Naomi House volunteer Claire Floyd has won a £5,000 grant from TalkTalk for her Lifelites education and entertainment technology project for disabled children in Hampshire.
Claire, and Naomi House, are now in with the chance of winning a £10,000 grand prize, and will be honoured in a special House of Lords ceremony which will be judged by a panel that includes dotcom entrepreneur and UK Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox, and TalkTalk Chairman Charles Dunstone.
Claire Floyd's Lifelites project at Naomi House aims to give control to terminally ill children with disabilities who would normally have very little say about what goes on in their lives. Lifelites broadens the children's horizons through play and education, and adds to the home-from-home atmosphere of children's hospices.
She has developed step-by-step guides to using the technology for staff throughout the hospice and has pioneered the use of extendable mouse arms in the hospice to bring technology to children's beds. The Lifelites project plans to use the grant to purchase specially-adapted laptops for the children to use and have more control over their own lives.
Claire said: "I'm absolutely delighted to win a Digital Heroes Awards. It means a lot to Naomi House to win the £5,000 grant and our fingers are crossed for next week's national result. I would like to thank all of our supporters who voted for me and friends and family who backed our project."
Steve Brine, MP for Winchester & Chandler's Ford, said: "I've long been a supporter of Naomi House, and was over the moon to hear that Claire has won the regional award. Lifelites is a fantastic idea, and I am sure has really brought much pleasure to the children, and I imagine there are some very happy parents who are delighted at the difference Claire has made to the already high quality comfort and service that Naomi House provides."
Dido Harding, TalkTalk CEO, said: "We would like to congratulate Claire, as well as our other 11 regional winners. The Digital Heroes Awards was designed to recognise and reward those who use digital technology to make a difference in their communities. We've seen some incredibly worthy causes and we are delighted that these projects are getting the recognition they fully deserve."
Lifelites is the only charity in the UK dedicated to providing terminally children in children's Hospices. They put fun and educational technology for 7,000 children in all 44 of the UK's children's hospices. All of this cutting-edge kit is specially adapted to cater for the various disabilities that affect children with life-limiting conditions. Children's hospices could not afford this technology and support, and as well as not asking for payment, Lifelites cover all maintenance costs, train hospice staff to make sure the children are getting the most out of the technology, and try to renew all of the equipment every four years.
A spokesman for Lifelites said: "2012 promises to be our busiest year yet. The number of children's hospices around the UK increases on an almost yearly basis, and Lifelites are determined to place packages for the children in all of them."
The TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards, run in conjunction with Citizens Online, is the only awards of its kind to celebrate inspirational people who are using digital technology to bring about positive social change.