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  • Writer's picturePaul W Skinner

£35,000 donation helps charity donate life-changing adaptive tech to disabled children

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire is a long-standing supporter of the charity Lifelites and has donated £35,000 over the past few years to support Lifelites’ work for children using Zoe’s Place Coventry and Acorns in Birmingham.

The charity donates assistive technology for life-limited and disabled children using every children’s hospice service across the British Isles.

Lifelites and the Freemasons of Warwickshire are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has left many life-limited and disabled children and their families feeling overwhelmed by the sudden change of routine and isolation.

Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, RW Bro Philip L Hall, said: “The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire is proud to support Lifelites for many years now. It is an honour for us to enable Lifelites to provide life-changing technology for children using Acorns in Birmingham and Zoe’s Place Coventry.
“We know that the children’s hospices, the children and their families are going through a very difficult time right now. With our donation, we want to help reduce the burden, so that these children can escape the confines of their conditions, and connect with their families in ways not possible before.”

According to the charity, everyone has been getting a living insight into what it is like to be a life-limited and disabled child: unable to leave the house independently, speak to people and socialise naturally, or carry out everyday activities that people often take for granted. These are challenges that Lifelites is seeking to help these children overcome through the donation of adaptive technologies.

With Lifelites-donated Eyegaze, these children can communicate their wishes and fears with their parents and carer; with the Mobile Magic Carpet they can move around comfortably and play with their brothers and sisters thanks to the inclusive environment it provides, and virtual reality lets teenagers escape into a different world.

Lifelites Chief Executive, Simone Enefer-Doy, commented: “With the long-standing support from the Warwickshire Freemasons, we can give those life-limited and disabled children visiting Acorns in Birmingham and Zoe’s Place Coventry the possibility to control something for themselves, play with their brothers and sisters, and tell their parents they love them, sometimes for the first time.
“It’s wonderful to see that these technologies can have a tremendous impact on the lives of these children. It really does give those with limited lives unlimited possibilities. We are so grateful for the long-standing and generous support of the Warwickshire Freemasons.”

Six-year old Luca is one of the children who have greatly benefited from the life-changing technology donated by Lifelites at the children’s hospice Acorns in Birmingham.

When Luca was just a couple of months old, he was diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome, a complex genetic syndrome that causes difficulties to swallow and breath, hear and see, as well as development delays. On top of that, Luca is almost deafblind.

But he loves the Lifelites-donated adaptive iPad which allows him to see the colourful apps, make music and create any kinds of sounds. The iPad comes with an accessible and drop-proof case that makes it easier for him to hold and holds a wide variety of apps specifically designed for children with additional needs.

Luca’s mum said: “We enjoy playing with the assistive equipment as a family and Luca especially likes his brother playing along. He loves to watch and uses his limited vision very well to see all the fun applications on the Lifelites-donated iPad. Luca gets so excited when you all join in with him!”

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