Foundation students take VR to local care home

25th March 2024

A team of Foundation Learning students from Solihull College & University Centre have been helping local care home residents have new experiences and relive previous adventures thanks to virtual reality.

The students wanted to show the residents the positive impact this state-of-the-art technology can have on their lives and bridge the gap between younger and older generations.

The residents of Priory Care Home in Monkspath were able to experience flying planes, have virtual tours of places like Hadrian’s Wall and Wembley Stadium, and enjoy relaxation videos. One resident experienced returning to Niagara Falls – where had visited when she was younger – and had always wanted to go back.

Care Home manager Katie commented: “Seeing the joy and wonder on our residents’ faces as they explored new worlds through VR was truly heartwarming. This incredible session, brought to us by the dedicated students of the College’s Reach Programme, not only introduced our elderly to the marvels of modern technology but also bridged the gap between generations. We are deeply grateful for this innovative and thoughtful initiative.”

Lecturer Craig McCauley was incredibly proud of his students, and felt the experience benefited both the students and the residents. He commented: “This project, which we worked on with the College’s Learning Technologies team, is a testament to what young people can achieve when given the right tools and support. Not only have our Reach students learned valuable STEM skills, but they’ve also learned the importance of empathy, community, and how technology can be used to enrich the lives of others.

“The students exhibited remarkable compassion and patience, facilitating a meaningful interaction with the elderly residents and demonstrating the social impact of their STEM education. I’m incredibly proud of what we achieved and learnt on this trip, a real show of community engagement bridging the gap between the younger and older generations.”

Students on the College’s Reach course may have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or struggle in larger groups. The College caters for individual needs within its Foundation Learning department to provide an inclusive, positive, quality learning environment for all.

Find out more about the College's Foundation Learning Courses: Foundation Learning