Pure AV install enables virtual visit to Arley Hall

09 Oct

Pure AV installation enables disabled people to enjoy sights of Arley Hall in ‘their own back garden’

The grounds of Arley Hall were transported to the doorstops of residents at Hill House, after coronavirus restrictions meant their annual visit couldn’t take place. 

Thanks to a new Clevertouch interactive display unit and some virtual reality headsets, installed by Pure AV, residents at the Leonard Cheshire care home in Sandbach were still able to take in the sights of Arley Hall’s vast grounds and stunning gardens.



At a private tea party hosted on 30 September, the 24 residents were treated to the debut of a personal video tour of the gardens led by Lord and Lady Ashbrook, who own Arley Hall. 

Joining them was TV gardener and Leonard Cheshire ambassador, Mark Lane, who spoke to the Ashbrooks in detail about the gardens and the work they do to make their grounds accessible for disabled people.

Lord Ashbrook commented:

“I have long had a relationship with Hill House, its residents and staff. For many years, my wife Zoe and I have much enjoyed hosting an annual tea party for them at Arley, as well as showing them around the garden. I know that disabled people can benefit greatly from horticulture, so it is a particular pleasure this year when an actual visit has not been possible, to have been able to take part in this film. I hope it will be greatly enjoyed by the residents and others who see it.”

Following the debut video, residents were also able to take in 360° panoramic views of the gardens using virtual reality headsets, followed by a special question and answer session with Lord and Lady Ashbrook and Mark Lane, who joined the tea party via Zoom. 

Mark, who has just released his latest book, ‘Royal Gardens of the World’, is a passionate advocate for inclusive gardening and designs. Speaking about the day, he said:

“Lockdown has meant that many of us have not been able to visit gardens or spend time outside together and enjoy being surrounded by nature and flowers. We were so pleased to be able to put together this very special film to bring the beautiful gardens of Arley Hall to the residents at Hill House.” 

Hill House is home to 24 residents with a range of disabilities and communication needs. The equipment used during the virtual tea party is part of a broader installation completed by Pure AV at the home. It is designed to give residents the opportunity to gain access to new experiences and widen the range of social interactions through engagement with new technology.

David Hursthouse, Assistive Technology Project Manager explained:

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been busy introducing new devices and activities to tackle loneliness, keep our residents connected and offer access to brand new experiences, all within the four walls of Hill House.”

“The Arley Hall event is a great example of what can be achieved due to the technology that Pure AV has helped us to implement. Assistive technology really offers a wide range of opportunities for disabled people and has been instrumental in improving the social well being of our residents during a very testing time.” 

Find out more about the work of Leonard Cheshire and how you can support their activities here.

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