Earlier in the month we welcomed children’s hospice staff from across the British Isles to our Lifelites Hospice Staff conference. It was a fantastic day packed full of networking and best practice sharing and we’ve had some incredible feedback. Here’s Simone, our Chief Executive’s, account of the day…
“When Lifelites held its first conference in 2008, it was attended by just six children’s hospice staff and was organised by two Lifelites staff. Last week we hosted the biggest conference to date with 56 delegates, 10 staff, one trustee and four special guest speakers. I believe it is testament to our development that – despite challenges in funding across the third sector - the children’s hospices were prepared to pay their staff to travel and attend the Lifelites conference for the day. Many delegates had been to our conferences before, and the schedule of events certainly didn’t disappoint this year.
“During the day, delegates were treated to an engaging programme of activities, including a session about our application process for those who we hope to provide a new package for in the coming year, as well as an introduction to an exciting new concept we are planning for hospice staff working in the community (watch this space!) Following some guidance from our training manager into making film memories using our iPads, delegates also had great fun practising their own productions with the theme of ‘How our Lifelites technologies make a difference’.
“They were then treated to a presentation about accessible gaming from the Microsoft Accessibility team and had fun having a go for themselves so they could see how easy it was for their young people to be involved. Most excitingly, thanks to Microsoft, the hospices represented at the conference went away with a donation of one of the new Xbox Adaptive controllers.
“Our patron Sarah Ezekiel arrived in time to have a go at the accessible gaming herself using a switch placed underneath her chin. She also gave an impassioned speech about her experience with disability and how she has developed her strategies to live life to the full, irrespective of the restrictions her condition has placed on her.
“It felt like a terrific day for everyone there – hospice staff, Lifelites representatives and our guest speakers. One delegate said: “I can’t imagine doing my job without Lifelites!” That’s all the encouragement we need to reinforce our conviction that what we do makes a terrific contribution to enhance the lives of children and young people using children’s hospice services. The whole event has given us a boost to continue to develop our specialist projects and our ambitions bring our special life enhancing technologies to reach as many of them as possible.
“Bring it on!”
You can see a video of the day here...