East Midlands organised an event at Pulse Virtual Reality (VR). This event was organised and led by a DRP staff member, Matthew Shaw who has arranged various summer outings. These enable young people of different backgrounds to get together and enjoy the experiences.
The outing was attended by 11 Deaf young people with various backgrounds from the surrounding East Midlands. We visited Pulse VR and took part in the 5 different experiences on offer. 4 people at a time could experience the VR gaming simulation and they each chose which game to play. The other VR simulator was a racing chair in which individuals in turn could experience driving laps in a racing car. Also onsite were Xbox consoles and current games such as Fortnite were played.
Some young people got to grips with the new technology straight away, picking it up quickly and for others they did need the extra support to communicate confidently with venue staff. Both staff members, Danny and Tiffany were fantastic throughout the event patiently explaining and demonstrating, alongside a qualified Interpreter to ensure smooth communication. DRP staff were also on site supervising and ensuring everyone’s wellbeing during the event and also that everyone had an equal turn on each experience. It was really enjoyable and many young people left wanting to attend again in the future.
Afterwards, we all visited McDonald’s and enjoyed plenty of social discussions over a meal and all young people went home all with a smile on their face.
Matthew Shaw, DRP East Midlands said:
“ When we organised this, we thought this would be suitable as many young people enjoy gaming in their spare time at home and many have their own games console however due to communication issues with siblings and peers it is often isolating and this was a chance for them to share the experience with like minded peers and reduce some of that isolation. It was also nice to see some as young as 9 show a keen interest and get involved and interact with the older young people. And although some did show hesitancy in participating they were supported and eventually worked through it successfully. I know the track racing was very popular and many were waiting for their next turn, eager and ready – I can imagine there will be a few parents pestered for a return visit !”
Thank you to our funder Children in Need, without who, this vital work would not be happening and please keep an eye out for our next event!