Whether they volunteer, support families directly or work behind the scenes, everyone at Noah’s Ark is committed to changing the lives children who are seriously unwell and their families.


My name is Kirsty, I’m a Music Therapist and Researcher

Kirsty Ormston is an expert in music therapy. Alongside her role supporting families at Noah’s Ark, Kirsty is carrying out ground-breaking research into the use of music therapy in neonatal wards.

She said:” There are around 700 music therapists in the UK but almost none of them work on neonatal wards and there is currently no standardised practice for those that are. This means that families on neonatal wards whose children need hospice care may not be getting the support they need.

“My research aims to change that. Funded by the National Institute of Health Research, my three-year research project seeks to define what music therapy should look like on a neonatal unit. This includes what materials a family might need; what language therapists should use to describe the support they offer; and when they should approach families. I’m collaborating with Kings College London and UCLH’s neonatal ward on this project.

The first stage of my research involves focus groups with parents who have experience of neonatal wards, as well as various charities, organisations and chaplaincies to explore cultural connections to music. We also want to understand how we can use the voice, through things such as chanting or prayer, to connect with the baby at that time.

This type of research has never been done in the UK before. If it is successful, it could change the way music therapy on neonatal wards is delivered across the UK, making sure that every family with a child in need of hospice care gets the support they need.”

Find out more about our Therapies at Noah’s Ark here.