iPad apps to help children in Sunderland hospice

Some of the latest equipment to be donated to Grace House, bought through fund-raising from the Lifelights charity. Pictured with Eric Heaviside, Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Durham and Kathy Secker are Sophie Lowden, 13 and her brothers Christopher, 14 (wheelchair) and Adam, 10.

Some of the latest equipment to be donated to Grace House, bought through fund-raising from the Lifelights charity. Pictured with Eric Heaviside, Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Durham and Kathy Secker are Sophie Lowden, 13 and her brothers Christopher, 14 (wheelchair) and Adam, 10.

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POORLY youngsters will have their lives enhanced thanks to a £35,000 pledge of hi-tech equipment.

Grace House, in Southwick, has been handed the life-changing gizmos by the Lifelites charity, which provides specialist fun and educational technology for children in hospices.

The new package includes equipment which helps children communicate better and become more expressive using music and sound

And iPads with specialist speaking apps will help the youngsters control certain things for themselves – often for the first time ever.

Hospice founder, broadcaster Kathy Secker, said: “This specialist technology provided by Lifelites will be of enormous benefit to the children and young people.

“As well as stimulating learning and helping develop communication skills, it will provide hours and hours of fun.

“It is absolutely magical and we are thrilled to bits with it.

“Lifelites is a fantastic charity doing great work with children’s hospices and we appreciate their support enormously.”

The equipment – plus ongoing support from Lifelites – will cost about £35,700 over the next four years, but Grace House won’t have to pay a penny towards it. Instead, Lifelites has been supported by the Clothworkers’ Foundation, the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity and the Freemasons’ Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham to provide the items.

Lifelites chief executive, Simone Enefer-Doy, said: “It’s always exciting to be involved at the beginning with a new children’s hospice, and we’re sure our technological expertise will become a central part of the care Grace House provide.

“We never just give the equipment and walk away from a hospice: our ongoing technical support and training is there for so whilst they look after the children, we’ll make sure the equipment is kept in good working order for these children for whom every second counts.”