Digital & IT

Published: May 12, 2020 | Updated: May 12, 2020

Sights and sounds of Dorset in your home are the perfect solution to lockdown and isolation

A stunning picture of Old Harry Rocks, one of nine Dorset locations on My Dorset Mind.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A media agency has teamed up with mental health charity Dorset Mind to create the perfect solution to the challenges of lockdown and social isolation.

Crowd has created a digital experience using the sights and sounds of Dorset.

The aim is to alleviate mental health issues caused by the new restrictions.

The platform created by Crowd – My Dorset Mind – contains diverse Dorset locations which users can access from their homes.

They are Corfe Castle, Boscombe Pier, Old Harry Rocks, Slepe Heath near Wareham, Fontmell Hill, River Avon, Sturminster Marshall bridge, Weymouth Harbour and Knowlton Church.

To make the experience as authentic as possible, real sounds from each location have been added.

Each view is subtly animated and looped so users can spend a quiet moment or longer if they wish to linger.

To further help with meditation, a choice of other relaxing sounds have been added as well as on-screen prompts, inspirational quotes and animated directions on breathing.

Crowd and Dorset Mind say that simplicity is key.

The experience is easy to navigate and can be done on all devices as well as on Smart TV.

Users  simply select their favourite location, choose the preferred sound, and reconnect with some of Dorset’s most relaxing views.

Jamie Sergeant, Global Chief Executive Officer at Crowd, pictured right, said: “We’d like to thank our friends at Jurassic Coast Trust and Visit Dorset who have helped us to source some fantastic photography.

“The design team at Crowd then worked their magic to create subtly animated scenes which bring the outdoors in; until we can visit them again in person.

“We hope to expand the functionality of My Dorset Mind to other locations as well as we believe it helps during these challenging times.”

Marianne Storey, Chief Executive of Dorset Mind, pictured left, said: “We’ve been delighted to work alongside Jamie and his team at Crowd on this exciting virtual project.

“It was born through an initial conversation where we’d identified anxiety as currently being the most prevalent mental health concern – heightened by the outbreak for those who were already diagnosed and also occurring in those who hadn’t previously been affected.

“Mental health affects one in four people who will have a diagnosed condition in their lifetime.

“‘My Dorset Mind’ provides an inventive virtual distraction from lockdown whilst the mindfulness breathing exercise can help the viewer to feel relaxed whilst focusing on the breath-taking scenery and sounds of Dorset.”

Dr Andy Mayers, Dorset Mind’s Patron and Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, said: “Mindfulness is a proven method to alleviate symptoms of poor mental health.

“The ‘My Dorset Mind’ project brilliantly captures our beautiful Dorset scenery and uses that along with aids to help the viewer relax.

“This will really help people at a time when they need it most.

“I love it.”