Lifelites provides educational and fun technology packages for every baby and children’s hospice in the British Isles. Founded as a Masonic initiative, Lifelites has become a well-established charity in its own right. The Masonic Charitable Foundation helps by providing office premises and administrative services, meaning Lifelites can focus on delivering its life-enhancing technology.
The charity provides specialist technologies for over 9,000 terminally ill and disabled babies, children and young people. These packages enable them to play, be creative, control something for themselves and communicate- often for the first time. Their conditions mean that many of the children have limited mobility, reduced dexterity and some cannot communicate in traditional ways.
Lifelites specialist iPad packages have apps that give children the opportunity to join in with creative activities like music and painting. The Magic Carpet gives them experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have to fly a plane, splash in the sea or play football with their brothers and sisters. Eyegaze, an eye tracking device, means they can tell their carers what they would like to eat or drink and can even, for the first time, tell their parents they love them. It means that these children can stay involved with the world around them for as long as it is possible. The charity ensures that the equipment they provide is portable so that even if a child cannot get out of bed, the equipment can be taken to them or even into their own homes.
Lifelites does not just provide the equipment and walk away. The team consult with the staff and children to find out what would be most useful for them. They research the best solutions and make hospice staff aware of what is possible. The charity raises the funds to provide it, they install it and they train the hospice staff on how to use it. Importantly, they are committed to keeping it in good order and they aim to replace it every four years.
The hospices themselves simply could not afford to do what Lifelites does. Without Lifelites these children, for whom every second counts, would miss out on the chances which new technology can bring. Because they look after the equipment, hospice staff can concentrate on doing what they do best; caring for the children and their families.
For more information, visit www.lifelites.org