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How The Ark has buzzed with life throughout Coronavirus

12 JUNE 2020

The Ark has been in use during the course of the pandemic

For many Noah’s Ark children and families, the isolation that so many of us have faced recently is completely normal; they always need to protect their children, even from everyday viruses.

But coronavirus has been exceptional. Families have had their care plans disrupted, been forced into an even greater level of isolation and faced emotional, clinical and financial worries the likes of which haven’t been experienced before. That’s why Noah’s Ark has stepped in to support our families in these rarefied circumstances.

After the recent opening of the In-Patient Unit (IPU), the hospice building has seen a number of children staying over the past weeks and months. This has included children staying at the very end of their lives – as well as staying in the ‘Butterfly Suites’ after they’ve died.

You can read here about one family’s stay at The Ark and how the building proved absolutely critical when Karen got a serious leg infection which meant that she could barely walk and Covid-19 decimated the family’s care plan.

Although The Ark has been supporting people through the most challenging circumstances, we’ve also seen wonderfully uplifting moments. We’ve made children’s wishes come true – whether that’s hosting a first ever socially distanced birthday party for one teenager or facilitating the final wish of another.

The Ark has been fortunate to receive a huge amount of community support over the past months. The communities of North and Central London and Hertsmere have come together to support the hospice and the children and families staying there, particularly by providing regular deliveries of food. There have also been inspirational fundraisers, including the five paediatricians who climbed mountains for Noah’s Ark, the group of Barnet-based guys who ran a 24-hour relay for the charity and the two sisters who set up a tie dyeing business exclusively for Noah’s Ark.

Sophie Andrews, Chief Executive of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice said: “Coronavirus forced us to dramatically and rapidly expedite the opening of the IPU, to support the NHS and help our families. Having that facility open and running has been a lifeline for the children and families who have been staying, particularly those facing clinical or social emergencies.

“We’ve also been supporting people outside of the building. The practical support that we deliver if, for example, our families need help with a housing application has been instrumental in helping families to get through the crisis, whether or not they’ve stayed at The Ark. And, of course, we’re absolutely committed to getting our full Hospice-at-Home service back up-and-running as soon as possible”.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the hospice through this difficult period

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