Children's hospice charity 'Best in Show' at inaugural Technology4Good Awards
A charity which brings digital fun and learning opportunities to 5,000 children in hospices nationwide was the toast of the first Technology4Good Awards, winning both the Accessibility Award and the Best in Show
Lifelites provides a wide range of adapted computer and gaming equipment and digital cameras to all 40 UK children's hospices, so that children with life-limiting conditions can communicate with friends, enjoy quality time with their families and continue their studies.
The Best In Show Award was chosen by a 200 strong audience at an official awards ceremony hosted by BT on 7th June. Lifelites faced stiff competition from other Award winners including a volunteer-run radio station for the over 50s and a community learning centre and cyber café which grew out of a fish and chip shop in Stockport.
Mariella Frostrup, who compèred the event, congratulated the winning organisations and individuals for the exemplary ways in which they have harnessed the potential of the computers and the internet to make the world a better and more inclusive place saying: "The success of Technology4Good's first year is testimony to the talent and altruism of the many people across the country who are applying technology to the greater good of others, particularly those who are digitally excluded or disadvantaged."
The brainchild of e-accessibility charity, AbilityNet, and sponsored by BT, the Technology4Good Awards 2011 attracted over 250 nominations from charities, businesses, schools, government and the public. It included Awards in accessibility, volunteering, innovation, fundraising, partnerships, community impact and meeting the needs of disabled customers.
UK Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox of RaceOnline2012, was a guest at the Awards Ceremony and talked about the importance of focusing on the accessibility issues facing disabled people. She said that the internet had been a vital element in aiding her recovery from a serious accident and also mentioned her tetraplegic uncle whose ability to use an iPad with one finger is transforming his quality of life.
Other winners included:
- IT Volunteer of the Year, Colin Crook, who helps sheltered housing residents, many with sight problems to get on-line
- Starting Point Learning Partnership (www.startpointwoodley.co.uk), a community cybercafé which grew out of a fish and chip shop
- Vintage Radio (www.vintageradio.org.uk) - a Merseyside-based, on-line radio station run by the over-50s for the over 50s
- The Pennies Foundation - an innovative way of donating your spare change electronically (www.pennies.org.uk)
- Internet Buttons (www.internetbuttons.org) - a web tool that simplifies the internet for nervous newcomers
- The Transforming Customer Contact Team at the Department for Work and Pensions (www.direct.gov.uk)
- XMA and iansyst (www.xma.co.uk) for their collaborative delivery of bespoke computer systems to over 9000 children with Special Educational Needs through the 'Home Access' programme
- Lloyds Banking Group (www.lloydsbankinggroup.com) for its commitment to best practice in workplace disability management.
Full details of finalists and winners can be found at: www.technology4goodawards.org.uk
Follow the Awards on Twitter @tech4goodawards or #t4gawards
'Lifelites' picture shows from left to right: Sarah Foxall (Microsoft), Simone Enefer-Doy (Lifelites), Nigel Lewis (AbilityNet), Neeta Norton (Lifelites) and Mariella Frostrup.
Through the power of technology and high tech entertainments, Lifelites is the only children's charity striving to give children in hospices the chance to spend quality time with their families, the means to keep in contact with their school and friends, and simply to enjoy themselves away from the constant reality of their illness.
Children and their families can play the new X box 360 consoles and other high-tech games equipment, plus wide-screen Sky TV's give them the rare chance to enjoy their favourite programmes and relax together at what is often a very difficult time for them all. Wherever possible, the computer equipment comes with special adaptations to enable all the children to continue their studies and communicate with their friends and teachers; and digital cameras also help to make a lasting record of the special time the families spend together at the hospice.
In addition, Lifelites supplies all the required telecoms and Sky connections free of charge and will maintain the equipment along the way. This means that the hospices' own funds and care staff activities can remain concentrated on delivering care for the children and support for their families.
AbilityNet Head Office
National charity, AbilityNet, has over 20 years' experience enabling people with disabilities to access technology and the internet at home, at work and in education. Globally acclaimed for its expertise in both workplace disability management as well as on-line usability and accessibility issues, AbilityNet has worked with clients in the private, public and voluntary sector including all major Departments of State and many FTSE top 100 indexed companies. The Charity's Patron is Sir Terry Pratchett OBE.