw parrot.

Club member Kathleen meets the pythonThe club, run by Wiltshire charity Alzheimer’s Support, opened in Warminster last May. Head of Day Care Grant Newton said: “It was quite something to witness club members initially nervous but calling back the keepers when they saw others handling the snake and spiders, and then having a try themselves. We have dogs in the clubs most days but this was a first for us.

“Everyone said it was one of the best days ever at the club. Thank you so much Longleat for your generosity and particularly to Becky, Kim and Lucy the keepers who were absolutely brilliant with human and non humans alike.”

'A lovely vibe'

The keepers and animals are now booked in to visit Alzheimer’s Support’s other day clubs in Trowbridge and Devizes.

Brave lady stroking tarantulaKeeper Kim Ovens said: “As soon as we walked into Old Silks Works Club we knew it was going to be a good visit. There was a lovely vibe and it was a very happy and positive place. Everybody was very engaged and they all had a go with everything.

“There were one or two ladies that were not sure about the spiders but they had a go. They seemed to trust us as well and that made us feel so welcome.  I loved the club so much I have decided to volunteer there every Friday from now on.”