04 December 2018

AWP becomes first mental health trust to get ‘magic table’

Tovertafel 1Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust is set to improve the lives of those with late stage Dementia with the installation of a 'magic table.'

The Trust is the first mental health trust in the country to have a Tovertafel Original, a box which can be mounted on a table or ceiling. Tovertafel, which means 'magic table' in Dutch, contains a projector, infrared sensors, speaker and processor that work together to project interactive games. It stimulates those with Dementia to move more and interact socially, getting them moving and having fun.

The Tovertafel is being used by service users on Dune Ward at the Long Fox Unit at Weston-Super-Mare. Dune ward has ten beds and is a short stay unit designed for the assessment of people with a variety of mental health problems such as Dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Consultant Psychiatrist, Tiff Earle said: "I was lucky enough to secure a demonstration of the ToverTafel on our Dementia ward, earlier this year. The response from service users was truly magical to see and we were all left astounded at the positive impact it had. Many of them were smiling, some agitated service users became calm and engaged and withdrawn service users started to engage.

"We were determined to have one installed from that point onwards - and are hugely grateful to the Headlight charity and its trustees, for providing the significant extra funding needed to achieve this aim."

The Tovertafel had been paid for through fundraising and AWP's official charity Headlight, which aims to fund extras that cannot be funded by the NHS to improve the lives of service users.

AWP's Fundraising Manager, Tia Shortall, said: When we heard that Dr Tiff Earle was fundraising for this magic piece of kit, we thought it sounded like a great idea. The Tovertafel is a true delight for service users with Dementia, but it doesn't come cheap. After Dr Earl raised over £1,800 towards the Tovertafel, Headlight donated the remaining £5,300 to enable Dune ward to go ahead and have the kit installed. We are looking forward to seeing the difference it makes for service users, and to life on the ward."

About Tovertafel

The Tovertafel is an award-winning innovation from the Netherlands, which is renowned for its cutting-edge approach to Dementia care. The technology has been designed to help those at a later stage on their Dementia journey be more active and create moments of happiness. It consists of a series of interactive games that are projected on a table. The light games encourage players to reach out towards them and the lights subsequently respond to their hand and arm movements, allowing the residents to play with light, which is truly magical.

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