The special guests at our launch event at the beginning of March enjoyed an inspiring speech by Simone Enefer-Doy, CEO of Lifelites who described the amazing impact that winning a Tech4Good Award has had on her work. Lifelites stole the show in 2011, winning both the Accessibility Award and the Winner of Winners Award, voted for by our audience on the night, for their work bringing technology to over 40 of the UK’s children’s hospices.
It was almost impossible to edit down Simone’s speech from the afternoon, but here are some of our favourite points – hopefully they will inspire you to get nominating:
“We provide specialist assistive and inclusive technology to children in 40 hospices around the UK. We set out to find what it was that we could give these children, whatever their abilities, that would enable them to join in with their brothers and sisters. It could be playing games, using a computer, being creative, controlling something for themselves and, most of all, communicating with their families for as long as it was possible.
“The competition is tough in our game, especially against the likes of well-known charities like Great Ormond Street and the NSPCC. For our start-up charity, in those early days of four members of staff, it seemed like an impossible task. But winning the Accessibility Award was a pivotal moment, where I realised that we weren’t just a start-up; here we were, being told by our peers that there was something very worthwhile about what we did… All of a sudden we had a badge which we could use to tell potential funders that Lifelites was a safe bet. That’s why the Tech4Good Award winner’s logo became part of our marketing literature – our envelopes, website, headed paper.
“I had new found confidence in our product, we were definitely on the right track. The Tech4Good Awards have helped me think more ambitiously, and achieve goals that I once thought were out of our reach. It’s helped us to sell our cause to potential funders, raising an extra £100k in the first year to over half a million in 2013.”
Lifelites works with 49 baby and children’s hospices in the UK and Ireland, working with more than 9,000 children.
The hospices do not pay a penny towards their Lifelites project and all of Lifelites’ work is funded by donations: the equipment, ongoing technical support and training at each hospice costs around £50,000 over four years.