Technology can be transformative for children with life-limiting conditions. It can enable them to communicate, play, be creative and in control. It also enables their families to make and capture memories.
Lifelites has been donating technology to children’s hospices around the UK since 1999. As a way to reach even more children with life-limiting conditions, it launched Tech Trunks – suitcases filled with cutting-edge technology that could be used by hospice staff on home visits.
The exact composition of the suitcases depends on the individual needs of each hospice. But they contain things like specialist iPads with communicative and sensory apps, large Bluetooth-enabled buttons that can be paired with other devices in the home, virtual reality headsets and digital cameras.
To ensure that children can get the most out of the technology, Lifelites also provides training to hospice staff and ongoing support.
By 2019 nearly half the children’s hospices in the British Isles were providing some form of hospice-at-home care, and Lifelites expects this number to grow.
In the first year of the programme, 17 Tech Trunks were delivered to hospice services, and the charity expects that within three years it will have offered every hospice-at-home service a Tech Trunk package.
Charity Awards judge Monica Brown confessed to feeling “an emotional pull” at the Lifelites project. “I just loved how these suitcases could provide children and young people in really challenging circumstances with the ability to play, and control that play themselves, and to create memories and so forth.”
Judge Martin Edwards said it was “innovative technology that undoubtedly broadens the horizons of the children that use it”.
CC Reg no. 1165791