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Boparan Nurse leads opening of The Ark’s In-Patient Unit

22 JUNE 2020

Nina Knoop’s Knowhow Nudges Noah’s Nurses

Noah’s Ark planned to open its In-Patient Unit (IPU) with a gentle pilot in March followed by months of learning, tweaking processes, training, adapting the model then setting itself up for a launch in the second half of 2020. Instead, Covid came along and the Unit was open within days, led by our Boparan Nurse, Nina Knoop.

Nina, whose position is funded by the Boparan Charitable Trust, has a distinguished career within the children’s hospice sector, having previously worked at Keech Hospice. But she says she’s never seen anything like the weeks in which Covid took hold.

“There were huge challenges in opening the IPU so quickly – especially with a number of staff either sick, self-isolating or both. We thought that we’d have months to get all of the processes and training up-to-speed, but we managed it within days”.

The challenge that was presented to Nina was to dramatically increase services, enabling the charity to relieve the NHS. By opening up the IPU, Noah’s Ark is able to take on children facing the end of their lives, as well as those whose care packages aren’t in place and children and families facing clinical or social emergencies.

Nina explains that things had to happen differently to how she would have planned it: “Having to open so quickly meant that we had to write processes, as well as help staff to adhere to them. But the staff are extraordinary here. I’ve never worked in a team like it. Everyone goes above and beyond and we all know that we’ve valued”.

Nina had been working at Noah’s Ark for several months before the IPU opened, notably when the charity had its first child coming into The Ark post-death, on Christmas Eve. Nina mentioned that the family were so grateful: “We got a card from the family just recently. It shows that they’re still thinking of us, even all these months later. Having that positive experience just after your child has died is so crucial to the grieving process”.

Nina’s post has kindly been supported by the Boparan Charitable Trust, the second nursing post that they have sponsored at Noah’s Ark. Nina stresses how important The Trust’s contribution has been: “The contribution of the Boparan Charitable Trust has been absolutely invaluable. These in-patient services are changing the lives of children and families – and this wouldn’t be possible without Boparan”.

Antonio Boparan from the Boparan Charitable Trust said: "The Boparan Charitable Trust is a charity created with the sole aim of improving young people's lives. We have supported the work at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice previously, so when they reached out to us for support during the COVID-19 crisis, I knew that we had to do what we could to support them, so they could, in turn, continue to care for the most vulnerable children. I am pleased that the Trust has been able to fund a specialist nurse during this difficult time". 

Anthony Hayman, Director of Fundraising at Noah’s Ark, said: "We are hugely grateful to The Boparan Charitable Trust for their support of our nursing team at Noah’s Ark, particularly at this challenging time. The Trust provides a hugely valuable opportunity for seriously unwell and disabled children to access much-needed specialists like Nina”.


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