12th June 2019

Mill Street Club in Trowbridge celebrated its fifth birthday last week with a cake and a chance to share memories from the first five years.  

The club opened in 2014 to provide a stimulating social day out for ten people living with dementia at a time. It is open five days a week including a special Sunday Club.

Three of the club’s founder members, Pip Barker, Betty MeEntee and John Wade, were present for the celebration.

Betty’s daughter Pauline Switzer said: “The club is lovely – a real community of people. My mother absolutely adores going. She gets up early waiting for the taxi. There is so much going on there so she is stimulated. She loves the food and the company and the thing she loves the most is the music and dancing. And it is a lifesaver for me. When mum is at the club it is a release for me because I know she is stimulated and safe.”

Dorothy Wade, whose husband John has also attended the club since the beginning, said: “I cannot put into words how thankful I am to them all at Mill Street. John has such a good time there and it means so much to me also to have some time off. It is a wonderful, wonderful service. I honestly do not know what I would do without them all.  He looks forward to it so much.”

'I can be myself here'

Club manager Jill Mitchener said: “Five years on and we are now part of the Trowbridge community.  People are still surprised to see us so close to the town and always comment on that our environment is not what they expected. 

“We recognise how hard it is for people to come into the club for the first time but after a coffee in the indoor garden they can see what we do and feel the lovely atmosphere usually going away more reassured about joining the club. I love it when visitors don’t know who are staff or volunteers or members, to me that is what it is all about just a group of people who get together at the club each day.

“One of my favourite quotes from a member is ‘I can just be myself here and not try too hard’.

Mill Street was renovated with funds from the National Lottery and Trowbridge Area Board and many club members who have served in the armed forces have had their places funded with a grant from the Ministry of Defence Covenant Fund. 

The club is now needs some refurbishment including new chairs for the day room and the charity has launched an appeal for funds to buy new chairs. 

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Jill looks back - blog