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East Anglia's first 'magic table' will 'change the lives' of dementia patients

PUBLISHED: 13:14 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:14 17 September 2019

A Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine Creative

A Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine Creative

2019

An innovative and interactive piece of kit is set to change the lives of those with dementia and special educational needs.

A Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine CreativeA Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine Creative

East Anglia's very first 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point, a place primarily for over-55s to meet and socialise.

Originally developed in the Netherlands by Tovertafel, the pioneering creation is designed to increase stimulation, physical activity and social engagement in people who have dementia.

A Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine CreativeA Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine Creative

By mounting a box containing a projector onto the ceiling, Tovertafel's technology allows any table top to host interactive games and scenes which can be engaged with via hand movements.

From making ripples in a virtual reality fish pond to playing electronic football, the advanced package is aimed at stimulating the sensors and muscles among its users.

A Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine CreativeA Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine Creative

Shonette Mooney, manager at Meeting Point, said: "The new magic table is a truly life-changing piece of equipment, which will help people in the area who are displaying signs of dementia and those with special educational needs.

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"We encourage our members, young and old, to share resources like the magic table which helps bridge the age gap and stimulate discussions and greater understanding."

Meeting Point's drive to raise £8,000 started at the beginning of the year, with a goal of purchasing a magic table at some point in 2020.

A Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine CreativeA Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine Creative

But generous grants and donations from a number of organisations hastened the process, allowing the community hub to purchase the table and a whole package of games much sooner than expected.

Breckland Council helped secure the equipment with £5,500 from its Healthy Communities Fund and Match Funding Programme, before the magic table was used for the first time at a special launch event on Friday, September 13.

A Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine CreativeA Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine Creative

Mark Robinson, Breckland's executive member for community, leisure and culture, added: "The magic table is a wonderful piece of technology which will make a massive change to people living with dementia.

"We look forward to watching its impact over the coming months and years."

A Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine CreativeA Tovertafel 'magic table' has been unveiled at Dereham Meeting Point. Picture: Tangerine Creative

Trustees at Meeting Point would like to thank Breckland Council, anonymous donors and all the other organisations whose contributions made the purchase of the magic table possible.

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