Children at our Eltham hospice are enjoying a £50,000 package of new technology and services donated by the national children’s charity Lifelites.
Items donated included iPads and touchscreen computers installed with lots of games and other software specially designed to be accessible for children with disabilities.
The children and young people are able to play games, be creative and communicate with their families - something which may have been impossible for them to do previously.
The hospice also had some of their older pieces of equipment updated.
One of these was the Magic Carpet, donated previously by Lifelites.
This is a portable box which projects moving images on to the floor, a wheelchair 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
Lifelites is also providing ongoing technical support and training for the hospice staff as part of the four-year package, including training on how to use their Eyegaze.
This allows those with limited mobility to control a computer using just by moving 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.
Ann Fagg, Care Services Lead at Demelza South East London, said: “This very generous donation has made a world of difference to the children who use our hospice and its facilities. They are able to experience whole new environments on the Magic Carpet, while the iPads and Eyegaze enable them to communicate in new ways as well as obtain a reaction from the slightest movement by a sound or visual response.”
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites said: “The magical technology we have donated can be used to play, to be creative and communicate, and enrich the lives of these children and their families, for as long as 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.”
Among the local donors was Freemason Paul Flowerday. who raised over £4,000 for the project by taking part in a Santa Run last December. Others who helped to make this project possible are the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Kent, Children with Cancer UK, the Khoo Teck Puat foundation, GamesAid and Microsoft.