Lifelites spreads their magic for the fourth time delivering a brand spanking new package of specialist technology for the children at Richard House Children’s Hospice in East London.
Lifelites is the only charity to provide assistive and inclusive technology packages for terminally ill and disabled children in every baby and children’s hospice across the British Isles. At the training days at Richard House in September 2015, members of the care team were all amazed by the cutting edge equipment that will empower young people at the hospice, who have life-limiting, life-threatening and complex healthcare needs, to communicate effectively and embrace their creativity.
The technology is specially designed for disabled children and the package includes a number of magical items such as: the revolutionary Eyegaze technology, portable touch screen computers, a large projector and screen, a child proof camera and professional camcorder to help the children create films and animations at their film club and ten specialist adapted iPad packages with grip cases and a number of apps.
The specialist iPad packages are portable which means the hospice’s care teams are able to take the magical technology outside of the hospice for more variety in their sessions. The iPads come with unique grip cases that make them easy for children with disabilities to hold as well as being durable and protected from drops or accidents. In addition, the packages give children access to lots of games, stories, and fun. Furthermore, they also have specialist communication programs such as “Proloquo2go” that enables children that are unable to speak to communicate with their family and carers – often for the first time ever – and sensory programs such as Bloom that give children with profound and multiple learning difficulties the opportunity to express themselves creatively.
For children without fine-motor skills, the touch-screen design of the iPad is easier to use than a desktop computer with a mouse or a laptop with a touchpad. The screen size and wonderful HD colours make the gadget user-friendly for children with visual problems. The machines offer a sense of independence that many children, especially those with disabilities, may never have experienced before. The touch screens offer instant gratification for users with limited attention spans or those who cannot understand the connection between a mouse and computer screen.
Peter Ellis, Chief Executive of Richard House Children’s Hospice said: “We are so grateful for this latest donation to Richard House by Lifelites. It will provide children and young adults at the hospice who may otherwise be restricted by their medical conditions a chance to communicate and express themselves in a new way. We are deeply thankful for the longstanding support of Lifelites.”
Simone Enefer-Doy chief executive of Lifelites, said: “We’ve been providing our special packages for children in hospices for over 15 years. It’s amazing how much technology has advanced and we’re always hearing about the impact the Lifelites donation has made on the children who are using it. The magical Lifelites package will be used for play, but it will also help develop communication skills. What’s really important is that we’re giving the children a chance to smile and there’s nothing more powerful than that.”
There is a Lifelites project in all 50 baby and children’s hospices across the British Isles. The hospices do not pay anything towards their Lifelites project and all of Lifelites’ work is funded by donations: the equipment, ongoing technical support and training at each hospice costs Lifelites around £50,000 over four years. Support for the package at Richard House came from Grange Farm Centre Trust, Mason Le Page Charitable Trust and Lord and Lady Lurgon Trust.