Family trust in Kent and South East London donates to children’s charity Lifelites to help isolated, life-limited and disabled children in hospice care

John Junior (JJ) at Ellenor Foundation Children’s Hospice in Kent

The F.B. Coales Family Trust has helped the small charity Lifelites with another donation to support their assistive technology for life-limited and disabled children who are particularly isolated and vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic. The life-changing technology enables these children to play with their brothers and sisters, communicate with their parents and control something themselves.

Lifelites and F.B. Coales Family Trust are particularly aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has left many people feeling overwhelmed by the sudden change of routine and isolation. Everyone has been getting a living insight into what it is like to be a life-limited and disabled child; unable to leave the house independently, speak to people and socialise naturally, or even carry out all sorts of everyday activities that we usually take for granted. These are all challenges that Lifelites is seeking to help life-limited and disabled children overcome through the provision of our special technologies.

One of the children who has benefited from Lifelites donated assistive technology is John Junior (JJ) at Ellenor Foundation Children’s Hospice in Kent. Because he is non-verbal and can only move his eyes, Eyegaze is giving him the opportunity to communicate, be creative, and control something for himself. His carer at the hospice told us: “Before JJ was diagnosed with Cerebral x – lined adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), JJ was an able young boy, being able to access any equipment with ease and little help, attending a mainstream school. Once diagnosed he slowly lost the ability to see, walk, and talk, falling fully dependant on his family and carers. Being able to use the eye gaze with him has given him the chance to do a task independently without any help from anyone else. He is able to move his eyes around the screen to create pictures or select an image he wants. We have always been unsure how much JJ can actually see, but when using the eye gaze his eye movement increases, and you can really tell that he is able to see what he is doing on the screen.”

Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support from F.B. Coales Family Trust for our work with ellenor children’s hospice in Kent. With our donated assistive technology, these life-limited and disabled children will receive the opportunity to play, communicate, and control something themselves. For many of them, it is the first time that they will be able to play with their brothers and sisters and say ‘I love you’ to their parents.

“I greatly appreciate that F.B. Coales Family Trust recognises the importance of Lifelites’ work to give children with limited lives, unlimited possibilities.”

Lifelites has been donating life-changing packages of technology for 20 years, and are currently supporting every children’s hospice service across the British Isles. Their aim is to continue to provide new technology and ongoing support to ensure that disabled and life-limited children have a chance to escape the confines of their conditions.

The F.B. Coales Family Trust was set up many years ago by the late Frank Coales of Winn & Coales (Denso) Ltd; a leading manufacturer of corrosion prevention and sealing products. Frank joined the company in 1916 and held the position of Chairman from 1946 – 1991, working a staggering 75 years in total. Frank Coales lived until he was 102 and died in 1991. The trust is a registered Charity and now has three trustees; the company’s current Chairman David Winn, Chris Winn and John Burton.

The trust actively seeks to make donations to charities in the South East of London and Kent, where the company subsidiaries are based.


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