Page 11 - I7.indd
P. 11

The award-winning national children’s hospice charity, Lifelites, stepped out of the future and into Winchester recently as they unveiled a totally futuristic trend-setting eye-tracking technology project at Naomi House and Jacksplace in front of an invited audience, including the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Graham Williams and his wife Ann.
Lifelites provides fun and educational technology to the 9,000 children who stay, play and learn in all 49 of the baby and children’s hospices throughout the British Isles. This wouldn’t be possible without donations as each technology package costs around £35,750 to install and maintain over four years. In 2012 the charity won a Digital Leaders Award in recognition of their innovative use of assistive technology to empower children with terminal illnesses and profound disabilities. Also, the charity’s work with Naomi House led to awards for Claire Floyd, whose special work with the technology charity was recognised in a visit to the House of Lords when she was named as a regional Digital Hero.
Their specialised equipment has been put together with disabled children in mind. For example, the project at Naomi House and Jacksplace contains state-of-the-art touchscreen computers as well as the latest gaming consoles and specially adapted iPads. In addition, their use of incredible Eye Gaze technology comes into its own by tracking the movement of the user’s eye. This means that all children, whatever their life-limiting disability or illness might be, will be able to access the power of technology and sometimes be able to communicate effectively with their parents or helpers for the very first time.
Mark Smith, Deputy Chief Executive at Naomi House commented, “We are delighted to have received a brand new suite of computer equipment courtesy of the Lifelites charity. This high specification equipment has been designed with accessibility in mind and can be enjoyed by many of the children who stay at Naomi House, regardless of their medical condition. We would like to extend our gratitude to the team at Lifelites and their supporters across the country for this generous gift.” Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, added, “This is a ground-breaking Lifelites project and contains some of our most revolutionary technology to date, but it’s more than just futuristic gadgets. This equipment will mean children at Naomi House and Jacksplace now have more opportunities to communicate, create and take control. That is why we’re determined to continue putting revolutionary technology such as Eye Gaze in every hospice in the British Isles.”
The charity says that Lifelites equipment and support will cost around £35,700 over the next four years, but Naomi House and Jacksplace won’t have to pay a penny towards it. Instead, Lifelites has been supported by Thomas Cook Children’s Charity and others, including a previous grant from the freemasons Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight. Joanna Wild, Chairperson for Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, said, “We’re very proud to have supported the work of Lifelites over the past three years through funding for high tech computers and flight simulator software. This has given children, who might not otherwise get to travel on a plane, a wonderful opportunity to explore the world from within a children’s hospice.”
For more information visit or follow Lifelites on Twitter - @LifelitesOrg RACHEL MADOCKS SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOL
Rachel Madocks is a special needs school in Cowplain near Waterlooville for children aged 2 to 19 with severe and profound multiple learning difficulties, and complex medical needs. They pride themselves on the quality of education they provide for our pupils, and the opportunities they create to encourage and develop their communication and independence skills. They strive to provide exciting learning opportunities relevant to every child’s individual needs in a happy and caring environment where everyone is respected and valued.
Spurred on by Keith Lewis, whose severely handicapped 13 year old
grand-daughter Chloe has been a pupil at the school for almost 8
years and with the assistance of the Tom Langton Fund, Via Lucas
Lodge in Christchurch have donated a total of £2,850 to help fund
equipment for two new teaching areas that have been created at the school. Keith said: “Chloe cannot walk or talk but receives all the stimulation needed at the school and has progressed far further than either my wife or myself ever expected thanks to the dedication of the staff and the facilities they have. The school are absolutely delighted to be receiving the monies and if you look at the school on the internet you will be touched by what you read, but a visit to the school is even more heart-wrenching.”
Keith Lewis
Useful Twitter Accounts to follow :
@HantsMason @UGLE_GrandLodge @TheGrandCharity @MS_Fund @TheRMBI @Freemasonry2Day 11 Insight • Issue 7

   9   10   11   12   13