THANKS to the generosity of the Freemasons of Isle of Man, the 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 children using Rebecca House children’s hospice services.
The specialist technology can give the children supported by Rebecca House children’s hospice 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 and inclusive 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 Covid-19 pandemic.
The package of inclusive and assistive technology which Lifelites has donated, including hospice staff training and technical support, will cost around £50,000.
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 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.
The Tilt Table is another piece of equipment Lifelites has donated and one of the latest additions to the Lifelites technology package. Thanks to a large touch screen that can be moved up and down and, as the name implies, tilted, every child, no matter their needs, can paint, play, and control something for themselves.
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 Rebecca House 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 portable 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, so for this, we are incredibly grateful.”
Vicky Wilson, Head of Children and Young People Services at Rebecca House children’s hospice, said:
“From all of us here at Rebecca House, we want to say a huge thank you to Lifelites for donating this amazing technology and to the Freemasons of Isle of Man for making this possible.
“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. We are so excited to start using the new pieces of technology that we have received from Lifelites. And are grateful for the maintenance and technical support that Lifelites donate.”
Lifelites has been donating their equipment and services for children using every children’s hospice in the British Isles for the past 21 years and is the only charity that does this. Lifelites continues to provide new technology, maintenance and training to hospice staff on how to use it, to ensure that as many of these children as possible have the chance to enjoy the benefits of this technology during their short lives.
Lifelites has only been able to donate this package of technology for the children of Rebecca House thanks to the ongoing generous donations from the Isle of Man Freemasons.
Martin Blackburn, Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Isle of Man, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Lifelites once again to bring this much-needed assistive and inclusive technology to life-limited and disabled children of the Isle of Man.
“We know that this will give these children and their families wonderful new experiences that they may never have thought possible.”