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Enterprise Loans reaches £3 million lending milestone

11 September 2019

VR Therapies founder Rebecca Gill with a patient being treated by medical VR therapy

Business support and funding provider Enterprise Loans East Midlands (ELEM) has reached a significant funding milestone thanks to Northamptonshire-based VR Therapies.

A total of £3.1 million has been lent as a result of the Small Business Loan Fund from Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) in the East and South East Midlands, and VR Therapies is the latest business to receive a cash injection.

Rebecca Gill, a qualified nurse who specialises in learning disabilities, brain injury rehabilitation and mental health, formed VR Therapies in 2018. The social enterprise business aims to make medical VR therapy available to all those who would benefit from it the most and received a £105,000 funding boost from Enterprise Loans through the MEIF.

Rebecca Gill, Founder and Managing Director of VR Therapies, said:

“We aim to bring together virtual reality and hydrotherapy. Research has shown that VR therapy has a positive impact on the lives of children who are going through chemotherapy and improves social and behavioural difficulties for patients with autism. Additionally, it reduces levels of pain, stress, depression and anxiety. The VR therapy is also very useful for end of life patients to allow them to experience things on their ‘bucket list’.

“The VR therapies centre will be the first of its kind, by combining hydrotherapy and underwater VR headsets – the therapy can make patients truly feel like they’re swimming with dolphins.”

Rebecca has lived in Northamptonshire all her life and has worked in the medical field in both the public and private sectors. VR Therapies will use the funding to establish its first clinic in Northamptonshire and to purchase further equipment for its expansion.  

Once fully operational, the VR Therapies team will also consist of Anita Connolly a registered nurse with over 18 years’ experience in the NHS and Kelly Zile, a registered nurse with over 20 years’ experience. Both Anita and Kelly also specialise in learning disabilities, autism, dementia brain injury rehabilitation and end of life care.

The £105,000 investment will enable VR Therapies to be able to move into a permanent residence, purchase further VR equipment and build a hydrotherapy pool.

Matthew Wright, Business Advisor at Enterprise Loans, said:

“Rebecca’s passion for the business is immense and she is developing a really fantastic and unique company that I have no doubt will add value to the lives of patients in Northampton.

“She has been working on this for over 12 months and has completed so much research, built a fantastic website and been out to charities and care homes demonstrating the VR side. We’re thrilled to be able to help Rebecca with additional capital to support her business and wish her every success in her venture.”

Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank, commented:

“It’s great to see that ELEM has reached this £3 million milestone, supporting over 49 businesses in the East and South East Midlands through the MEIF. Providing funding to growing businesses like VR Therapies is a key objective of the Fund and we would encourage any SME’s in the region looking for finance to grow their business to look into the options available through the MEIF.”

Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), said:

“Businesses in the South East Midlands are at the cutting-edge of new technology and seeing it used for purposes like that of VR Therapies is fantastic. Investing in businesses through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund to bring ideas like this to fruition is an important part of our work.”

The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

More information about VR Therapies can be found on their website vrtherapies.co.uk or follow @vrtherapiesltd.

For more information on Enterprise Loans visit www.first-enterprise.co.uk or follow @1st_Enterprise on Twitter. For further information on the MEIF please visit www.meif.co.uk or follow @MidsEngInv.

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