Care home staff ready to sky­dive

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Front Page -

STAFF at a Dundee care home are gear­ing up for a char­ity sky­dive to raise money for hi-tech vir­tual re­al­ity equip­ment.

Res­i­dents of Bal­housie Cle­ment Park re­cently donned a VR head­set and “trav­elled” vir­tu­ally around the world, as part of a trial with the new equip­ment.

The trial was deemed a suc­cess and the firm has com­mit­ted to the fundraiser.

The home is fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of its sis­ter care home, Bal­housie Forth View in Methil, Fife, where deputy care home man­ager Sa­man­tha Beat­tie raised £1,500 for the state-of-the-art equip­ment. It in­cludes a lap­top and vir­tual re­al­ity head­set.

Bal­housie Care Group, which has 25 care homes in the north­east of Scot­land, owns a full VR sys­tem in­clud­ing ac­ces­sories and is now lend­ing this out to each home on a ro­ta­tional ba­sis.

Mar­garet Stephen, care home man­ager at Bal­housie Cle­ment Park, said: “It was fas­ci­nat­ing watch­ing res­i­dents’ re­ac­tion to the VR equip­ment.

“This took them on trips they could only dream of mak­ing now in­clud­ing un­der­wa­ter and ‘fly­ing’ around the United States.

“It wasn’t long be­fore I per­suaded two mem­bers of staff to com­mit to buy­ing our own set of equip­ment. We hope to do the sky­dive this side of Easter.”

One of Cle­ment Park’s res­i­dents, Ge­orge Gal­lagher, had spent time liv­ing in the US. While staff looked on, Ge­orge de­scribed some of the no­table land­marks he vir­tu­ally flew over dur­ing a Google Earth tour, from the Grand Canyon to Devil’s Tower mon­u­ment.

Ed is pic­tured dur­ing one of his stand-up gigs, along­side fel­low pan­el­lists on TV show Mock The Week and with Dara O Bri­ain in a scene from Dara & Ed’s Great Big Ad­ven­ture.

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