Project created by Grey London team aims to help people with dementia connect with their loved ones through VR

A team of creatives from advertising agency Grey London are using virtual reality (VR) to help trigger happy memories for people with Alzheimer’s in an attempt to help improve their physical wellbeing and connect with loved ones.

Dementia VR use

Wayback Project is currently seeking support on Kickstarter and is based on the belief that triggering happy memories from the past can bring comfort to Alzheimer suffers and help to reinforce a sense of identity and feelings of self-worth.

It will use a series of VR short films that will transport people back to a moment firmly set in the UK’s collective consciousness as the stimulus for evoking fond memories.

The first film in the series will be based around the Queen's Coronation in 1953 and will recreate scenes in exact detail from the location to costumes, props and atmosphere. The viewer will be able to fully explore the scene, overhearing conversations and music from the time.

Once completed, the film will be between three to four minutes long and will be free to view on YouTube, requiring only a pair of Google Cardboard VR Goggles.

Dr David Sheard, chief executive of Dementia Care Matters and consultant on The Way Back Project, said: “All we have is the present - but recalling the past is one of the ways we can create new positive moments for people living with dementia. The Wayback Project is special because it will help connect people to the past - using the wonders of new technology today."

The Way Back Project’s creative team is comprised of three members of Grey London - Dan Cole, Andy Garnett and Howard Green. The venture is intensely personal to each of the members whose families have all been affected by dementia. The trio are working with people from Thomas Thomas, MPC and 750 in order to create the content for the VR experience.

In order for the series of films to be completed, the team need to raise £35,000 on Kickstarter and are currently sitting at £14,211. Those wishing to pledge their financial support through Kickstarter can do so here.

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