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Dream Centre wins international recognition

19 November 2020

A MAGICAL centre opened by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall last year has won two top international awards.

The Dream Centre at Chailey Heritage Foundation has received international recognition from the Themed Entertainment Association in its highly prestigious annual Thea awards.

The Dream Centre will receive the Thea Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement – Immersive Design for Special Needs Guests’ as part of a virtual ceremony to be held in 2021.

Chailey Heritage Foundation finds itself amongst some of the highest profile brand names in the world; previous winners have included Universal, Disney World and many more.

Matt Barton, CEO of 7th Sense, who designed the installation said:

‘The Dream Centre is unlike any project we’ve worked on before. From the very beginning, it’s been an incredible process to be part of a team that has worked so hard to bring a vision to life! We set out to provide Chailey Heritage with a creative toolbox and the young people and staff at the Charity have embraced this, continuing to find new and inventive ways to use the technology and the space, which is what this is all really about. It’s a wonderful achievement to see how the Dream Centre is creating incredible and memorable experiences. The awards are truly well deserved, and a reflection of the dedication of everyone involved.”

The project was also named ‘Education Project of the Year’ by AV Magazine in their 2020 AV Awards.

Helen Hewitt, Chief Executive at Chailey Heritage Foundation, said:  

"The installation of technology usually found in the world’s best known theme parks may seem unimaginable in a setting like ours, but we are committed to providing every opportunity for the young people in our care to pursue their potential and have as many experiences as possible.

In the time since the Dream Centre opened in October 2019, it has already delivered many stand-out moments, from its Royal opening by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and Cirque du Chailey performance to the Christmas plays and panto last year and the inaugural Chailey Games.

But it is the ability to offer individually tailored experiences which can support the learning, healthiness, and happiness of the young people here at Chailey Heritage which makes it truly a dream come true.

We would like to thank our technical partners, as without their expertise, the innovations in the Dream Centre would not have been possible."

The Thea Awards Committee when making the award said:

"This high-touch, virtual interactive experience is specifically designed to cater to children of very limited abilities. This includes people with profound mental and physical conditions who cannot move on their own, nor be left on their own. This is an audience often underserved in more standard environments. Here, through this relatively simple application of adaptable screen technology and projection, they are given specific, careful, loving attention as they are taken through virtual experiences which they clearly find profound, entertaining, and moving. And that is the highest standard we have."

Thea Awards Committee, 2020

Please note some of the images contained are historical and do not reflect current working practises with PPE and social distancing.

dream centre Chailey
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