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Horsham District Council inspires neighbouring council to adopt virtual reality therapy

Horsham District Council’s success with a new, innovative virtual reality technology therapy has inspired neighbouring Mole Valley District Council to also adopt its use.
HDC was the first council in the UK to introduce the new form of virtual reality therapy for those with long term medical conditions back in 2017. The Council’s Community Link team has championed virtual reality experiences for the benefit of people with dementia, and those living with long term medical conditions, and the award winning service has been incredibly well received, with over 300 people having benefitted from it.
Initially created to help people living with dementia, the project is now broadening to encompass a range of patient types, including those with stress, long term pain, and other long term conditions. It can also be used to reduce staff stress levels in the workplace.
The VR experience offers the client a range of relaxing and nostalgic 3D scenes, from safaris to scuba-diving. It creates a calming feel that in itself creates a butterfly effect and is a very individual experience for the user. Recipients have been reported to seem happier and calmer for long periods of time, evoke memories, sleep better, be in less pain and have improved communication during, and after, their experience.
With the success of the service, Mole Valley District Council are now launching their own Virtual Reality Service, on Thursday 28 February. For more information on this event, please contact Helen.Rudkin@molevalley.gov.uk.
Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Community and Wellbeing, Cllr Tricia Youtan, said: “The feedback we have received from residents receiving our virtual reality therapy service has been very positive.
“I am really pleased Mole Valley District Council are now set to launch a similar service for their residents, and that we have been able to help them by sharing our knowledge and experience of this technology based therapy.
“It now means that so many more people can enjoy the considerable benefits it has to offer.”
David Hawksworth CBE, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing at Mole Valley District Council, said: “We are delighted to bring these Virtual Reality sessions to Mole Valley. Once launched, we expect many local care home residents will directly benefit from this new technology, allowing them to ‘escape’ for a short time on a virtual journey and return relaxed and refreshed.
“Our close working relationship with Horsham District Council on this project has enabled us to bring this service to Mole Valley confident that the results and outcomes for individuals will be positive, as experienced in Horsham’s district.”

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