27th April 2021

Joan lit up with memories and told us so much about her early life... It was wonderful to see her so engaged thanks to the technology

People living with dementia in Wiltshire will be able to get connected online thanks to a pioneering digital partnership.

Five laptops and five tablets have been donated to Alzheimer’s Support by Wiltshire Digital Drive.

The laptops will be used to support people living with dementia to access to the virtual singing and exercise groups run by the Wiltshire-based charity, as well as to find other support, information and entertainment online.

The smaller tablets will be used by members in Alzheimer’s Support’s day clubs in Devizes, Trowbridge and Warminster, enabling club members to find all sorts of information, images and music that helps them reminisce and pursue interests. 

And on the first day the tablets were at the charity's Old Silk Works Club in Warminster, club member Joan was able to find the street where she grew up online.

Club manager Louise Gover said: "Joan lit up with memories and told us so much about her early life, just from seeing the familiar streets on the screen. It provided that prompt for her to remember back and it was wonderful to see her so engaged.

"It was all down to the technology to get that window into her world."

Wiltshire Digital Drive provides refurbished desktops, laptops and tablets to charities, schools and other voluntary organisations. The Community Interest Company was set up by Westbury-based Priority IT and Corsham’s Naturally Social following the initial idea by the IT company’s director, Kieran Thomas. Priority IT has provided IT support to Alzheimer’s Support for a number of years.

Accessing all the benefits of the internet

Babs Harris, Alzheimer’s Support CEO said: “We’re so grateful to Wiltshire Digital Drive for the laptops and tablets. Not only will they allow people living with dementia to be part of our online Music and Movement for the Mind groups, they will also help them to keep in contact with family members, view online photo albums, make friends and access all the benefits of the internet.” 

Natalie Sherman, co-director at Wiltshire Digital Drive said: “We’re so pleased we are able to help Alzheimer’s Support in the vital work it carries out across the county and hopefully increase the number of people it can reach on a daily basis. Lockdown has highlighted the issue of social isolation, but thanks to the generosity of Wiltshire residents and businesses, we can now help local charities and organisations, along with schools.”

Alzheimer's Support's Home Support

Day clubs in Devizes, Trowbridge and Warminster