Children receiving care at ellenor hospice in Gravesend have received a donation of life-changing technology worth thousands of pounds from children’s charity Lifelites.
Many of the children using the services at ellenor have complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions but the specialist technology which Lifelites has donated can give them the opportunity to do things they never dreamed of. It enables them to play, be creative, control something for themselves and communicate, for as long as is it possible.
The technology, along with training and technical support services which the charity provides for free, costs around £50,000 over four years. Specialist communications technology is required to help seriously ill children and with the pace of technology accelerating so quickly, Lifelites has committed to update ellenor’s technology again in four years. Lifelites is currently celebrating its 20th year and the donation to ellenor will mark the charity’s 200th donation of technology. They hosted a party at the hospice, celebrating the charity’s milestone and their latest donation with supporters, staff and families.
One of the pieces of equipment the charity donated was a Mobile Magic Carpet. This is a portable unit which projects an image on to the floor, a wheelchair tray or a bed, which children can interact with. This technology gives them the chance to escape the confines of their condition and play one of the many games or animations, such as playing football or splashing in the sea.
The hospice also received a special portable bundle of technology for its Children’sRespite 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.
Other items donated include iPads, Virtual Reality, cameras, toys and touchscreen computers along with lots of games and other software specially designed to be enjoyed by children with disabilities.
“We are hugely grateful to Lifelites for choosing ellenor to benefit from this life changing technology. Play is hugely important to all children, but for those with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions, play has to be explored in a different way, and with the equipment Lifelites provide, this can be done.
From enabling them to have greater independence, assisting with mobility to making it easier to communicate with others, having the right assistive technology can have a positive impact on their lives. Noah aged 3 years has been under ellenor’s care for over 2years, he has a condition called H-ABC syndrome, which affects certain parts of the brain. The equipment provided will help Noah to promote his development and enjoyment at both fun club at the hospice and during his respite sessions within the home” says Hannah Ives, Assistant Practitioner, ellenor Childrens Respite Team.
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites said: “This is a very poignant donation for Lifelites and we’re delighted to be celebrating the occasion with ellenor, who we have been supporting since 2002. We’re very excited to be donating a brand new package of equipment to them, which contains a huge range of technology which is specially adapted so that it can be used by anyone, regardless of their disability. 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 whatever time they have left.
“We couldn’t have provided this package, or any of our previous packages, if it wasn’t for the generosity of our supporters, so for this we are incredibly grateful.”
Lifelites has donated equipment to every children’s hospice in the British Isles over the last 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.
Lifelites were only able to donate this package of technology due to the generosity of supporters. They were the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Kent, the Childwick Trust, Freemasons of West Kent, the Mark Benevolent Fund, GamesAid and Microsoft.