In the autumn of 2013 Directors of the Disabilities Trust were searching for something to encourage physical activity, and bring distinctiveness and entertainment to people with complex physical disabilities. They came across the CardioWall, and within three months Ernest Kleinwort Court in Sussex became the first residential centre in the UK to install this innovative new interactive game wall.

Ernest Kleinwort Court (EKC) is part of The Disabilities Trust, a charity providing care, rehabilitation and support for people with physical disabilities, acquired brain injury and learning disabilities as well as children and adults with autism. EKC is a residential centre and 80% of those who live there are wheelchair users, many with extremely limited mobility.

What is the CardioWall?

The core concept behind the CardioWall – where users ‘knock-out’ as many coloured lights as possible within a minute – is that the game motivates you to work harder than you might otherwise choose to do.  For those with physical disabilities, having fun on the CardioWall quickly leads to improvements of mobility, dexterity, strength and balance, which in turn benefit the quality of daily life.

The CardioWall can be played with bare hands, boxing gloves, soft weights, or a specifically designed ‘Reach Extender’ for users who have the most limited mobility.

Impact of the CardioWall at EKC

The CardioWall is centrally located in the day room at EKC, so can be used both in organised activity sessions and informally on and off throughout the day.

Two years on, the impact of the CardioWall has proved to be far more wide-reaching than expected.  The benefits experienced at EKC are not just physical, but social and psychological too – and encompass the service users, the staff and the business as whole.

‘It was clearly a hit from Day 1’, comments Anita Cobb, Service Manager at EKC.  ‘It’s a fun activity. It encourages friendships, builds independence and is great for morale.  In fact it’s very hard to put into a few words just how big an impact the CardioWall has had here.  It has brought a lot of enthusiasm, games and laughter to EKC with everyone competing with each other and working as team.  It has definitely brought everybody closer together.’

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