Bespoke assistive tech donation helps disabled young people connect with loved ones
Children’s charity Lifelites has donated brand-new assistive technology worth thousands of pounds for disabled young people with complex or incurable conditions using the services of The J’s, in Essex, which is part of Havens Hospices.
All of the young people cared for by The J’s have life-threatening or life-limiting conditions, made all the more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The specialist technology, which Lifelites donated in January this year, can give these young people the opportunity to do things they and their parents never thought possible. The accessible technology enables the young people to play, to be creative, to control something for themselves and communicate, for as long as possible.
Lifelites-donated equipment enables children using The J’s to escape the confines of their conditions, connect with their loved ones and communicate their wishes and fears.
The assistive technology, along with training and technical support services which Lifelites provides for free, costs around £50,000 over four years. After four years, Lifelites aims to return to replace the equipment with the latest, up-to-date technology that is bespoke and most suitable for those using The J’s.
Head of Children’s Services at Havens Hospices Katie White said: “We are overwhelmed by this incredibly generous donation. Through The J’s, we empower our young people, create a level of independence and help them reach their potential.
“This technology allows us to encourage this by stimulating their senses, enhancing their communication skills and allowing them to get involved, no matter how complex their condition.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Lifelites-donated adaptive iPads have been highly in demand. For disabled children with complex or incurable conditions, this equipment can be transformative. Often for the first time in their lives, they can control something themselves, engage with the world around them and express their feelings and thoughts.
The charity says it is delighted to have received enough funding to donate multiple iPads together with cases that are easily accessible, drop- and waterproof. All iPads include bespoke apps that fit to the children’s needs.
Along with other assistive technology, Lifelites also donated a waterproof and drop-proof camera together with an SD card and an accessory package. The portable equipment allows hospice staff to take photos of the children wherever they are or have the children take photos themselves which they can then proudly present to their parents.
The memories created last beyond the lifetime of the child and are so valuable for their families.
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, commented: “We’re delighted to be able to donate lots of our magical technology for the children at The J’s. The huge range of equipment is specially adapted so that it can be used by anyone, regardless of their ability. 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 their time together.
“We couldn’t have provided this package if it wasn’t for the generosity of our supporters, so for this we are incredibly grateful.”