Children’s charity donates thousands of pounds worth of assistive tech to Cambridgeshire hospice
Lifelites has donated thousands of pounds worth of specialist assistive technology to disabled children at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Milton, Cambridgeshire.
The new specialist equipment will allow the children to play games with their friends, be creative with art and music, control something for themselves and communicate with their family.
Lifelites’ package of equipment, which includes training and technical support services provided by the charity, would normally cost around £50,000 over its four-year lifespan, but was donated by the charity for free. The charity will replace the technology every four years.
Helen Thrower, EACH Play Specialist, told Cambridge Network: “We’re all very excited to receive this donation. For obvious reasons, it’s not always easy to keep the mind of a young person with a life-threatening condition occupied by all the joys of childhood, but this technology, with its ability to completely immerse, will certainly help.
“We really look forward to seeing how the children we offer care take to using it and thank Lifelites for their support.”
EACH in Milton is one of the first hospices in the country to receive a donation of Virtual Reality (VR) technology from Lifelites. This technology can transport people to fantasy worlds from inside the hospice, including flying in space, going on a safari, sitting under the Northern Lights or climbing Mount Everest.
A similar initiative was introduced at the St Catherine’s Hospice in Lancashire, where VR equipment was trialled as diversional therapy for the patients to help reduce their pain, stress and anxiety, as well as provide a welcome distraction from their illness.
Children at the hospice also received an Eyegaze, a device which allows those with reduced mobility to control a computer using their eyes. By using the Eyegaze, children who struggle to communicate with their family and their carers are able to do so – often for the first time.
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, concluded: “We are delighted to be able to provide this magical technology for the children and young people at EACH Milton. This technology will help them escape the confines of their conditions to do things they never dreamed of, for as long as it is possible.
“We couldn’t have provided this package if it wasn’t for the generosity of our donors, so for this we are incredibly grateful.”