ELDERLY care home residents with dementia have landed the starring roles in a heart-warming documentary featuring a footie icon after reliving a monumental sporting victory.

Back in February, Corner Lodge, in Meadow Way, Jaywick, welcomed in team members from the Wayback Project into the home.

The initiative uses virtual reality equipment and footage to help trigger the memories of people suffering with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Having based an earlier film around the events of Coronation Day in 1953, the project’s latest trip down memory lane came in the form of the 1966 World Cup final.

In addition to the England-winning game itself, Corner Lodge residents also got to experience the jubilation of the period.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Footage shot by documentary film-makers on the day of the mood-lifting visit has now been compiled into a moving film featuring both residents and star striker Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in the final.

“The images in this film are just fantastic and it will be a huge help to people reliving the past,” said the World Cup winning footballer.

“People with dementia might not even be able to remember who their loved one is but when they hear a piece of music or see a certain period of time, it can really jog their memory.”

A Corner Lodge care home spokesman said as much as the novelty of wearing a virtual reality headset was exciting for residents, the experience also had additional benefits.

As part of the experience, the virtual reality footage was also able to place residents in the packed dancehalls which they used to enjoy.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

This has since resulted in the elderly hip-shakers showing off their old moves to care home staff and seen them eager reminisce about a bygone era in which dancing was a popular pastime.

“Visual stimulation has been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” she said.

“The flickering light associated with film and video reduces inflammation in brain tissue as well as encouraging the functioning of attention and memory.

“So, through the use of the Wayback Project’s films and photographic therapy, we have noticed that our residents then share their own memories with each other.

“They also do demonstrations with the staff which builds a sense of community and really helps to reduce episodes of depression.”

The Wayback Project was launched by Dan Cole who was inspired after seeing the nostalgic reactions of his father, Terry, during a reminiscing trip to Camden.

Terry, 75, from Clacton, who had Alzheimer’s, died five years ago, but his son has since found solace in reconnecting the elderly with the past.

The Wayback Project’s latest documentary can be viewed by visiting thewaybackvr.com.