Charity cash boost will fund more ‘Ozzybots’ for schools - The Evesham Observer

Charity cash boost will fund more ‘Ozzybots’ for schools

Rob George 4th Feb, 2020   0

CHARITY chiefs are celebrating after a pioneering scheme which helped brave Oscar Saxelby-Lee communicate with his school friends at Pitmaston Primary School secured five years of National Lottery funding.

The Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust have scooped cash until 2025 for the use of AV1 machines which help children with cancer to stay connected to the outside world whilst undergoing treatment.

In the counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, there are approximately 75 children diagnosed with cancer every year, with around 40 being of school age.

The charity wants to be able to support these children with the use of the robots which sends a live video feed to a tablet, allowing children like Oscar to take part in activities. Video is only transmitted one way – from the robot to the patient.

Charity bosses hope the money will secure 18 new AV1 machines and support packages for children to use in the first three years of what it described as ‘significant’ funding.

Initially, the rollout will commence in Worcestershire and then extend to Herefordshire followed by Gloucestershire over the next year. Referrals will be made directly from cancer specialist nurse teams to ensure that the children that need them are not missed.

Dr Jen Kelly, founder of the trust said: “Childhood cancer is a life changing diagnosis. It affects the child diagnosed but also their siblings, parents and their friends and teachers at school.

“A child with cancer faces prolonged periods of time away from school in isolation and in hospital.

“The Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust cannot change the child’s diagnosis, but we can help to make a real difference by giving them some hope and a level of normality whilst they are fighting their illness.

“We need to start planning for when funding ends in five years’ time because there can be no guarantee of further funding for this project.

“By planning now, we are aiming sustain this project in the long term, so please do keep fund-raising.” she added.


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