THE children’s charity Lifelites has donated brand-new life-changing technology worth tens of thousands of pounds for life-limited and disabled children using the services of the children’s hospice Demelza Hospice Care for Children in Kent.
All of the children cared for by Demelza have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, made all the more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic. The specialist technology, which Lifelites donated this year, can give them the opportunity to do things they and their parents never thought possible. This technology enables these children to play, be creative, control something for themselves, and communicate for as long as possible. Lifelites-donated technology enables children to escape the confines of their conditions, connect with their loved ones and communicate their wishes and fears, which is proving especially vital during this unsettling time.
The technology, along with training and technical support services, which Lifelites donates, 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 the children using Demelza.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Lifelites-donated adaptive iPads have been in high demand. For many of us, this is an everyday object, for life-limited and disabled children, it can change their entire world. 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. Lifelites is delighted to have received enough funding to donate multiple iPads together with drop-proof cases to make them easily accessible. All iPads include bespoke apps that fit to the children’s needs.
As part of the package of assistive technology, Lifelites donated inclusive gaming equipment such as the Xbox with an adaptive controller and switches that enable 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. The Virtual Reality set gives children the opportunity to do things they’ve never thought possible, like walking along a virtual beach or sitting around a virtual campfire.
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, said:
“Lifelites is delighted to be able to donate lots of our magical technology for the children at Demelza in Kent. The wide range of equipment is specially adapted so that it can be used by anyone, regardless of their ability. All of the Lifelites-donated technology is mobile so that hospice staff can reach every child in hospice as well as in children’s own homes. Every moment is precious for these children and their families. This assistive technology gives them the opportunities they deserve to make the most of their time.
“We couldn’t have provided this package if it wasn’t for the generosity of our supporters, so for this, we are incredibly grateful.”
Helen Rolls, Lead Nurse (Kent), said:
“Many of the children who use the services at our hospice in Kent have complex communication needs. Having access to this state of the art technology donated by Lifelites provides an invaluable opportunity, supporting children to communicate, learn and have fun – thank you so much.”
Lifelites has donated their equipment and services at every children’s hospice in the British Isles for the past 20 years and continues to provide new technology and ongoing support to ensure that children in hospices have a chance to escape the confines of their conditions.