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