About our project
What is The Wayback?
People don't just remember their past memories, they feel the emotions that went with them. The Wayback is a virtual reality film series designed to fully immerse the viewer in a positive moment from our collective past, triggering much loved memories from that time and the pleasant feelings associated with them.
Why did we enter the Prize?
We entered the Essex Challenge Dementia Prize because we’re firm believers that the biggest risk to the wellbeing of someone living with dementia is their loss of self-esteem, both through feelings of isolation and losing connections with those around them. We believe that The Wayback, can spark conversations between person and carer and help improve the lives and general feelings of wellbeing of those living with dementia – as well as those caring for them.
Our idea came from personal experiences of using reminiscence as a tool to start conversations and rekindle connections with our own loved ones. One such instance was a moment co-founder Dan had with his own father, who developed dementia towards the end of his life in Clacton, Essex. As conversations became harder he sought new ways to connect with him, such as music and archive footage. But only when he drove his father back to where he grew up - when he was surrounded by endless details in familiar streets - did the memories come flooding back and the conversation flowed once again.
We believe virtual reality, at its best, can do the same.
Rather than try and recreate a moment from one person’s life, The Wayback surrounds the person in familiar sights and sounds, filled with thousands of tiny details that will mean different things to every single person who views it.
To test our idea, we decided to create a pilot episode of The Wayback, after a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, and recreate one of the thousands of street parties from the Queen’s Coronation, 1953. Sharing the film with those living with different degrees of dementia, their carers and experts in the field, has helped us develop The Wayback to its current stage.
Our hopes for the next 6 months
Our hopes for the next six months are that we can develop the idea much further, to a place where it becomes a genuinely valued tool that both those caring for someone with the disease at home, and care homes across the UK and abroad, can begin to feel its benefits.
For that, we look forward to more expert advice, more priceless input from carers and those living with dementia, and more business and technological guidance.
Already, we are already feeling the benefit of becoming a finalist in the Challenge Dementia Prize by using our micro grant to commission much needed research into The Wayback. Now we look forward to where the next part of the journey takes us.