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Freemasons fund “life-changing” tech for disabled children

Freemasons fund “life-changing” tech for disabled children

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Freemasons fund “life-changing” tech for disabled children


Children with disabilities or life-limiting conditions will soon have access to technology helping them play with their siblings, communicate with their parents and create music, thanks to a donation from Jersey Freemasons.

The Provincial Grand Lodge for Jersey has donated £40,000 to Lifelites to fund “life-changing technology” to children using Oakwell and Jersey Hospice Care.

Lifelites donates and maintains assistive and inclusive technology for the 10,000 life-limited and disabled children using every children’s hospice service across the British Isles. 

This technology gives these children the opportunity to play, be creative, communicate and control something for themselves, for as long as it is possible. 

The equipment, ongoing technical support and training at each hospice costs around £50,000 over four years, a sum which is entirely covered by the charity’s fundraising work. 

The charity said the covid-19 pandemic has led many people to experience a living insight into what it is like to be a life-limited and disabled child: “unable to leave the house independently, or speak to people and socialise naturally, or even carry out all sorts of everyday activities that we usually take for granted”.

These are the exact challenges Lifelites is seeking to help children overcome through the provision of our special technologies.

The money donated by Jersey Freemasons will help fund the so-called Lifelites ‘Tech Trunk’ for hospice at home services. The Tech Trunk includes adaptive technologies and games enabling children to play and communicate with their families in a familiar environment. 

It also includes an adaptive camera and an instant printer so that families can capture and hold on to these precious moments. 

tech_trunk_lifelites.jpg

Pictured: One of Lifelites' 'Tech Trunks'.

The donation will also help purchase ‘Beamz’, an assistive technology which gives children the opportunity to create music by moving their hand up and down.

While most children run around, singing all the songs they’ve learnt in childcare and school, many children with disabilities or life-limiting conditions have difficulties speaking at all. Beamz gives them the possibility to be creative and make exciting music in a way they are able to.

The life-changing technologies will be accessible to every child using Jersey Hospice Care.

Hospice staff welcomed the news of the donation, saying it will have a “massive impact”. 

“We can start using this tomorrow,” the team added. “We can use it to improve and optimise work with our children, helping them communicate. All children game and it shouldn’t be a luxury – it should be available to all children regardless of ability.” 

Pictured: Beamz help children create music in an accessible way.

“The fantastic donations we have received from the Jersey Freemasons enables us to give all life-limited and disabled children using Oakwell and Jersey Hospice Care assistive technology so they can play with their brothers and sisters and tell their parents they love them, sometimes for the first time,” Lifelites Chief Executive, Simone Enefer-Doy, said.

“It’s wonderful to see that assistive technologies can have a tremendous impact on the lives of life-limited and disabled children. It truly gives limited lives unlimited possibilities. This is only possible due to the generosity of the Jersey Freemasons and its supporters.”

Pictured: Lifelites' CEO, Simone Enefer-Doy with staff from Oakwell presenting a selection of assistive technologies.

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