A £5,000 donation by West Lancashire Freemasons to the charity Lifelites has allowed them to provide a package of interactive technology for patients at local children’s hospice Claire House in Liverpool
The grant to Lifelites was made during a national fund-raising event that saw the charity’s Chief Executive Simone Enefer-Doy call at Blackpool as part of a national tour.
Simone was joined on a recent visit to the hospice by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Derek Parkinson, Royal Arch Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals’ Sam Robinson and local Liverpool Group Chairman Mark Matthews, who all had the opportunity to see the difference the technology is making in enhancing the lives of the children who are cared for at Claire House.
One of the technology packages they saw being used was the ‘Magic Carpet’, which is a fantastic sensory learning tool with the capacity to engage people of all ages and abilities. The system projects interactive games and images on to the floor that users can play with and control simply by moving on or over the projected image.
After watching baby Phoenix interacting with the ‘Magic Carpet’, Derek Parkinson remarked: 'It’s very humbling to see the dedication of the staff here at the hospice and we can’t sufficiently express our gratitude for the incredible work that they do.'
'Giving aid and support to charities within the local and wider community is central to Freemasonry. It’s marvellous to see at first hand what the money we have donated is achieving and we thank both LifeLites and Claire House for this opportunity.'
It’s the journey that matters
Via Rolls-Royce, camper van, horse and cart, speedboat and tandem bicycle, Lifelites chief executive Simone Enefer-Doy travelled 2,500 miles in two weeks to raise the profile of this hard-working charity
Providing life-changing assistive technology, Lifelites helps the 10,000 children and young people in hospices across the British Isles live their short lives to the full. On 25 May 2018, the charity’s chief executive, Simone Enefer-Doy, set off on an epic road, air and river trip to spread the word and raise funds.
The 2,500-mile challenge, called Lift for Lifelites, was to take in 47 famous landmarks in England and Wales in just 14 days. For each leg of the journey, Simone received a lift from Provincial supporters in an eclectic mix of transportation. After setting an initial target of raising £50,000 for Lifelites, the total now stands at over £104,000. Simone says she has been astounded at the support and generosity she encountered as she travelled around the country.
‘Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that so many people would come out to meet me on my journey and support my challenge. We have received a terrific welcome wherever we have gone, and it really spurred me on to continue whenever I felt myself flagging. I would like to thank everyone – drivers, donors and venues – for helping to make Lift for Lifelites happen. We couldn’t have done it without you.’
RW Bro David Hagger, Provincial Grand Masterfor Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons, visited the headquarters of Lifelites on Wednesday 15th December 2016 for a demonstration of some of the equipment that is provided by the charity to children’s hospices
Lifelites began as project within the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys and became an independent charity in 2006. It provides specialist entertainment, educational and assistive technology packages to over 9,000 children and young people with life-limiting, life-threatening and disabling conditions in children's hospices including Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People based in Loughborough.
Caroline Powell, Lifelites Training Manager, drives the Lifelites' training strategy to ensure all of the donated equipment is utilised to its full potential by hospice staff was delighted to demonstrate some of the equipment including Eyegaze which makes a computer accessible for disabled young people. Through a sensor, Eyegaze allows them to track their eye movements enabling them to move the cursor around the screen. Children whose carers and families thought they were unable to communicate, can now do so with this magical technology – they can tell their carers what they would like to eat or drink and can even, for the first time, tell their parents that they love them.
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites said: 'We are hoping to provide Rainbows in Leicestershire with another new package of our latest technologies in 2018 and will be fundraising for that project in the New Year.'
National children’s charity Lifelites has donated a package of specialist technologies for children at Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice in Coventry
The children who visit the hospice will be able to use the equipment to play games, be creative and communicate with their families, something which may be impossible for them to do otherwise.
The package of equipment and services – which is worth £50,000 over its four year lifespan – was donated completely free of charge by Lifelites. The charity also provides ongoing technical support and training for the hospice staff.
The charity was able to donate the equipment due to the generosity of donors. For this project, money was donated by the Warwickshire Freemasons, as well as the Khoo Teck Puat Foundation, GamesAid, Microsoft and Children with Cancer UK.
One of the pieces of equipment donated was a Magic Carpet. This is a portable box which projects an image on to the floor, a wheelchair or a bed, which children can interact with. This technology gives them the chance to escape the confines of their condition and play one of the many games or animations, such as playing football or splashing in the sea.
The children also received 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.
Other items donated include iPads, cameras and touchscreen computers along with lots of games and other software specially designed to be accessible for children with disabilities.
After two days of staff training, families, donors and hospice staff gathered to celebrate the occasion and to officially hand the equipment over to the children at the hospice.
Clare Walton, senior care assistant at Zoë’s Place said: 'The eye gaze equipment will revolutionise the experience that many of our children will have here at Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice. It has already been fantastic to see a glimpse of their full potential and it has been wonderful for the parents to witness just what their children are capable of. It is incredible for the staff and parents to be able to communicate with the children on a far deeper level than we have been able to without this equipment.
'The equipment has so many applications for us and a child can use it for leisure time, completing school work and general communication. It is very easy and intuitive to use and we are currently rolling out the training to all of our staff. We are so thrilled to have this and cannot thank everyone enough who made it happen.'
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites said: 'We are thrilled to be able to provide equipment for the children at Zoë’s Place who have life-limiting, life-threatening and disabling conditions. The magical technology we have donated can be used to play, to be creative and communicate, and enrich the lives of these children and their families, for as long as is possible. We couldn’t have provided this package if it wasn’t for the generosity of our donors, so for this we are incredibly grateful.'
Lifelites has donated equipment to every children’s hospice in the British Isles over the last 16 years, and continues to provide new technology and ongoing support to ensure that children in hospices have unlimited possibilities.
Lifelites charity announces youngest celebrity Patron
Lifelites has announced their latest and youngest Patron, Britain’s Got Talent 2016 finalist and Golden Buzzer winner, Jasmine Elcock. Jasmine, 14, is the daughter of a London Freemason
Lifelites – recently recognised for their good work with technology as a 2015 Nominet Trust 100 winner – is the only charity to provide assistive and inclusive technology packages for terminally ill and disabled children in every baby and children’s hospice across the British Isles. The package of technologies is both donated and maintained by the charity and includes items like special iPad communication packages, Eyegaze eye-operated computers and interactive magic carpets.
Talented young singer Jasmine Elcock, who is from Dagenham, Essex, was a favourite amongst this year’s Britain’s Got Talent viewers and especially with presenters Ant and Dec who chose Jasmine as their Golden Buzzer winner. She wowed the judges with her beautiful performances and her charm and likeability shone through, even impressing BGT boss Simon Cowell.
Jasmine visited Lifelites with her father Julian Elcock at their offices to learn more about their work with children’s hospices. Jasmine’s father is a member of Fortis Green Lodge No. 5145 and has been a Freemason for over eight years. He has had some involvement with Lifelites some years ago representing the charity in the Lord Mayor’s Parade. As a new Patron, Jasmine will help to raise awareness of Lifelites’ work in children’s hospices. She will support the charity in a variety of ways, including visiting children’s hospices and backing their fundraising campaigns. Lifelites is extremely grateful for her support and is delighted to welcome young Jasmine as their newest advocate.
Jasmine said: 'My life has been transformed through music making and it is a great joy to be able to express myself through singing; I’m delighted to see the magical technology that Lifelites provides can offer similar transformational experiences for terminally ill and disabled children in hospices. I am proud and privileged to help raise awareness of the work of Lifelites and am looking forward to being a Patron of the charity.'
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, said: 'We are so excited that this lovely young woman has agreed to lend Lifelites her support. Jasmine will be a great advocate for Lifelites. She is likeable and has won the nation’s hearts through Britain’s Got Talent so she’ll be good at attracting attention to our great cause. We’re really looking forward to working with Jasmine in the near future and welcoming her on board #TeamLifelites.'
Jasmine Elcock joins a star studded line-up of Lifelites Patrons which includes Dame Esther Rantzen, Rick Wakeman, Peter Bowles, Joe Pasquale, Anita Dobson and Lord Cadogan (among others).
Lifelites is pleased to announce that they have been shortlisted in the Digital Leaders 100 Awards 2016 in the category Charity Digital Leader of the Year. 500 projects have been nominated and Lifelites made the final 100. The charity are up against nine other organisations in the same category. Lifelites was also a 2015 Nominet Trust 100 winner for their good work with technology.
Lifelites is the only charity to provide assistive and inclusive technology packages for life limited and disabled children in every baby and children’s hospice across the British Isles.
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, said: 'It’s fantastic news that our charity has been shortlisted in the category Charity Digital Leader of the Year. We provide these magical technologies for the children to enhance their short lives and give them opportunities they may not otherwise have. It’s a voting process and we need as many votes as possible to win the award in our category so, if you're inspired by the work we do providing technology for terminally ill and disabled children in hospices please click on the link and vote for us. Please forward this information to your networks, tweet and share this news on your Facebook page to help us spread the word about voting for Lifelites.'
Voting closes on the 27th May 2016
Voting link: http://www.digileaders100.com/vote/#charity
Dame Esther Rantzen in Lifelites video
The national children’s technology charity Lifelites has launched a fundraising video campaign featuring its latest patron, television presenter and broadcaster Dame Esther Rantzen.
Last year Lifelites was a 2015 Nominet Trust 100 winner, and is the only charity to provide assistive and inclusive technology packages for terminally ill and disabled children in hospices across the British Isles.
Dame Esther is featured in Lifelites’ latest awareness video, shown speaking to staff and young people at children’s hospices about the impact of the charity’s donation.
National children’s technology charity Lifelites launches new fundraising video featuring Patron Dame Esther Rantzen
Lifelites is extremely grateful for her support and is delighted to welcome Dame Esther as their newest advocate and as the face of their new video.
Lifelites – recently recognised for their good work with technology as a 2015 Nominet Trust 100 winner – is the only charity to provide assistive and inclusive technology packages for terminally ill and disabled children in every baby and children’s hospice across the British Isles. The package of technologies is both provided and maintained by the charity.
Esther’s initial involvement with the charity features the television presenter and broadcaster in their latest video which aims to raise awareness of the work of Lifelites. It showcases the magical Lifelites technology provided for the children being cared for by hospice services, giving them opportunities to play, be creative, control something for themselves and communicate – for as long as it is possible.
The video was filmed at children’s hospices where Esther got the chance to speak to staff and young people to understand the impact of the Lifelites donation.
In the video Esther says: 'What if I told you that there is such thing as magic and that I have seen it with my very own eyes? This magic is called… Lifelites.'
Esther encourages viewers to make a donation to the charity and ends her plea by saying: 'A donation from you can help Lifelites continue to give life limited children a voice up till the very last moment. You can give them the chance to smile and be happy for as long as they have to live. You can help Lifelites to give kids with limited life, unlimited possibilities. There really isn’t anything more magical than that.'
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, said: 'We are extremely lucky that Esther has agreed to lend Lifelites her support for our new video. Not only is she is a high profile and respected personality, we know her experience in the charity sector will assist us with our fundraising which is a vital part of our work of course. She’s a great supporter of projects dedicated to improving young people’s quality of life in the same way we do here at Lifelites so she’s a perfect fit for our charity.'
Dame Esther joins a star-studded line-up of Lifelites Patrons which includes Rick Wakeman, Peter Bowles, Joe Pasquale Anita Dobson and Lord Cadogan (among others).
You can view the new Lifelites video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XW3TYlRPos
National children’s technology charity made 2015 Nominet 100
On the 9th December 2015, Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading tech-for-good funder, announced that children’s technology charity Lifelites has been named among the 2015 Nominet Trust 100 (NT100) – a global celebration of the 100 most inspiring uses of digital technology for social good.
Projects featured in the NT100 are using technology to tackle some of the world’s biggest social problems.
Following a global call for nominations earlier this year, Lifelites, the only charity to provide assistive and inclusive technology packages for life limited and disabled babies, children and young adults in hospices across the British Isles, was selected by ten leading judging partners from the tech and charity world in recognition of their work.
The Lifelites technology is simply life changing. For children who use hospices services, their conditions and disabilities mean that many of them cannot move or hold things. Many cannot communicate in traditional ways and there are those who are very prone to infection. All this means that the children have very restricted lives and cannot do things we all take for granted.
Lifelites special iPad apps give children the opportunity to join in with creative activities and express themselves through music and painting.
The mobile Magic Carpet enables them to have experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have – like flying a plane, splashing in the sea or playing football with their brothers or sisters – and the Eyegaze means they can tell their carers what they would like for breakfast, when they are thirsty and can even, for the first time, tell their parents that they love them. It means that the children can enter and stay involved in the world around them for as long as it is possible.
Commenting on their inclusion in the NT100, Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, said: 'As you can imagine, we are very excited that the work of Lifelites has been recognised by the Nominet 100 judges. This prestigious award is just what we need to help spread the word about our work. Whilst we know that there’s a lot you can do with technology which can make such a difference to the lives of life limited and disabled children in hospices, we also know that our work is often hidden from public view. We are very grateful for the opportunity the Nominet 100 will give us to promote what we do to harness the power of technology and how that can be absolutely life changing for the youngsters we help.'
Vicki Hearn, Director of Nominet Trust, said: 'Remarkable people all over the world are embracing technology to combat some of the most pressing social challenges we face today. This year in particular, the resourcefulness of organisations helping those in urgent need is hugely inspirational. Increasing accessibility to technology is helping foster communities of social tech entrepreneurs worldwide, who are transforming healthcare, access to education, sustainability and civic empowerment. The NT100 seeks to highlight these pioneers, so that others may be encouraged to follow in their footsteps.'
The 2015 NT100 was compiled from a combination of over 500 public nominations and in-house research to produce a shortlist of 150 projects. This shortlist was presented to a panel of Nominet’s judging partners of ten tech and charity organisations, who selected the final 2015 NT100. Representatives from Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, Creative England, Facebook, Latimer Group, Nominet, O2 Telefonica, Oxfam, Salesforce and Society Guardian all took part in the selection process.
Information about all of the projects is hosted on the Social Tech Guide (socialtech.org.uk), the world’s largest interactive index of tech for good, which now has almost 1,300 ventures in its database.
Follow the action @socialtechguide / #2015NT100
Lifelites enhancing lives of terminally ill and disabled children in hospices for fifteen years
Lifelites, the only charity to provide assistive and inclusive technology packages to terminally ill and disabled children in all baby and children's hospices across the British Isles, is celebrating 15 years of its work. The charity invited key stakeholders to a drinks reception to mark this important milestone at a special reception on 14 October 2015. Amongst the crowd were Lifelites’ Trustees, Patrons Peter Bowles and Anita Dobson and supporters including Marathon Mason Ewan Gordon from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Oxfordshire who recently ran from John o' Groats to Land's End in support of Lifelites earlier this year.
Lifelites begun as a millennium project of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys and became an independent charity in 2006. The charity started off donating computers for children in hospices in England and Wales but since then, it has grown to support over 9,000 life limited children and their families in over 50 hospice service provisions across the British Isles.
Lifelites has kept up with the rapid advancements in technology and tailor each specialist package to the needs of the children. Designed for children with disabilities, the packages include a number of magical items such as specially adapted iPads with grip cases, assistive mice, portable touch screen computers, Eyegaze technology, mobile Magic Carpets and much more, some of which were showcased for guests at the event.
Speaking at the celebration event Chairman of Trustees Lifelites Mike Woodcock, said: 'Lifelites – the small charity with a big heart. It’s hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since Lifelites started out on its mission of enhancing the lives of thousands of terminally ill and disabled children in hospices across the British Isles. Over time, the charity has gone from strength to strength and continues to provide the most astonishing pieces of technology – some that you will see today and be wowed by – giving children with life limiting conditions a world of opportunities that they would not otherwise have. We must thank the members of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists for their valued partnership providing the original technical knowhow. Also, we must give a huge thank you to our generous donors, without whom we wouldn’t be here today.'
Simone Enefer-Doy chief executive of Lifelites, said: 'From our humble beginnings I don’t think anyone could have quite imagined what Lifelites would become today – that’s the nature of technology. But as time has gone on, we have turned our attention to harnessing the power of technology to enhance the short lives of the young people in hospices. Whatever their abilities we’ve aimed to seek out equipment that can help them escape the confines of their illness, to play with their brothers and sisters, to be creative, to control something for themselves and communicate – for as long as it is possible. Whatever direction we go in from now on, you can bet that technology will help us to continue to give these kids with limited lives unlimited possibilities. The fact that we’ve been able to do this is in no small part as a result of generous support from the Masonic community over the years and we’ll be forever grateful.'
There is a Lifelites project in all 50 baby and children’s hospices across the British Isles. The hospices do not pay anything towards their Lifelites project and all of Lifelites’ work is funded by donations: the equipment, ongoing technical support and training at each hospice costs Lifelites around £50,000 over four years.