CREATING art is enjoyable and therapeutic at all stages of life – and Wiltshire charity Alzheimer’s Support is making sure people with dementia are able to reap the benefits of it too.

Alzheimer’s Support opened its first art group in Pewsey in 2013, and groups followed in Holt, Lyneham and most recently Warminster.

The groups are each led by a professional artist, supported by the charity’s own staff and volunteers. Projects vary from painting, drawing and collage, to sculpture, craft and anything in between. Family carers come along as full group members, encouraged to produce their own work and enjoy the chat and social aspects of the sessions as well as the art.

The sessions are relaxed and informal, with everyone working at their own pace and the process of creating in communal atmosphere as in important as the finished product. Which is not to say the work produced is not of a high standard. The groups have held several public exhibitions of work over the years.

Nina Castillo, whose mother-in-law Mavis attends the Holt group, said: “It is a very creative setting and has tapped into a creative side of Mavis that was not there before. She has made all sorts of things. She didn’t do art before and now she really seems to enjoy it.”

Marlyn Jones used to attend with her husband John and now comes along as a volunteer. She said: “My husband enjoyed the art. He could draw and it was something he could still do when we first went along. It was a good way to get him out and about. Now I still go to help out to give something back to Alzheimer’s Support as it was a great help to me.

“People don’t know what to expect when they first come along but it is a really friendly group and a welcoming atmosphere and people can just do as much as they like or just enjoy a cup of tea. Just come along and try it – that’s my advice!”

The art groups meet in Holt on Thursday mornings, Warminster and Lyneham on Monday afternoons and Pewsey on Wednesday mornings. They are among 40 community groups run by Alzheimer’s Support for people affected by dementia in Wiltshire. The charity also runs singing and gentle exercise groups, gardening groups, a network of memory cafes, discussion groups and carer-only support groups.

For more information see call 01225 776481 or see