We've been busy planning our annual Lifelites children's hospice staff conference, which will take place on the 4th of March in Birmingham. The conference is an opportunity to knock heads with like minded staff from the children's hospice sector, share best practice and learn about the latest assistive technologies. The conference is completely free and promises to be a day of learning and inspiration.
Magical installations & celebrations
We kicked off the new year with plenty of visits to children's hospices across the British Isles to install packages of assistive technology and train staff on how to get the most out of the magical equipment. While there, we've taken the opportunity to celebrate our achievements together, from the magical hospice staff who have learnt the skills necessary to use the equipment, to the incredible supporters that have made this possible.
We visited Julia's House in Wiltshire and Dorset, where we spent two days training the wonderful staff who work there. We had a great time walking through pieces of equipment such as the adapted iPads that are loaded with fun apps designed for children of all ages, with disabilities of all kinds. We ended our visit with a well deserved celebration!
We visited Noah's Ark Children's Hospice in Barnet, who deliver support to children and their families across North & Central London and Hertsmere. Our awe inspiring patron and Eyegaze artist, Sarah Ezekiel, delivered an incredible speech during the celebrations. We'd like to say a big thank you to our supporters, the contributions from GamesAid, Microsoft and the Metropolitan Grand Lodge has enabled disabled and life-limited children to play and experience the world in a new and magical way. We'd also like to thank Sarah who is very much a beacon of hope!
We also visited EACH hospice in Ipswich. During the evenings celebrations, members of the Suffolk Masons demonstrated that you're never too old to enjoy the Magic Carpet! The Magic Carpet is a completely mobile piece of kit that allows staff to project interactive games on almost any surface, meaning that if need be, children can still play from their beds. A big thank you to the Colchester Lodge and the Suffolk Masons for their support.
We also visited Christopher's Shooting Star Children's Hospice in Guildford, where we had a wonderful time presenting their new package of magical technology. Children and staff alike had great fun gaming with the assistive consoles. Thanks again to GamesAid and Microsoft for your support.
We visited the University of Greenwich to demonstrate our magical technologies to engineering students. The students were a great crowd and were eager to come up with creative solutions to the challenges that come with designing accessible games for disabled children and young people. As part of their university project, they will be developing accessible games and we are so excited to see what they come up with. A big thank you to the University of Greenwich and their students, we had a great day!
We also received a generous grant from the Postcode Community Trust and the People Postcode Lottery for Eyegaze! The Postcode Community Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by payers of People's Postcode Lottery. We're very thankful and excited that over 2,000 life-limited and disabled children will benefit from this magical grant to be able to talk and play with their parents, brothers and sisters. Thank you to the Postcode Community Trust for giving children with limited lives, unlimited possibilities!