VRTHERAPIES∼1ST EVER IMMERSIVE&MULTISENSORY CENTRE

by VR therapies in Northampton, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

£5,710

£15,000 target 2 days left
38% 69 supporters
This project will only be funded if at least £15,000 is pledged by 24th October 2021 at 7:00am

Help save our multisensory VR centre! Swim with dolphins in hydrotherapy pods using underwater VR! For special needs but open to everyone!

by VR therapies in Northampton, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

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Please help save Virtual Reality Therapies!

 

A unique social enterprise dedicated to utilising virtual reality (VR) and immersive tech for children with special needs and adults with disabilities.

We take those too poorly to walk swimming with dolphins, children undergoing chemotherapy flying through space, people with dementia down memory lane and so much more. The experiences and benefits are truly endless. 

We are raising money to save our multisensory centre, featuring a world-first combination of hydrotherapy and underwater VR so you feel like you are truly swimming with dolphins! 

 

Why are we raising money? 

 

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To help save the worlds first VR hydrotherapy centre (along with other immersive VR environments) based in Northampton, so everyone can experience the magic of swimming with dolphins!

Like everyone we were hit hard by Covid-19, but the timing couldn’t have been worse for VR therapies. After securing financing, premises, equipment and renovating the centre we were locked down! Staff couldn't work and we couldn’t open.

 

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With no income, bills and debts started to pile up. From the landlord to suppliers, utilities and providers, banks and funders, they all wanted payment. Nearly 2 years of bills and debt built up while we were locked down.

We weren’t eligible for government support as we hadn’t even opened yet and banks refused to give us a loan as we couldn’t yet demonstrate "profitability". 

Now we have no money left to open. We will no longer be able to help people with VR therapy and very soon we'll be forced to go bankrupt. 

We never had a chance to open the doors or even fill the pools.

However, we still have a chance - with your help!

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Our vision is to make VR therapy accessible to all! 

The latest medical and therapeutic advances in technology should be available to the very people it is designed for – not just those already in the hospital, the rich or physically able. It should be available to those who would benefit most yet currently are the least likely to access it. 

We want to tick off those bucket lists, break those boundaries and breeze through barriers!

 

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At VR Therapies everything is designed in mind for children with special needs and people with disabilities, we are fully accessible and inclusive. But please remember...

It's for the community and we want you all to come and have a go!

 

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Swimming with dolphins is on most people’s bucket lists, a truly uplifting and serotonin-boosting therapy. VR brings this experience which most people will never access, with all the benefits – a drug-free medicine with no side effects for you or the dolphin!

 

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VR provides immersive environments which can be similar to the real world or imaginary, creating an experience that is not possible in ordinary physical reality. The environment can be anything from the middle of the ocean to different galaxies or worlds.  By providing a range of immersive and multisensory experiences, we create innovative combinations of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and more.

 

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With specialist equipment designed in-house, people will be able to access experiences they never dreamed were possible.  Our centre will provide a range of multisensory and immersive experiences not just limited to the water; people can race around Silverstone in wheelchair adapted driving seats (with our fans you can even feel the wind in your hair!), fly through space and walk on the moon, or simply relax on their own private beach and escape the real world.

 

Our story – by Rebecca Gill (founder)

I'm a learning disabilities nurse and in 2018 I left my job to set up VR therapies, a new social enterprise like no other. I was angry at the cuts to local services available for even basic therapies such as hydrotherapy and physio - yet inspired by the amazing advances in technology and therapies.

 

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After proving the many benefits, I was able to get a business loan to finally open our dream centre. 

 

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It was filled with rubbish and needed a lot of work though - but we had a fantastic team of staff and volunteers to make it possible. 

 

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It wasn't easy and it definitely wasn't cheap, but slowly, the centre came to life.

 

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We invited local people to come and have a go. They did their physiotherapy using VR and had fun at the same time! 

 

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Our multisensory centre was nearly ready to open at last…

When tragically Covid-19 hit.

 

What now?

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To survive bankruptcy and get VR therapies opening, we desperately need you to pledge your kind support. 

There are rewards available from VR headsets to sessions at our centre.

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Please, please help us to finally open our centre. It will mean we could bring VR therapy to so many people who would never get the opportunity to experience things that would be closed off to them. Help us make the impossible virtually possible!

Read on to learn a more detailed explanation about what we do and why - or just click the donate button now.

Thank you!


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VR therapies is a social enterprise dedicated to children with special needs and adults with disabilities. We take those too poorly to walk swimming with dolphins, children undergoing chemotherapy to explore space, and people with dementia down memory lane. From reducing chronic pain and alleviating anxiety, to travelling the world and ticking off bucket lists... the experiences and benefits are endless.1630329762_8.jpg

People breathe easier, they feel less pain and they smile more too! 

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Here are just some of our themes available...

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Hydrotherapy – swim with dolphins with underwater VR

1630326584_hydro.jpgOn many people’s bucket lists and now available to everyone is this profoundly beautiful and healing experience. A wealth of studies has shown the benefits of hydrotherapy as well as dolphin-assisted therapy, but the benefits have never been combined… till now. We haven’t stopped there though – the full room is a multisensory and magical experience. For those who do not like things covering their face (such as sensory processing disorders), you can still lie back and watch dolphins swim around you!

Medical Research

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Used in over 200 hospitals and healthcare units, medical and therapeutic VR has shown amazing results for a range of conditions including:

  • PTSD
  • Pain reduction
  • COPD
  • Cancer
  • Learning disabilities and Autism
  • Children with Heart Disease and Anxiety in Hospitals
  • Burn victims undergoing painful dressing changes

There are so many uses and benefits already, it’s time to bring this to the community.

Making the inaccessible, accessible

With specialist equipment and aids, people of all abilities will be able to benefit from VR therapies. We can offer one to one sessions tailored to your own specific needs.

From our huge library we will be sure to find something that truly speaks to you and your interests. Whether you’re here to get moving and have fun, or sit back and relax, your session will be sure to leave you smiling. You can swap experiences at any point during your session time, so you’ll always find something immersive and fun suited to your own personal tastes. Our equipment is fully accessible to people with disabilities e.g., controller hand grips to provide additional support when holding the controllers, lens spacers/protectors for if glasses are necessary and a comfortable seat if required for a seated experience.

 

Meet the team

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Rebecca Gill, Director & Founder.  Registered Nurse and award-winning Social Entrepreneur in the UK, with over 12 years’ experience within learning disabilities, brain injury rehabilitation, mental health issues and other neurological conditions. Through collaborating with a diverse range of healthcare professionals from neuroscience to physiotherapy, to local universities and the NHS, Rebecca has created innovative therapies and packages, underwater VR scenes for aquatic rehabilitation and is currently leading the way for accessible VR within the local community. Featured on the BBC, her awards include the Great British Entrepreneur Award for Inspirational Spirit, the Accessible Europe Award with ITU & the United Nations for Cognitive & Intellectual Disabilities, as well as a range of other awards for Innovation, Tech for Good and more. In 2020 she was invited to speak at the United Nations about the amazing work of VR therapies.

Matthew Fishlock, Co-Director. Electrical engineer and VR enthusiast, Matthew joined the team in 2020. With experience in both healthcare technology and virtual reality gaming, he is helping to forge the next generation of medical XR. Through his expertise and insight, Matt has developed truly accessible technology for the local community, bridging the gap for children with special needs and adults with disabilities. A key figure in the future of therapeutic VR, Matt is one to watch!

Roslyn Stone, Team Lead. Expert in the special needs sector for almost 30 years in various roles and as a teacher for the last 17 years. Inspired by her time in a residential specialist college, Ros achieved her Cert Ed and training as a teacher, specialised in working with young adults with learning disabilities and communication problems. Ros enjoyed teaching various subjects and life skills and during this time trained to become a Social and Therapeutic horticultural therapist. Her career has enabled her to work with a range of young people and adults with autism, mental health issues, low self-esteem, anxiety and more. Ros is an amazing passionate woman with a wealth of experience, who brings the children to the heart of what we do.


"Oh it's just wonderful, absolutely wonderful. I thought I would never be able to do these things again, but look at me now. One day I'm walking around New York and the next I'm swimming with dolphins! Thank you so much."

Service User, Age UK

Watch a video about our community work with Age UK

 

"Myself and my 21 year old daughter who has special needs autism learning disability and chromosome deletion, spent the morning at the VR therapy centre. What an absolutely lovely experience. Friendly staff willing to take time and the level of support and understanding was outstanding. My daughter enjoyed the experience immensely and engaged with Ros. She really loved the driving VR experience. Thank you for a lovely afternoon."

Local mother, Northamptonshire

 

Watch a video about us by OpenReach

Or you can watch this video about our founder, Rebecca Gill

Please check out our website for more information and be sure to follow us on social media.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to inviting you to our launch (fingers crossed!)


Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Good karma

By donating £10 (or ANY amount!) good karma will come your way. Your parents will be proud. Smile in the mirror and know we love you!!

£10 or more

3 of 200 claimed

Social media shout-out!

Donate just a a tenner and we'll shout our love for you from the rooftops (of social media) to everyone! Only 200 are available because I have to type all of these individually.

£15 or more

Enter our raffle for a voucher! (25% discount)

Enter our raffle for a chance to win a voucher giving you 25% off any session at our centre.

£20 or more

Enter our raffle for a voucher! (50% discount)

Enter our raffle for a chance to win a voucher giving you 50% off any session at our centre.

£20 or more

Enter our raffle for an Oculus Quest 2!

This is a great chance to win an Oculus Quest 2. Experience the amazing benefits of VR wherever you are! Their VR headsets redefine digital gaming & entertainment. The Quest 2 is their most advanced all-in-one VR system yet. Defy reality with Oculus!

£25 or more

4 of 60 claimed

Hall of Fame - like the star you are!

You'll be featured on our website's Hall of Fame for all to see. Or you can select any name you like (must be suitable for children to see!!) Forever immortalise your pet in our Hall of Fame, or gift it to a family member!

£25 or more

3 of 100 claimed

Voucher for ANY VR session of ANY length

This voucher entitles you to pick one VR session of your choice in either our sensory room or activity room! This can be either 30 mins or 60 mins. From our huge library we will be sure to find something that truly speaks to you and your interests. You can swap experiences at any point during your session time, so you’ll always find something immersive and fun!

£40 or more

1 of 25 claimed

Voucher for hydrotherapy - swim with dolphins!

Try our award-winning combination of hydrotherapy with the world-first underwater VR headsets! Combined together, this provides a truly innovative and multisensory experience. Tick off that bucket list and go swimming with dolphins!

£50 or more

1 of 50 claimed

Hall of Fame photo & link!

This one is geared at businesses and the self-employed. Not only will you be featured on our website's Hall of Fame, we will also include a photo or image of your choice (such as your lovely face or maybe your business logo?) AND a link to your website.

£75 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Name a piece of equipment

Name a piece of equipment whatever you like! This must be suitable for children to read, but it could advertise your business, make people laugh, shout your name out to the world or maybe something akin to Boaty McBoatface? Hmm that could work in the hydro pools!

£100 or more

2 of 25 claimed

Your name on our Thank You wall!

Right in our waiting area where all our visitors will pass, will be a big Thank You wall dedicated to our much-appreciated donors. There's limited space on this wall so grab this while you can! Get your name on the list and be featured in a prime spot - great for advertising your business or your lovely self. Or maybe in memory of a loved one? I'll be adding my grandma :)

£200 or more

2 of 5 claimed

Name a room!

A room will be selected at random which you can name anything you want! (once again, must be suitable for children to read!!) We only have so many rooms so grab this early to be forever immortalised.

£250 or more

2 of 5 claimed

VR party!

This gives you 2 hours of unlimited use of our ENTIRE centre! From the sensory to activity rooms, and of course our hydrotherapy pools - this is great for birthdays, special events, parties or get-togethers. Enjoy all we have to offer with a team on hand to cater to all your needs. Fully accessible & inclusive.

£500 or more

2 of 50 claimed

Business - bronze package

Thank you for investing in us! This package includes many of the rewards above... - Social media shoutout, including a link to a page or website of your choice - Entry into the raffles for vouchers in each category (10%, 25% and 50% discounts) - One voucher for a VR session of your choice - One voucher for a hydrotherapy session - Be featured in our newsletter (currently with over 500 readers from around the world!)

£1,000 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Business - silver package

Thank you for investing in us! This package includes everything in the bronze package (see above, from vouchers to advertisements) as well as these extra benefits: - Be featured on our website's Hall of Fame, including a link to your website. - Your logo will be included in our email signature, which in this digital age is seen by hundreds of people each week! - Your business name on our Thank You wall for everyone to see when they visit.

£2,500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Business primary supporter - the gold package!

This is only available for a small number of businesses so be quick! Not only do you get everything in the bronze package AND the silver package, but you also get: - Your logo on ALL of our videos and content - Your logo on ALL of our leafets and emails - Your logo on ALL of our letterheads, which go on everything we print as well as PDFs sent! - Sponsor a room and name it after your business, advertising to all of our visitors every day!

£5,000 or more

Philanthropists

You'll get anything you want from the above rewards and I will hug you when we finally meet, my love. I don't expect anyone to be able to afford this, but if you can, and you do, you will be helping us pay the salaries for a team of therapists. Know that you are truly making a difference and words can't express how much we appreciate your support.

Show your support

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