Charity donates bespoke assistive tech to hospice to give children a better quality of life
Children’s charity Lifelites has donated a brand-new bespoke package of life-changing technology worth tens of thousands of pounds to support life-limited and disabled young people using Naomi House & Jacksplace children’s hospice services.
As part of the package of assistive technology, Lifelites has donated inclusive gaming equipment, such as the Xbox with an adaptive controller and switches that enables children to play and control something for themselves. It also gives the children’s parents, brothers and sisters the chance to join in and play together as a family.
Additionally, the virtual reality set gives children the opportunity to do things they’ve never thought possible, such as walking along a beach, swimming with turtles, climbing Everest or sitting around a campfire.
Another one of the pieces of equipment donated was the POD, a mobile and sensory pop-up tent that offers room for every child whatever their abilities. It comes in a rucksack so that hospice staff can easily take it with them 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 moving images and colours all around them and can listen to built-in calming music at the same time.
Mark Smith, Chief Executive of Naomi House & Jacksplace, commented: “From all of us here at Naomi House and Jacksplace, we want to say a huge thank you to Lifelites for donating this amazing technology.
“Having access to the kind of equipment Lifelites donates is a huge benefit to the children we care for, but also for our staff, as it gives them a chance to develop a better understanding of how they can support these children. Our children get so much joy from being able to play and be creative just like their brothers and sisters, in spite of their often complex and debilitating conditions. We are so excited to start using the new pieces of technology that we have received from Lifelites.”
The specialist technology gives the children supported there the opportunity to do things they and their parents never thought possible: to play, be creative, control something for themselves and communicate for as long as possible.
Thanks to this assistive technology, these children will have the chance to escape the confines of their conditions, communicate their wishes and fears, and connect with their loved ones, something that has proven especially difficult due to the restrictions of the pandemic.
The donation will cost Lifelites around £50,000 over its four-year life cycle and includes all the special technology and training for hospice staff on how to get the most out of it with the children that they work with. Technical support will also be provided to keep the equipment in good working order for the hospice users.
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, said: “Following a difficult year, Lifelites is delighted to be able to donate a package of magical technology for the children and young people using the services of Naomi House & Jacksplace children’s hospice.
“The Lifelites-donated equipment is often specially adapted and accessible for use by anyone, irrespective of any physical restrictions they may have. We know that every second counts for these children and their families, so all the Lifelites-donated technology is mobile which means it can reach every child, wherever they are in the hospice – even if they can’t get out of bed – as well as in the children’s own homes.
“We couldn’t have provided this package if it wasn’t for the generosity of our supporters, including the freemasons of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, so for this we are incredibly grateful.”