Children staying for respite care at Hope House are learning to fly like eagles and explore the world from on high, thanks to an amazing gift of specialist technology from the Lifelites children’s charity.

We are one of the first hospices in the country to receive the Virtual Reality (VR) technology which, via a special headset, enables children to fly all around the world for a bird’s eye view of cities like Paris and Beijing and to soar into space, go on safari and even climb Mount Everest.

The VR technology is just one part of the incredible £50,000 package which enables our children to do things they never thought possible. They can play games with their friends, be creative with art and music, control gadgets for themselves and communicate with their family, perhaps for the very first time. Most importantly it can help them create and record precious memories which will be treasured by their loved ones forever.

A firm favourite already with the children is a piece of equipment called the Magic Carpet. This is a portable box which projects an image on to the floor, a wheelchair or a bed, that children can interact with. This technology gives them the chance to escape the confines of their condition and play with one of the many games or animations, such as playing football or splashing in the sea.

Our Chief Executive Andy Goldsmith said the true value of the gift to children and young people staying at Hope House was priceless because it enabled them to take control of their everyday environment and enjoy doing things, such as foreign travel, that they may otherwise only be able to dream of.

Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, said the charity had been able to provide the package to Hope House thanks to the generosity of donors including the Provincial Grand Lodge of Shropshire, the Lady Forester Trust, the Millichope Foundation, GamesAid and Children with Cancer UK.

Shropshire Masons Provincial Grand Master Roger Pemberton said he was delighted to be invited to Hope House for the handover.

“We have had a long association with Hope House and are determined to continue to support its hugely important work in providing amazingly devoted care and help to children suffering life-limiting and disabling illnesses. The equipment we saw demonstrated last week will clearly be of great benefit to the hospice in its work and Shropshire Freemasons are pleased to have been able to contribute funds to help with its provision.”