Take a virtual tour around newly-transformed Grove House

The Heartwood Room at Grove House as seen in the 3-D tour.

The Heartwood Room at Grove House as seen in the 3-D tour. - Credit: Archant

Rennie Grove patients and supporters have the opportunity to take a tour of its newly-refurbished community hub, Grove House - without setting foot outside their front door.

A doll's house view of Grove House.

A doll's house view of Grove House. - Credit: Archant

The charity has commissioned a 360-degree virtual tour that takes viewers through each room with a click of the computer mouse. By clicking on dots they are able to view pop-up links explaining the changes, the charity’s vision for the future and how people can help support Rennie Grove to furnish the building.

Behind the innovative technology is a former patient of Grove House, Jo Hailey, who benefited from group therapy there in 2003 after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

She and fellow patients called themselves ‘the Monday Girls’ and such was their bonding during those eight weeks together they have kept in touch.

“It was very empowering,” said Jo, 56, whose Striking Places Photography business is based in St Albans but has clients nationwide. “When I went back to Grove House to take photos for the tour it brought back many memories.”

Of the refurbishment, she added: “If I can borrow a word from the name of my business, it is certainly striking!”

Following the easing of the Covid lockdown, the first patients are expected to start returning to Grove House for individual sessions from September 14.

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The 3-D technology is based on Google Street View, where computer users see a street as if they were standing in it – and then by clicking the cursor ‘walk around’ the neighbourhood. The TourDash Virtual Walkthrough technology used at Grove House takes you off the street and inside the actual building, with targeted interactive information.

Rennie Grove chief executive Stewart Marks said: “Since Grove House opened its doors in 1993, the needs of our local communities have changed and this redevelopment was crucial to the way we address those needs.

“This virtual tour will give everyone an idea of how we have transformed Grove House to offer a wider range of services for adults and children diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses and their families. We hope everyone enjoys this chance to see what we have been able to achieve with their generous support.”

To take the virtual tour go to: www.renniegrove.org/virtualtour