Campaign launched to raise £10,00 for 'Magic Carpet' for county's dementia patients

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A health charity is hoping to raise £10,00 for an innovative piece of sensory equipment that will primarily be used at The Forest Centre at St Mary's Hospital in Kettering.

The Northamptonshire Health Charity, which supports the Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, has launched a fundraising drive to raise £10,000 to purchase a 'Magic Carpet' piece of sensory equipment.

The charity aims to make life better for patients, their families and staff in Northamptonshire hospitals and provides funding for equipment, research, training and other extras that help to comfort people when in hospital.

The Magic Carpet projector system beams interactive games and images onto any surface that users can then play with and control by moving on or over the projected image.

This equipment will enhance the care and therapies available to elderly patients with dementia, the charity says.

The equipment will primarily stay at The Forest Centre, a specialist unit for older people with mental health conditions at St Mary’s Hospital in London Road, Kettering, but because it is mobile, would also be able to benefit other in-patients with mental health conditions in the county.

The charity said: "Please help us raise £10,000 to purchase a Magic Carpet to enhance care for dementia patients across the county.

"This wonderful piece of sensory equipment really does work magic. Having a Magic Carpet as part of the therapy resources would significantly enhance the care provided to elderly dementia patients at St Mary’s and at Berrywood."

The Berrywood Hospital is a psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Duston, Northampton.

"Not only would the Magic Carpet provide sensory experiences to calm and relax, but the different activities available can enable and empower people to work with their strengths," the charity added. "This in turn promotes self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as enjoyment."

A press release for the appeal says research has found multi-sensory equipment can have an "enormously positive effect on people with dementia". It can help therapists and relatives engage with patients and reconnect them with the outside world.

The charity added: "Patients can be transported to a faraway place by the engaging images and stimulating sounds. They could have a visit to the seaside, see the city sights of Rome, kick a football or sweep away some leaves – all without leaving the room.

"It is so important to promote socialisation, positive wellbeing and quality of life among this patient group."

The Magic Carpet was trialled at The Forest Centre recently and it received "incredible feedback" from patients, the charity said, as well as from staff.

Its mobility means it could also be used to help bed-bound patients and be transported to patients at The Welland Centre at St Mary's -- a mental health inpatient facility for adults -- and those at Berrywood.

To make a donation or sponsor the appeal, phone the charity on 01604 626 927, email greenheart@nhcf.co.uk or visit the website www.nhcfgreenheart.co.uk