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20 May 2020

Dorset LEP supports Dorset Mind and Crowd’s virtual experience

Dorset LEP supports Dorset Mind and Crowd’s virtual experience

Dorset Mind and Crowd, a global creative agency based in Bournemouth, have worked together to create ‘My Dorset Mind’, an online experience to help those struggling with anxiety and wellbeing issues that lockdown restrictions have amplified.

The two business have worked together to create an online experience that allows people the chance to explore some of Dorset’s beautiful locations. The platform created by Crowd offers virtual tours of different Dorset locations to help people relax. During the tours, on-screen prompts, inspirational quotes, and animated directions focused on breathing appear. With the help of Jurassic Coast Trust and Visit Dorset, some breath-taking photography was sourced and then subtly animated by the design team at Crowd, to resemble the original view.

The two businesses first met at Dorset Business Awards 2019, where Dorset Mind CEO, Marianne Storey and Crowd CEO, Jamie Sergeant, were shortlisted finalists in the Business Leader of the Year category, which Dorset LEP proudly sponsored. While Jamie received the award that night, the event got the finalists talking about future collaborations – with ‘My Dorset Mind’ being the first. 

The newly launched service is available for everyone to experience and can be accessed on all mobile devices. It can also be viewed on Smart TVs and streaming devices, so that people can enjoy this with their whole family, or have it as a background during meal breaks. Its very easy to use, and we encourage everyone to try it. Simply choose a favourite Dorset location, select preferred sounds, and relax.

Dr Andy Mayers, Dorset Mind’s Patron and Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, says: “Mindfulness is a proven method to alleviate symptoms of poor mental health. The ‘My Dorset Mind’ project brilliantly captures our beautiful Dorset scenery to help the viewer relax. This will really help people at a time when they need it most. I love it.”

Marianne Storey, Dorset Mind CEO, adds: “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused extremely high levels of anxiety; and for those who already struggle with their mental health, the impact has been even greater. It’s important to remember that these feelings of anxiety and isolation that we’ve all felt to some degree is not unusual for people with mental health challenges. 1 in 4 of us will have a mental health diagnoses in our lifetime. Dorset Mind is here to help people towards their recovery.

“My Dorset Mind is an exciting digital solution that complements our support programme. It brings the outside world to people in the comfort of their home or workplace - and to those who might not be able to leave home post lockdown. This innovative platform encourages people to practice deep breathing, which helps to relieve stress. It merges the breath-taking beauty of Dorset with calming ambient music and sounds. We’re delighted with the result.”

Jamie Sergeant, Global CEO at Crowd, says: “We’re grateful to have been part of this great project that will undoubtedly help a lot of people feel better during these challenging times. We hope to further expand this initiative so that other parts of the UK can be explored digitally”.

Dorset LEP has been working with the Crowd project team behind ‘My Dorset Mind’ through its fully funded bid writing support service. This specialist support is open to all Dorset businesses part of the Dorset Gateway - a free central support service for businesses delivered in partnership with Dorset Chamber of Commerce.  Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the bid writing support service has helped seven local businesses apply for grant funding totalling in excess of £300k, with all projects aiming to support the national call for help in fighting the coronavirus.

For those who need mental health support, please visit Dorset Mind’s website. The charity has been helping those in need for over 70 years, but coronavirus, the associated lockdown, and the loss of income for many, is producing a unique situation where their services are needed more than ever.

If you are a local business looking to apply for government grant funding to help fight the impacts COVID-19, then contact the Dorset Gateway team on 01202 714800 or by emailing

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