Young adult patients in Northern Ireland Hospice’s Beyond Horizon group have received a top of the range specialist assistive technology system thanks to the charity Lifelites and a number of donors including the Masonic Lodge’s Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim.
The system, which includes technology specially adapted for young people with disabilities, can be used to play games with friends, family and carers and allows them to be creative with art and music. Also included are drop-proof iPads, a touchscreen computer and an entertaining gadget that requires minimum movement to trigger musical instruments, sound effects, songs and more. Other equipment includes a cinema package and games consoles.
Northern Ireland Hospice’s Beyond Horizon project is a transition service, designed to support young adults with life limiting conditions, many of whom have grown up with support from Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.
One of the funders of this vital equipment was the Masonic Lodge’s Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim.
Grand Master of the Antrim Lodge, John Dickson, said: “It’s a pleasure to see the Lifelites equipment being of benefit to young patients at Northern Ireland Hospice. We are simply delighted to be in a position to offer support.”
This project is part of Lifelites’ work across the British Isles for terminally ill children and young people in Northern Ireland being cared for by Horizon House in Belfast and Horizon West Children’s hospice in Co Fermanagh. The equipment, worth thousands of pounds, has been donated completely free of charge along with ongoing training and technical support services.
NI Hospice’s Transition Nurse Specialist Anne McCaffrey said: “This state of the art technology provides us with the opportunity to offer our young people a range of new experiences and will enable them to participate in activities that they would have limited opportunity to avail of elsewhere.
“It will encourage communication, interaction, creativity and independence whilst having fun and enjoyment with friends. We are already impressed by the young people’s enthusiasm and skill in using some of the packages and look forward to using all the equipment to its full potential with more of our service users in the future. We are very grateful to Lifelites and the donors who supported the provision of the Lifelites package as without their continued support access to this equipment would have been impossible for us.”
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites said: “We are thrilled to be able to provide equipment for the young people using the Beyond Horizon service at Northern Ireland Hospice. The magical technology we have donated can be used to play, to be creative and communicate, and enrich the lives of these young people and their families. 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 17 years, and continues to provide new technology and ongoing support to ensure that children in hospices have unlimited possibilities. The donation of equipment and services wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of the following donors: The Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim, The PF Charitable Trust, GamesAid, Children with Cancer UK and Microsoft.