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Room with a view as new facility provides vision of the future

05 February 2019

Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, adult care staff and PossAbilities staff.

Heywood-based social enterprise Possibilities is trailblazing a visionary facility to help boost the mental wellbeing of vulnerable people.

The centre's state-of-the-art immersive simulation room uses virtual reality imagery to help transport people to natural environments of their choice.

A specially designed computer system projects realistic images on to 3 walls and the floor of the room, with piped music adding to relaxing and therapeutic ambiance.

The creative space also contains special touch spots enabling people to interact with their environment – such as leaving footprints in a snow scene or playing a musical instrument.

There are dozens of scenes to choose from including seaside views, mountain ranges, holiday destinations, famous cities and much more.

Immersive rooms are specially designed to provide therapeutic support and are particular beneficial in helping people with dementia to reminisce about a familiar and happy time in their life.

PossAbilities, which is based at the Cherwell Centre in Heywood, works in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council, to improve the lives of vulnerable people. They have won a number of awards for their innovative work to support service users.

This is a fantastic facility that is a credit to everyone at PossAbilites

Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, Rochdale Borough Council Cabinet Member for Adult Care, said: "This is a fantastic facility that is a credit to everyone at PossAbilites. The new immersive room will improve the health and wellbeing for people of all ages. It is relaxing, therapeutic and interactive. I am proud of the partnership work the council does with such a forward thinking and innovative organisation. A huge well done to everyone involved."

Rachel Law, chief executive of PossAbilities, said: "This is about empowering people to take control of their surrounds and to create a personalised journey unique to their lives. We did a lot of research into what would work for our service users and we are thrilled with the final product. We are hoping to open the new space up for wider community use, including schools as the immersive room has so many educational possibilities. Our environment at PossAbilities is about helping people to live the life they choose and this fantastic facility helps them do just that."

Any local school, community group or voluntary organisation wanting further information about use of the immersive room should contact PossAbilities on Tel: 01706 692181