29th July 2020

Old Silk Works in Warminster welcomed back members yesterday for the first time in four months. 

Staff at the Alzheimer's Support day club had been preparing for the opening for weeks and their detailed plans were approved by Public Health England and Wiltshire Council earlier this month.

The club is used by more than 50 people living with dementia each week and has been hugely missed during lockdown. 

One family carer said:  “When I got the call to say you were opening I thought I had gone to heaven. This has been a horrible time and so damaging for my Dad. He needs fun and people and laughter and now he has it”.

Club member Dave said: “I love it here. Its like I have never been away.”

Laughter returns to dementia day club

Alzheimer's Support Head of Day Care, Grant Newton said: “I am so proud of the amazing staff and volunteer team today. We have been rehearsing and writing and talking about this day for weeks but it was a great unknown until the first arrival. There was so much love and attention and the strangeness of all the precautions quickly became very normal and a subject of good-natured humour.

"It went much better than I dared hope for and to hear return of the laughter and banter over various cups of tea and activities was really moving".

New safety measures include club staff wearing masks, checking temperatures on arrival and activities in smaller groups. Staff also wore specially designed T-shirt with their pictures on.

At lunchtime, ready-cooked meals from food company apetito were served in place of the club’s usual home-cooked lunches. The Trowbridge-based company, which works closely with Alzheimer’s Support as a corporate partner, is offering the meals free of charge to allow the charity’s staff to concentrate on members. Apetito employee Sam joined the team bubble for the day to prepare the lunches. 

The charity's Sidmouth Street Club in Devizes is due to open on 18th August, with Mill Street Club in Trowbridge following soon once a new ventilation unit is fitted.


More photographs from our first day

Old Silk Works Club