In Funding Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety

Project: Provide interactive whiteboards, trolleys and webcams for virtual and hybrid service delivery.

Grant: £9,200.00

Fund: NET Coronavirus Appeal 

The Pace Centre is a ground-breaking children’s charity that transforms the lives of children and young people with neurodisabilities. Their goal is to help children and young people with neurological disabilities achieve their full potential and be as independent as possible in their current and future lives.

Because of renewed lockdown restrictions in January, Pace has become heavily reliant on technology to deliver their education and therapy services for their students and their families. Many of the children are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19 and are shielding. As a result, Pace is required to deliver online learning to children at home, while many others continue to access face-to-face learning in bubble groups in their classrooms.

Together with the help of Heart of Bucks, The Pace Centre has been able to procure the necessary equipment, including interactive whiteboards, trolleys and webcams, to minimise any potential disruption to their services.

The whiteboards have made a noticeable difference to staff, helping them deliver their services efficiently and effectively, both face-to-face and remotely. Without the help of Heart of Bucks, this provision would have been extremely difficult and unreliable as the existing equipment was lacking significantly in technical capability and scope.

One of the primary school teachers had this to say:

“We use the board every day….it is especially valuable during lessons in pairs and groups – Is a good way to work on sharing skills. We can link the wireless switches up for them to work on their key switching skills which can mean they have more independence and interaction in their work and the lessons. I was able to teach two classrooms in one go the other day to allow for social distancing through the cameras.”

The school recently conducted a parent survey asking them to rate their experience, with the support being given to them by the school since the start of term and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with high levels of appreciation for staff.

Technology is an incredibly important enabler for children and young people with complex disabilities, and it is inherently clear in this situation.

Andrew Robertson, a KS4 teacher expressed his thanks saying:

“Please pass on my personal thanks to the funder. We have only just started using the boards, but it will make lessons more interactive – the screen share is fantastic. We are more able now to give the students opportunities that their mainstream educated peers already have.”