Shooting Star Children’s Hospices have received a donation of superb specialist sensory technology from children’s charity Lifelites, for supported children to enjoy.

For many of the children who are supported at our hospices, being given different sensory ways to communicate, play and be creative are very important – helping them to interact with the world around them. The specialist technology from Lifelites, worth thousands of pounds, give children the opportunity to have fun, play, relax and be stimulated.

The technology, along with training and technical support services which Lifelites provides for free, costs around £50,000 over four years. After this time, Lifelites aim to return to replace the equipment with the latest, up-to-date technology.

One of the pieces of equipment donated is an Eyegaze. This is a piece of equipment which allows those with limited mobility to control a computer using just their eyes. By using the Eyegaze, children who struggle to communicate with their family and their carers are able to do so – often for the first time.

We are also receiving a special portable bundle of technology for our Hospice at Home team, who provides care for families out in the community. This special bundle, known as the Tech Trunk, can travel wherever the children are, whether that’s in their own home or in hospital.

Other items donated include iPads, touchscreen computers along with lots of games and other software specially designed to be enjoyed by children with disabilities.

Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites said, “We’re delighted to be able to donate lots of our magical technology for the children and young people at Christopher’s. The huge range of equipment is specially adapted so that it can be used by anyone, regardless of their ability. Every moment is precious for these children and their families, and this technology will give them the opportunities they deserve to make the most of their time together.

“We couldn’t have provided this package if it wasn’t for the generosity of our supporters, so for this we are incredibly grateful.”

Anne Bridgman, Head of Care at Christopher’s, said, “We are so grateful to Lifelites for generously providing such amazing equipment to our hospice. The equipment will be particularly beneficial for many of our children who are less cognitively able, where sensory stimulation is so important. The magic carpet always engages these children so well and never fails to make them smile or laugh. The virtual reality equipment will is also fantastic as it provides hours of distraction to children, and their siblings, when they are no longer able to get to those places that they would love to visit.”

Lifelites were only able to donate this package of technology due to the generosity of supporters. They were the Mark Benevolent Fund, Surrey Provincial Charity Fund, Childwick Trust, Revere Charity Trust, GamesAid and Microsoft.