Children’s charity Lifelites has donated thousands of pounds worth of equipment to a hospice in Sussex, helping support children with life-shortening conditions.
The specialist technology, donated to Chestnut Tree House earlier this month, enables children to play, be creative, control something for themselves and communicate, as far as possible.
All of the children cared for at Chestnut Tree House have life-shortening conditions, made all the more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lifelites said the technology allows children to escape the confines of their conditions and connect with their loved ones.
The technology, along with training and technical support services, which Lifelites provides for free, costs around £50,000 over four years. After four years, Lifelites aims to return to replace the equipment with the latest, up-to-date technology that is bespoke and most suitable for the children at Chestnut Tree House.
One of the pieces of equipment donated by Lifelites was the POD, a mobile and sensory pop-up tent. It comes in a rucksack so hospice staff can bring it to children’s own homes for Hospice at Home visits.
The charity also donated inclusive gaming equipment, such as the Xbox with an adaptive controller and switches that enable children to play and control something for themselves. It also gives the children’s parents and siblings the chance to join in and play together as a family.
Simone Enefer-Doy, chief executive of Lifelites said: “We’re delighted to be able to donate a brand-new package of assistive technology for the children at Chestnut Tree House. The huge range of bespoke equipment that Lifelites has donated is specially adapted so that it can be used by any child, regardless of their ability. Every second counts for these children and their families. This magical technology will give them the opportunities to make the most of every minute.
“We couldn’t have provided this package if it wasn’t for the generosity of our supporters, so for this we are incredibly grateful.”
Cathy Stone, CEO at Chestnut Tree House, added: “On behalf of everyone at Chestnut Tree House, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Lifelites for their generous donation. We feel extremely lucky to have had the support of Lifelites for many years now. The entertainment, educational and assistive technology packages that they donate to Chestnut Tree House make such a big difference to children with life-shortening conditions and their families.”
“Often, the short-break care that we offer at the House is the only time that parents can be parents, instead of carers. It currently costs over £4.6 million each year to provide all the care services offered by Chestnut Tree House. Families are never charged for their care and only a small percentage is funded by the government. So, donations like this make a big difference to hospice care. Thank you.”