Virtual reality fun for Jessie May teenagers

Last week, 3 teenage boys supported by Jessie May were treated to an afternoon of virtual reality (VR) and lots of fun at AirHop in Bristol!

Our amazing friends at AirHop kindly invited Jessie May families to step in to another dimension in one of their AirVR booths during one of our organised Respite Days. The teenagers explored another world with the Jessie May Nurses, becoming immersed in interactive VR games in AirHop’s gaming area.

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This was a wonderful, immersive experience for the boys, and a fantastic activity enjoyed by all during the Jessie May Respite Day. The VR experience proved to be a really exciting and engaging sensation to the boys – and care team!

Jessie May hosts special days like this to offer parents some respite – a few hours to spend as they wish – but to also give the children some time away from home, and to spend with children their age, accompanied by our specialist nurses. However, the parents were very keen to stay for some of the afternoon so they could see their children become completely immersed in the magical VR experiences – which was a lovely addition to the day.

Ian Perrett, General Manager at AirHop, said: “AirHop was delighted to welcome Jessie May staff and 3 wonderful teenagers for an afternoon of VR. Sam Newman, our VR Expert, put together a series of VR games and experiences that were specifically chosen to allow the boys the opportunity to experience new worlds in VR.

“Watching them experience being alongside a blue whale on ‘Into the Blue’ and their reaction to being swallowed by a T-Rex in our dinosaur-themed VR roller-coaster ride will live long in my memory.

“On a personal note I have nothing but huge admiration for the Jessie May Nurses and most importantly the children that Jessie May supports. We would love to have them all back for a visit soon.”

Gemma, one of the Jessie May Nurses who attended the Respite Day, added: “We had such an amazing time at AirHop and can’t thank them enough for being so accommodating. For many of the children Jessie May supports, organising fun days out can be a real struggle, especially at busy Half Term. They can have extremely complex medical needs, and there are so many barriers they have to face – with things like wheelchair access, disabled toilets and changing room facilities.

“We organised this Respite Day to offer the teenagers a really unique, fun experience, and time to spend with others their age. AirHop’s VR area was the perfect environment and they had so much fun! Due to their medical conditions, the boys are unlikely to experience a deep-sea dive, or rollercoaster ride – but the VR headsets let them do just that! It was wonderful to watch them get involved, and because of the room’s large screens, they could watch each other experience VR too – and their parents when they couldn’t resist trying the games out!

“The room we were given was perfect for the boys – with easy access and privacy. It was a brilliant afternoon and we are so grateful to the team at AirHop who were incredibly generous, kind and talkative with the boys too!”

We’d like to say a massive thank you to AirHop for giving the boys a spectacular afternoon!

To find out more about what Jessie May does to support local families caring for a child with a life limiting condition, please click here.

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