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Specialist sensory technology donated by charity Lifelites

September 29, 2023

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices have received a donation of life-changing technology worth thousands of pounds from children’s charity Lifelites.

For many of the children supported by us, being given different sensory ways to communicate, play and be creative is very important – helping them interact with the world around them. The specialist technology from Lifelites, donated to our Guildford hospice, Christopher’s, give children the opportunity to have fun, play, relax and be stimulated.

The technology, along with training and technical support services which Lifelites provide for free, costs around £46,000 over four years. After this time, Lifelites aim to return to replace the equipment with the latest, up-to-date technology. Shooting Star Children’s Hospices is one of Lifelites longest partnerships, having supported them since 2002. Last year, the Lifelites team visited the charity’s west London hospice, Shooting Star House in Hampton to donate similar specialist technology.

One of the pieces of equipment donated is the POD tent, a mobile and sensory pop-up tent that offers room for every child, irrespective of their abilities. Coming in a handy rucksack, making it portable, the sensory tent allows the user to enter a calm and happy virtual world where children are surrounded by colourful images, and they can listen to built-in calming music and stories to enhance the experience.

Other items include the Magic Carpet, a wheelchair accessible piece of equipment that projects interactive themed animations and images onto the floor; and the Tilt and Touch Table, a large touchscreen that can, as the name implies, be tilted for every child, no matter their needs, to play and create with.

Rob Lightfoot, CEO of Lifelites said, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Christopher’s. As the needs of the children and families using their services change and become more complex, Lifelites has responded by providing an extensive package of the latest assistive technology. With over 20 years’ experience, we know that these technologies will empower children and young people with life-limiting conditions to engage and interact with the people they love and enjoy the world they live in. We hope that this support helps them to create many joyful memories.”

Marion Barton, Lead Therapist at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices said, “We were thrilled to receive our new Lifelites package of equipment at Christopher’s this week.  The equipment is sensory, accessible and often cutting edge, from beautiful sensory tents to Cosmo switches and the interactive magic carpet. This equipment will benefit our children by giving them and their families (and staff too!) more opportunities for communication, sensory stimulation and fun!

“As a Music Therapist I was particularly excited for us to receive the specialist Sound Beam musical device. This allows children to play music with their bodies: from the smallest movement to dance moves converted to sound!  It is amazing at providing access to music and interactive sounds for children no matter what their disability. Thank you Lifelites!”