RemPods was first established in 2009 by Richard Ernest. Richard relocated from South East London to Gloucestershire in 2008 and was inspired to set up the innovative healthcare product when he formed a close relationship with an elderly neighbour.

Richard drove 98-year-old Sydney to and from a care home to see his terminally ill wife. When she sadly passed away, the pair became close friends, going to the cinema together and to the local pub.

Sydney then moved into a care home himself and Richard continued to visit him. It was here that the idea of ‘reminiscence pods’ came to him.

Richard quickly realised the importance of familiarity for dementia sufferers and appreciated the fact that care homes needed to have more stimulating surroundings for those living with the degenerative illness. With this in mind, he decided to create a cost-effective "pop-up" reminiscence room that would enable a care home to transform their clinical space into a therapeutic and calming environment. The RemPod was born!

“I’d never been in a care home before, I’d never witnessed dementia, never heard of it before, and everything just stemmed from that.”

“I used to wait in reception and have a cup of tea and had people come up to me thinking I was their son or husband.”

“They were back in the Fifties and Sixties, in a different world and I got into dementia research from there.”
— Richard Ernest

In 2013, Richard had ideas to expand RemPods, but struggled to get support from the bank, leading him to brave a grilling on the BBC TV programme, Dragons’ Den.  Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones joined together and offered investment to expand the business.

“The process of going on the Dragons’ Den was somewhat overwhelming. It’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever done,”

”I was thrilled to leave the den with a £100,000 investment and the backing of Peter and Deborah. They’re the two dragons that I really wanted to work with and they will definitely bring a wealth of knowledge and experience.”

Watch Richard in the Dragons Den

 

Thanks to this cash injection, RemPods has now expanded its product range to include interactive Wall Features as well as full decoration services within care homes, the NHS and private hospitals.