Innovation, Networks, Participation, Technology

How using your “NetworkAbility” can lead to surprising results…

I wanted to share this in part because it demonstrates the power of connecting people together and the value of ideas that come from “lived experience”. This project came about because my friend Anne O’Leary – a management consultant working within the NHS, shared an idea with me:

My lived experience of being “shielded” from doing the things I enjoyed following a cycling accident meant that I could reflect on what helped me calm down and not panic about my future. Listening to live choral /classical music with other people in a calm environment let me feel connected, calm my mind, live in the moment and get “lost in song” for 20 – 30 minutes.

When lockdown happened, it occurred to me, now that people could not get out at all to connect with others.  I wondered if virtual reality could help to create that feeling.  So that’s when I found the Innovate UK funding opportunity and contacted you.

The choral music she mentions included going to see Ex Cathedra and so I introduced her to Peter, their General Manager.  I’m also aware, from hosting Hello Culture, that AI and VR is rife with ethical issues.  Given that this project was working with potentially vulnerable people with clinical type evaluation I could not think of anyone better to work with in this sphere than Catherine Allen at Limina Immersive.  So I pinged off an intro email.

“When I spoke to Catherine following your recommendation she said she had created Lost in Song over four years ago but didn’t know how best to share it with the world. The partnership with NHS seemed a great solution to her as it was a way to make it accessible to people who wouldn’t ordinarily access the world of VR.”

Next thing I know – the trio have formed and written a bid.  Out of 8600 applications, Lost in Song secured £50k from Innovate UK to develop and test the concept in partnership with Ex Cathedra and NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit. Nothing to do with me – it was all the hard work of the Anne, Catherine and Peter.  But it reminded me that, even though we may not be physically proximate, it’s more important than ever to share contacts, champion good ideas and, as NetworkAbility (our book about business relationship building) bangs on “Give Value to Get Value.”


Limina Immersive are asking members of the public to come forward and experience Lost in Song and be part of their study that will evaluate the ability to experience a boost in mood and improve general well-being. Study participants will be asked to use the web application on four separate occasions, testing four different songs over the month of October 2020. The four songs that will be part of the initial release are Stand By Me (Ben E. King), Jerusalem, Skye Boat Song and Earthrise. Participants will be asked to complete a mood checker before and after they experience Lost in Song as well as a short follow up survey.

Cathrine Allen, CEO at Limina Immersive said: “We’re really excited about this opportunity, that has been made possible with the support of Innovate UK, and feel that we’ve created something that’s easy to use and makes a big impact on people’s moods. We’d like as many people to experience this as possible to help us develop further and make a difference on a much bigger scale.”

This is a remote study which will require a device, such as a smartphone, tablet or computer, that can access the internet to participate. 

Participant requirements: 

  • UK resident
  • A smartphone/laptop/computer/tablet
  • Commitment to experiencing 4 songs though the Lost in Song web app and completing the mood checker before and after 
  • Completion of survey questions  

Data will be collected by NHS Arden & Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit and owned by Limina Immersive until September 2021, at which point all participant data will be deleted. 

To participate in the study, please go to to complete the sign-up survey. Deadline for registration is 2nd October 2020.

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