Small beginnings

Alzheimer’s Support was founded in 1990 by former care home worker Anna Littlechild at a time when there was no specialist support for people affected by dementia in Wiltshire.

From a tiny room in a shared building in Trowbridge, Anna trained and led a small team of support workers who visited people at home in West Wiltshire, offered advice to families and set up support groups for carers.  In 1994 we opened our first day club for six members. Weekend clubs followed and in 2003 home support was extended to the East Wiltshire area.  In 2006 we moved in to larger premises in Trowbridge and two years later opened a second drop-in advice centre, office and day club at Sidmouth Street, Devizes.  

In 2009 we played a leading role in expanding dementia services in East and West Wiltshire following the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy.  We opened the county’s first Alzheimer Café and over the next six years developed a network of cafes, Singing for the Brain (now called Music for the Mind) and Movement for the Mind groups, art groups, discussion groups and regular training courses for carers.

In 2011 we moved to our current premises at Park Road, Trowbridge, from where, alongside frontline care services, we ran an award-winning and effective campaign for better dementia diagnosis in Wiltshire. Our first Dementia Advisers were appointed in 2013 and in 2014 a flagship new day club opened at Mill Street. The following year the charity joined with Wiltshire Council and Alzheimer’s Society to lead the creation of dementia-friendly communities across Wiltshire.

Top award

In 2015, as Anna prepared to retire as CEO, Alzheimer’s Support was one of just ten UK charities to receive a GlaxoSmithKline Impact Award for excellence in the health care sector. New CEO Babs Harris and her Board of Trustees have continued the ethos of creativity, innovation and keeping people affected by dementia and their families at the centre of everything we do.

In 2017 we won a Wiltshire Council contract that enabled us to expand our services into the whole of Wiltshire. The resulting expansion saw our team grow to 120 staff and 150 volunteers, and alongside this growth came our pledge to bring a specialist service within five miles of every community in the county. The same year our Support at Home team won Best Team at the National Dementia Care Awards, and we launched our fundraising appeal to open a Dementia Centre in Warminster. We raised more than £100,000 in nine short months and, thanks to the efforts of dozens of volunteers and with tremendous community support, the new centre and day club opened in May 2018. The centre won Best Dementia Interior Design at the national Dementia Care Awards in 2019.

At the end of 2019 Wiltshire Council once again awarded its dementia contracts to Alzheimer's Support, securing the organisation's future in its 30 anniversary year. 

30 years of Alzheimer's Support

A short video about our work: