Children receiving care at Little Havens Children’s Hospice in Essex have been gifted specialist technology worth thousands of pounds by children’s charity Lifelites.
Many of the children cared for by Little Havens have complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions, but the equipment Lifelites has donated is enabling them to communicate with others, play and be creative.
One of these pieces of equipment is a Mobile Magic Carpet, a portable unit that projects an image on to the floor, a wheelchair tray or a bed, which children can interact with. This technology gives them the chance to escape the confines of their condition and play with animations like splashing in the sea or games including football.
The children also received an Eyegaze, which allows children with limited mobility to control a computer using just their eyes, enabling those struggling to communicate with their family and their carers to do so – often for the first time.
Other items donated include iPads, touchscreen computers with lots of games, and other software specially designed to be enjoyed by children with disabilities. Lifelites also gave the charity vouchers for further training and technical support.
Head of Children’s Services at Havens Hospices, Katie White said: “We are overwhelmed by this incredibly generous donation. At Little Havens, we want to empower our children as much as possible and help them reach their potential, and this technology allows us to encourage this by stimulating their senses and allowing them to get involved, no matter how complex their condition.”
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, commented: “We’re delighted to be able to donate some of our magical technology to the children and young people at Little Havens. The huge range of equipment is specially adapted so that it can be used by anyone, regardless of their disability. Every moment is precious for these children and their families, and this technology will give them the opportunities they deserve to make the most of whatever time they have left.
“We couldn’t have provided this package if it wasn’t for the generosity of our supporters, so for this we are incredibly grateful.”
Lifelites were able to make this donation thanks to the generosity of the ROSCA Trust, GamesAid, Microsoft, and the Essex Freemasons’ Mark Benevolent Fund. John Finlay, their Assistant Provincial Grand Master, said: “This equipment is absolutely marvellous. The opportunity it gives children to interact in the world around them is a wonderful thing to see.”
The charity has donated equipment to every children’s hospice in the UK over the last 20 years. The technology, along with the training and technical support the charity provides for free, costs around £50,000 over four years. After this time Lifelites returns to replace the equipment with the latest up-to-date technology.
For more information visit Havens Hospices and read this article on how Lifelites is helping a woman with MND