Toys and games console boost for Rebecca House

Isabella Mulholland enjoying the new sensory toys

New sensory toys and a games console are being used at Rebecca House, after Hospice Isle of Man was awarded a Manx Lottery Trust grant to buy the equipment.

The specialist children’s wing is a purpose-built facility providing respite, palliative care and end of life care for children affected by life limiting or life-threatening conditions from birth to 18 years. As well as treatment, it is designed to feel like a home from home environment for those young people and their families.

Hospice Isle of Man applied for the sum of £953.94 to purchase a range of toys, including specialist sensory toys, which help children gain a sense of control over their environment and practice their fine and gross motor skills. One of the items was a Skoog Music Box; an accessible way to create music and make different sounds. The grant was also used to buy DVDs and a PlayStation 4 console with games.

Vicky Wilson, Head of Children, Young People and Therapies at Hospice Isle of Man, said: ‘The aim of making these sensory and electronic games available is to provide an opportunity for children and young people of all ages and abilities to socialise and play in ways tailored to their individual needs.

‘The sensory toys provide developmentally appropriate stimulation and interaction to enable children and young people to play in a way that best suits their needs. The DVDs and PlayStation are to allow those who are able to engage with these types of activities the opportunity to choose these during respite and provide “normal” activities which many of their peers will also enjoy.

‘The equipment will benefit 25-30 young people who currently attend Rebecca House, along with siblings who attend specific sibling group sessions. Thank you to the Trustees of Manx Lottery Trust for awarding the grant.’

Manx Lottery Trust Chairman, Sarah Kelly, added: ‘The application by Hospice Isle of Man was made to the Smaller Grants scheme, which is available for grants of between £300 and £2,500. Rebecca House is a wonderful facility, where staff care for children and young people in often very difficult situations and we appreciate the positive impact the equipment will have.’