Lifelites spreading their magic for children at the Isle of Wight

National children’s charity provides magical technology for children as part of local hospice partnership

On the 24th May, Lifelites delivered a brand new package of specialist technology for the children and young people who are cared for by the Isle of Wight’s unique end of life care partnership between the Earl Mountbatten Hospice and KissyPuppy charity. The portability of the equipment means that staff are able to use it to bring Lifelites magical technology to the children in their own homes.

Lifelites, recognised for their good work with technology as a 2015 Nominet Trust 100 winner, is the only charity to donate and maintain assistive and inclusive technology packages for life limited and disabled children in every baby and children’s hospice across the British Isles. At the Lifelites training day, the care team were amazed by the cutting edge equipment that will enable the young people to play, to be creative, control something for themselves and communicate – for as long as it is possible. The technology is selected for children with disabilities and the package includes a number of magical items such as: specialist iPad packages, Beamz music system, Eyegaze and the brand new Mobile Magic Carpet.

The Earl Mountbatten Hospice Partnership is a unique service bringing together three Isle of Wight organisations; the NHS, the KissyPuppy Sophie Rolf Charity and the hospice itself. This partnership is the first to receive the new version of the Mobile Magic Carpet from Lifelites for their children. The Magic Carpet helps the children escape the confines of their illness by projecting interactive games and images onto the floor that users with little or no mobility can play with simply by moving on or over the picture. It brings the outside world in giving them the chance to splash in the sea, fly a plane or play football with their brothers and sisters, irrespective of their disabilities. The new system is more flexible than ever, offering the facility to change the size of the image so it works with users at different levels, whether using it on the floor, on a table, bed or chair. The best thing about this magical piece of equipment is that it is very compact and light so can be easily moved and transported which means the hospice community team can take the Magic Carpet to the children to use in their own homes.

CEO Nigel Hartley at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice said: “We are so fortunate to have the support of Lifelites. This unique partnership between KissyPuppy, the NHS Children’s Paediatric Team and ourselves has had both local and national recognition. Fuelled by the inspiration of the KissyPuppy charity and supported with the expertise of the Children’s Paediatric Team, dying children and their families are able to be supported within an adult hospice environment. The equipment received from Lifelites will offer a new and important dimension to the care and support we collectively offer.”

Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, said: “We’ve been providing our special packages for children in hospices for over 16 years. It’s amazing how much technology has advanced and we’re always hearing about the impact the Lifelites donation has made on the children who are use it. It’s terrific; now that technology has become so portable, care staff are reaching out with Lifelites technologies to the children who need it most in their own homes.”

There is a Lifelites project in all baby and children’s hospices across the British Isles. The hospices do not pay a penny towards their Lifelites project and all of Lifelites’ work is funded by donations: the equipment, ongoing technical support and training at this hospice@home project will cost Lifelites £20,000 over four years. Lifelites has been able to realise their dream of providing for the children on the island thanks to the incredible generosity of the Freemasons of The Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight who have funded this project.

Mike Wilks, Provincial Grand Master for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons, said: “Freemasons across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are proud to support Lifelites in providing technology for terminally ill children on the Island enabling them to join in with the world around them irrespective of their disabilities.  With Lifelites help and technology, these children can express themselves and take enjoyment in technology like the majority of healthy children and young people do.  A wonderful charity making such a profound difference to these children and their families.”