Charity donates transformative assistive tech to life-limited children at hospice
The children’s charity Lifelites has donated “life-changing” assistive technology worth thousands of pounds for life-limited and disabled children using Claire House children’s hospice services. The hospice supports children and their families across Merseyside.
All of the children cared for at Claire House have life-threatening or life-limiting conditions. The specialist technology that Lifelites has donated can give them the opportunity to do things they never thought possible. The equipment enables them to play, be creative, control something for themselves and communicate, for as long as possible.
Along with training and technical support services that Lifelites provides for free, the assistive equipment costs around £50,000 over four years. After four years, Lifelites aims to replace the equipment with the latest, up-to-date technology that is most suitable for the children at Claire House.
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, commented: “We’re delighted to be able to donate lots of our magical technology for the children and young people at Claire House. 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.”
One of the pieces of equipment donated was the POD, a mobile and sensory pop-up tent that offers room for every child, no matter their needs. It comes in a rucksack so that hospice staff can easily bring it to children’s own homes as well. The sensory tent enables life-limited and disabled children to escape their often-stressful lives and into their own world. They are surrounded by sea animals swimming all around them and can listen to built-in calming music at the same time.
Claire House also received a special portable bundle of technology for its Hospice at Home team, which provides care for children out in the community. This special bundle, known as the Tech Trunk, can travel wherever the children are, whether that’s in their own home or in hospital. It includes accessible gaming equipment such as the PlayStation and Xbox with accessible controllers so every child can play with their friends, brothers, and sisters.
The virtual reality set gives children a chance to go on adventures they never thought possible, such as walking on the beach, walking in snow or sitting around a campfire.
Janet Sutherland Oakes, Director of Clinical Services at Claire House Children’s Hospice, said: “We are very grateful to Lifelites for providing this very kind donation. It will help us make bucket list dreams come true and create special memories.
“The specially designed equipment allows many of the children and young adults who come to Claire House to play and interact with technology in a way that is not otherwise possible. They will really enjoy playing games and having sensory fun, using the likes of VR headsets and projectors.”