Tag Archives: CIC

Victoria Gets Around With her New Trolley

Victoria trolley mainThe Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) recently received a request from Ian and Liz Staples who wondered if the team could help them by creating a trolley that their daughter Victoria could use to transport her feeding pump.

Always eager to help, the team accepted the challenge and Victoria received her new equipment a couple of weeks ago.

Victoria is reliant on her feeding pump for an hour three times a day and this can be very restrictive, especially when she wants to play!

So far, the trolley has been a huge success and Dad Ian, who had previously made an attempt to create his own version recently contacted us to say: “The trolley you have made for Victoria is amazing it is what Liz asked of me to begin with, and it puts my efforts to shame that’s for sure! In fact I think Liz has already removed mine from the house. It’s the silly little things that can make such a difference in our daughter’s life and believe me this is one.  She is just so mobile with it, the trolley means that she is not stuck in a chair for over an hour 3 times a day, just so we can feed her. With all her other restrictions that have had to be placed on her, it’s just great to have her moving around the house just a little bit more. We can’t thank you enough.

The CIC team are always looking for new ways to make the lives of children with disabilities a little bit easier through their marvellous creations so if you have a problem, big or small that you think the team can help with, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact them on 01792 483688 or cic@cerebra.org.uk.

Below are some more pictures of Victoria and her new trolley:

Ben Loves His New Trike!

Ben on his trikeThe Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) Team were recently contacted by mum Helen to see if they could build a trike for her son Ben.

Ben has had trikes in the past but quickly outgrew them so he was in need of an upgrade! He also needed something with a bit more balance than other products readily available on the market. With these specifications in mind, the CIC team got to work on Ben’s very own black and white Cerebra trike.

After some tweaking, the finished product features a wide axle on the back and this helps Ben to balance while playing. The axle also unscrews so that mum Helen can easily transport it in the car.

“Thanks so much once again, we are really grateful for the time and effort you put in to making this for Ben – it is a fab scooter and we had lots of compliments on it at the park!“ Helen told us.

Ben is now looking forward to some warmer weather so that he can get out and about!

If you would like to enquire about Cerebra’s trikes or would like to set the team at the Innovation Centre a new challenge, you can contact them by email at cic@cerebra.org.uk or by phone on 01792 483688.

CIC Need Testers for Exciting New Product!

Oxygen Trolley Plans

Oxygen Trolley Plans

The Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) are currently working on plans for a new Oxygen Trolley and we are looking for testers.

We mentioned in the last newsletter that one of our plans for this year is to develop our little Oxygen Trolley to incorporate as many uses and make it available for as many children as possible.

So the plan currently is to make one product that will enable children to transport their own oxygen, ventilator or food pump, and some toys/books etc to make it more inclusive and more of a toy that carries their equipment.

We are trying to develop it so that it can be pushed along and thereby give support as a walker, or pulled along for the more mobile children, and can be sat on to act as a ride-on toy! We have one more addition to make that is not shown here and this is to add steerable wheel to the front for children who are more mobile and stable.

Shown below are some photos of the current design. This first prototype is being sent to some very eager Occupational Therapists in the Long Term Ventilation Team at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham. They are going to assess the product then pass it on to its new owner, a 2 year old boy.

The next one is shooting off to Liverpool for the same assessment by the Liverpool team. We are meeting some more OTs in the Royal Bromton Hospital in London and hopefully by then will have the design perfected.

trolley 1 website

Oxygen Trolley

 

BUT… we still need you!! If your child could benefit from this product we would love to hear from you. We need lots of willing product testers to ensure the concept works and to help us iron out any problems. If you think this would help your child, please get in touch and join the fun! Our overall aim is to be able to make a really good product that we will be able to sell commercially and earn an income for Cerebra.

If you would like to get in touch,  please call on 01792 483688 or email cic@cerebra.org.uk.

CIC in 2015

CIC Scoot seat

CIC Scoot seat

The Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) are looking forward to a busy 2015 and are calling on you to give them their next challenge!

In 2015 CIC will be working harder than ever to bring you new and exciting products!

As usual, if there is anything we can help with please give us a call. Maybe:

  • You can’t find something that works appropriately for your child or your needs
  • You have an idea for a product that will help your child
  • You might have made something for your child that worked really well and want to make a smart version of it
  • You might have invented something that you would like to share and make more widely available for others.

Go on,  give us a challenge – get in touch on 01792 483688 or emailcic@cerebra.org.uk

CIC Need Testers for Exciting New Product!

Plans for the new Oxygen Trolly

Plans for the new Oxygen Trolly

The Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) are currently working on plans for a new Oxygen Trolley and we are looking for testers.

We mentioned in the last newsletter that one of our plans for this year is to develop our little Oxygen Trolley to incorporate as many uses and make it available for as many children as possible.

So the plan currently is to make one product that will enable children to transport their own oxygen, ventilator or food pump, and some toys/books etc to make it more inclusive and more of a toy that carries their equipment.

We are trying to develop it so that it can be pushed along and thereby give support as a walker, or pulled along for the more mobile children, and can be sat on to act as a ride-on toy! We have one more addition to make that is not shown here and this is to add steerable wheel to the front for children who are more mobile and stable.

Shown below are some photos of the current design. This first prototype is being sent to some very eager Occupational Therapists in the Long Term Ventilation Team at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham. They are going to assess the product then pass it on to its new owner, a 2 year old boy.

The next one is shooting off to Liverpool for the same assessment by the Liverpool team. We are meeting some more OTs in the Royal Bromton Hospital in London and hopefully by then will have the design perfected.

BUT… we still need you!! If your child could benefit from this product we would love to hear from you. We need lots of willing product testers to ensure the concept works and to help us iron out any problems. If you think this would help your child, please get in touch and join the fun! Our overall aim is to be able to make a really good product that we will be able to sell commercially and earn an income for Cerebra.

If you would like to get in touch,  please call on 01792 483688 or email cic@cerebra.org.uk.

CIC Develop New and Improved Oxygem

pic 2 main

CIC have been developing a new product…shhhhh….don’t tell anyone just yet!

We are in an exciting development phase of the new and improved Oxygem. This is a small oxygen cylinder and ventilator transportation device (Trolley!). You might have seen our Trunki Suitcase conversions, and even our own designed and build unit that was a real success for the few children who have used them, but now the idea is to redesign it having studied the old units in action.

Here you can see the Mark I Oxygem:

Oxygem

Oxygem

We have a few ideas that are being explored, and are trying to incorporate different ways of the child pushing or pulling it, but also for the child to sit on or in the and push along, or be pushed by an adult……not much to ask….but technically it is a very tough project!

Below you can see one nice idea that we have been working on. It is similar in principle to a toddler’s Block Truck. This unit is for small children and incorporates some great design features to help children walk un-aided. By holding the handle and pushing the child will be stable, and the rear wheels project further behind the truck so if they fall backwards the unit will not tip over. The really clever bit is that the wheel bearings only move forwards, and so when falling backwards the wheels act as a brake and will help prevent falling. This was first developed purely as a walking aid, but has been redesigned to accommodate oxygen, ventilators and food pumps.

For older children and those with better stability we are still working on a more complex solution and below you can see some of the sketches ideas so far. What we are trying to achieve is one product with multiple uses. This will give children the most flexibility of use and make it more accessible to more families. To be able to take control of their own oxygen supply and get around unaided will give such a sense of freedom and independence that we are trying to make this a real game changing product.

Oxygem plans

Oxygem plans

Once we are happy with the sketch ideas we will translate this onto the computer aided design program (Solidworks) and begin the lengthy process of prototyping and building test units. Once these are finished we can test them with our first few clients and refine the product.

We look forward to being able to bring you more news in the New Year and will keep you up to date with developments. If you think any of these ideas might be able to benefit your child please get in touch via the website and let us know.

The CIC team would like to take the opportunity to say a huge “Thank You and Merry Christmas” to all of our members, and people who have so kindly donated to enable us to do the most amazing jobs we could ever imagine working on! We look forward to working with you in 2015!!

If you have a challenge for the CIC team you can contact them by telephone: 01792 483688 or by email: cic@cerebra.org.uk.

Puddle Splashing Fun Made Easy

Butler Overboot

Butler Overboot

One of our mums recently asked CIC for some help to find a solution to her child’s soggy feet during the prolonged wet weather.

Her child wears supportive Piedro boots which are great for support, but were not offering water resistance during trips to parks, petting zoos and, given the wet weather we have had, almost everywhere!

Well there is a fantastic new solution available called a Butler Overboot. Established in 2012, this great innovation from the USA allows you to wear a completely waterproof boot over your existing shoes. They are made from a thin but tough rubber material which opens very wide thanks to the “accordion bellows tongue” and allows you to push your feet with your shoes on, into the boot and then secure with the Velcro tab.

Mr Kingsley-Poole of Bulter® says “They are practical, durable and built to perform under pressure. Come rain, sleet or snow, kids will love the bright, fun colours while mums will love how easy they are to slip over and off of their child’s shoes”.

Available to buy from various retailers around the country and online (Amazon) for £35 we think these boots are great and should help in many situations for any and all children. We think they might be especially useful for children with supportive shoes or when untying and retying shoe laces can be time consuming. We found them to be very easy to put on- if you open the “fan” wide and push the front of the shoe in, and just a bit of a tug on the handy tab at the back and the child’s feet slipped in. Our young product demonstrator absolutely loved them, taking every opportunity to splash in every puddle around with extra enthusiasm.

Butler boots are available in six fun colours: Classic Navy, Yellow Sunshine, Fire Engine Red, Bright Lime, Pink Passion and Teal Tales – enough to brighten up the dullest rainy day and offer lots of puddle-splashing fun with reduced effort!

Please follow this link to find out more: http://us.butlerboot.com/
To find local retailers, if you click the link then follow  the “where to buy” tab.

Jessica Earns Child of Courage Award

Jessica at the Pride of Essex Awards

Jessica at the Pride of Essex Awards

Jessica Taylor is named Child of Courage at the Pride of Essex Awards.

We were very pleased to hear that Jessica Taylor has been honoured at the Pride of Essex Awards.

Jessica was given the Child of Courage Award at the ceremony which took place on 25th November.

Jessica’s is well known by Cerebra and our relationship with her began when mum Carolyn approached the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) with a very important puzzle to solve! Jessica is reliant on an oxygen tank, having to carry one with her at all times which severely limited her independence and meant that she had to have an adult with her at all times to carry it.

The CIC adapted a trunki suitcase for Jessica to be able to carry her oxygen tank with her which has meant that Jessica can look forward to doing everything that other children enjoy.

As well as a trophy Jessica, received a cheque for £1,000 which will be used to buy her two pieces of much needed equipment that will help her development.

The family will also very kindly be donating to the CIC so that they can reach out to even more children like Jessica.

“Ross and the guys at the CIC do a superb job and I know Jess would have struggled to become as independent as she now is without their help so it’s great to be able to send a little back to help someone else along life’s road,” Carolyn said.

This isn’t the first time Jessica’s courage has been recognised with an award. She was recently given a Cerebra Children’s Award along with her sister Bethany who has been there for Jessica through everything. Their story can be found here.

CIC is back up and running!

CIC full 2 main

As you may be aware we have moved offices – in fact, we moved building, workshop, office and all of our kit. It took forever! We had enjoyed a top floor office in University of Wales TSD Swansea for the last 9 years, with a panoramic sea view and lots of space. But in line with the plans to re-house the School of Industrial Design in a newly renovated building in the city centre, we upped sticks and joined them.

Our new home is in part of the Old Swansea Central Library which has been renovated and sports a fantastic new glass atrium on the west elevation. You may have seen the building in one Dr Who episode where they filmed in the round reading room. The building looks fantastic now, and we have brand new state of the art machines in the workshops and a lovely new office (no sea view unfortunately).

CIC full main

That said, it took a while to move in! As with all building projects there were many unforeseen obstacles which led to delays. We packed up our things into boxes and crates, according to the schedule, in June but we were not able to move in until August in the end and the workshop was not commissioned until early November! So after a few homeless months and with no workshop we did get delayed in some of our work, and we have been fighting hard to pull back some of our deadlines. Thank you all so much for being patient with us!

The good news is that our phone works again!! Yes- you heard it, 3 months off thegrid, but we are connected again! Please call us on 01792 483688 if you have any requests for products or help that we might be able to offer.

We have many new products getting close to finishing; including fish tank enclosures to make fish tanks accessible to children, “Oxygem” our oxygen cylinder trolleys and the 20 writing slopes are close to completion- we had to order the parts from China to get these finished!

Daniel Shows off Weighted Cap

Daniel and his weighted cap

Daniel and his weighted cap

Daniel O’Connor has received a weighted cap specially made by Cerebra’s own Innovation Centre.

Weighted items can be very useful for children with sensory issues and conditions such as Autism as they can help them to feel grounded. This can help to increase a child’s concentration span which has clear benefits in a school setting.

The problem that many parents encounter is that weighted items are not always readily available or are unsuitable for their child’s specific needs.

That’s where the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) comes in! The team recently created a weighted hat for nine year-old Daniel O’Connor who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in February 2014.

Daniel found it difficult to concentrate in class often becoming quite fidgety. He started using a weighted blanket which was given to him by one of his teaching assistants and would often put it on his head, saying that it “helped him concentrate”.

His mum Julie contacted Dr Ross Head at the CIC and explained the situation. It seemed that creating a weighted cap for Daniel was the best solution!

The team took one of Daniel’s own caps and stitched in a specially developed a rubber-like sheet material that is tough and flexible, yet dense enough for even the thinnest of layers to offer enough weight for the cap.

The cap has had a huge positive impact on Daniel’s life and he says that when he is wearing it, the hat helps him to concentrate, and he can think for longer.

Julie said: “I can’t thank Cerebra and Dr Ross Head enough, and as for Daniel, the cap looks a lot better on him than wearing a blanket on his head!”