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VIRTUAL VISITS: Northwood charity reflects on 2020 as virtual reality offers hospice patients ‘huge morale boost’

 Published on: 12th January 2021   |   By: Holly Bullen   |   Category: Uncategorized

A prominent Northwood charity has expanded into the use of virtual reality technology to combat the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Michael Sobell Hospice has featured in NorthwoodNews right from the first edition with a call to honour co-founder Dr Patrick Russell. 

Despite the continuing difficulties of the pandemic the hospice team have been thinking outside the box to tackle new challenges, including the use of a virtual reality headset.

Poppy Mackay, GP registrar, discussed the benefits of this technology for patients, allowing them to revisit old memories or places.

She said: “Virtual reality offers our patients a chance to escape to places of memories. It creates a space for storytelling and has been incredible for them to experience these memories in a very real way.”

The technology has been a huge success so far, as Pam, a retired army nurse described her experience.

She said: “It is such a huge morale boost for people away from their loved ones. Words cannot describe the feeling of being ‘there’ but in Michael Sobell Hospice.”

We have also shared news from the hospice on multiple occasions, including the reopening of the hospice building at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in our last January edition.

Since this reopening the hospice has seen over 200 patients and the public support throughout the pandemic has been incredible, donating PPE, food for staff and much more.

Carol Weston, matron, wanted to thank everyone who chose to support the hospice throughout a difficult time.

She said: “Thank you so much for all the donations we have received. It has been much appreciated during this difficult time.”

The hospice is now looking for to raise £350 for a new virtual reality kit.

To donate contact the Fundraising Team on 020 3826 2367 or email

For more information on the hospice, click here.

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