A new innovative Northampton business combining virtual reality and hydrotherapy is on the verge of bankruptcy due to the effects of the pandemic.
Rebecca Gill launched her social enterprise company, VR Therapies and was preparing to open a center in Spencer Parade, Northampton, last year after quitting nursing in 2018.
However, Covid-19 hit the business hard, to the point that the pools were never filled and the center could not open.
Now, the owner hopes to save her business, which offers health benefits such as reducing chronic pain and relieving anxiety, and can also help people bookmark items on the bucket list, such as swimming with dolphins. .
Rebecca said, “My history is learning problems.
“All my work has been learning disabilities, brain injuries, autism and everything neurological.
“One of the things that has appeared in my career is hydrotherapy and the lack of it in Northampton.
“Traditional therapies are really difficult to access, despite the benefits.
“With the physiotherapist, there’s a very long waiting list, you have to go through the private and it’s expensive, so most people can’t afford it. But here we can combine physiotherapy with immersive experiences, allowing to the community to take control of their health in a fun way ”.
After spending thousands of people renovating the center and building specialized facilities for the disabled, debts are accumulating for the company, as there has been no income for more than a year.
With just two months before the social enterprise faces bankruptcy, where all staff should be laid off, Rebecca’s last hope is a crowdfunding campaign, as she has been denied loans from banks and was not suitable for government support.
The nurse and businesswoman are to raise £ 65,000, which will cover the salaries of three VR therapists, rent the center and provide specialist equipment for children with special needs.
Rebecca added: “Everything is designed for people with disabilities and of all ages and abilities, but everyone is welcome.
“It’s for the community and I want everyone to come and try it.
“We take them too poor to swim with dolphins, children undergoing chemotherapy flying through space, people with dementia down the memory lane and more.
“The people who will benefit the most are those who are least likely to access it. We want to change that.
“But we will no longer be able to help people with virtual reality therapy and very soon we will be forced to fail.
“We never had a chance to open the doors or fill the pools.”
Donations to the CrowdFunder will be rewarded with chances to win a variety of prizes, from VR headsets to vouchers for sessions at the center, as well as a “good dose of good karma,” according to Rebecca.
There are also sponsorship deals available for businesses and free advertising through the company’s “Hall of Fame”.