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Money raised for eye gaze computer technology for Martha Trust charity for the disabled near Deal


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More than £7,000 has been raised to provide special devices for people with severe disabilities to operate computers.

The figure today (Monday) stood at £7,018, 73% of the £9,500 target.

The eye gaze technology.Picture:Martha Trust
The eye gaze technology.Picture:Martha Trust

The machines, meant for residents of Martha Trust near Deal, are eye gazes, which control a computer mouse with eye movements rather than a hand.

The money came through a Marathon4Martha involving friends and tenants of the Discovery Park businesses centre in Sandwich.

The event was organised by Rob Crook who works for Pfizer in Sandwich.

Kerry Banks, Martha Trust and events officer, said: “Most of our residents are non- verbal.

"Over the past few years, we have worked hard to develop a step programme towards communications for all our residents whatever their level of ability.

Participants at the finish line of the Marathon4Martha. Picture:Martha Trust
Participants at the finish line of the Marathon4Martha. Picture:Martha Trust

"We have learned to communicate with them and ensure they participate in activities that they not only enjoy but are also beneficial to their health and wellbeing.

"We have been working to develop the use of eye gaze technology in our homes, so that residents who previously had no verbal communication can now speak to their carers and families through a computer.”

Mrs Banks said the eye gazes mean communication can also be offsite such as on outings and at hospital appointments.

You can still donate via justgiving.com/fundraising/dparkandfriends

Meanwhile a traditional German music night raised more than £5,600 for Martha Trust.

The Bavarian-style Bettesteiner Footstompers, bringing the spirit of the Munich Oktoberfest, were at St Mary's Arts Centre in Sandwich and will be back there from 7pm on Saturday, March 26.

Audience members at the German Music Night. Picture: Martha Trust
Audience members at the German Music Night. Picture: Martha Trust

For tickets telephone 01304 610448 ot email fundraising@marthatrust.org.uk

The charity also has a Christmas Fayre on Saturday, November 27, from 10am to 4pm, at the Guildhall in Sandwich

Martha Trust, which supports young people and adults with profound disabilities at homes in Hacklinge near Deal and Hastings, is the East Kent Mercury's Charity of the Year 2021.

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

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