When first introduced or referred to Noah’s Ark, each family is given a dedicated Family Link Worker, who will be your first point of contact. They will be a constant, reassuring presence throughout your time with us, offering guidance, advocacy, moral support – and sometimes simply someone for you to talk to.
Your Family Link Worker will carry out an initial visit and help you to identify the support that would be most beneficial. Reviews are carried out at least annually to allow services to be adjusted appropriately.
The Family Link Worker will offer practical and emotional support as needed, either at The Ark, in the community, or at home. They will continue to support your family for as long as you need, up until your child’s 19th Birthday, or for up to three years post bereavement.
The Family Activities Team are in charge of fun! They publish quarterly diaries of events, including Children’s Groups, Sibling Groups, Parent/Carer Groups, and Family Parties. These activities are a great way to develop confidence and independence, to make friends and to build a whole community of support. To book an activity, or for any questions about activities, including transport, please contact the team via reception.
Home Support Volunteers
Our trained volunteers provide support for children and families in the home and within the local community. Their assistance could involve playing games, helping with homework, or carrying out practical tasks such as cleaning or gardening. They can also be an extra pair of hands, helping the whole family enjoy a day out together.
The exact role assigned to a Home Support Volunteer is unique for each family. The volunteer works closely with each family to identify what would be of help, or which member of the family may benefit from some extra support.
To discuss having a Noah’s Ark volunteer support your family, please speak to Family Link in the first instance. For queries about current volunteer support in the home, please call reception and ask to speak to the Home Support Volunteer Manager.
Our family activities and home support service is only made possible by our amazing team of accredited volunteers.
All volunteers go through an enhanced DBS check and a thorough recruitment and training programme, so you know you can put your trust in them. They are never left unaccompanied with children and young people who are unwell, nor do they offer any clinical or personal care.
You can see open volunteer roles here.
We offer music therapy, drama and movement therapy, and Art Therapy, as well as sessional Occupational Therapy. These services help children and families to address individual physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs.
Therapies may be delivered in The Ark, at home or at school. We also offer therapy groups and some in-reach services, such as music therapy in Hospital – including Barnet Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCLH Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
We believe that play is a vital aspect of a child’s life. Our Play Specialist can provide play support for your child in your home, at school, hospital, in a community setting or at The Ark.
All play sessions are designed to meet the individual needs of the child, with specific aims and outcomes in mind. Sessions are led by the child and all play is looked at from a holistic approach to promote positive outcomes.
Specialist Care and Nursing
Office hours: 020 8449 8877
Nurse on-call: 020 3994 4134 (24/7)
Nurse on duty: 07713 071116
We are able to provide specialist care and nursing for babies, children and young people at The Ark, in the home or in a community setting. Our Specialist Nurses and Carers support the child’s full clinical, emotional, social and practical needs. On occasion, overnight short breaks can be arranged to support families – these short breaks cannot be guaranteed and all admissions will be prioritised according to families’ needs.
For queries about specialist care or nursing currently being received, please contact the allocated Specialist Carer or Nurse directly. To discuss if your child is eligible and request an assessment for this service, please speak to Family Link in the first instance. If you need to contact a nurse out of hours, please use the nurse on-call number. If there is a medical emergency, please call 999.
When providing end-of-life care, our team will do everything they can to ensure your child’s final days are as peaceful and comfortable as possible.
Together with your child’s existing team of healthcare professionals, we provide complex symptom management and holistic care over the last days and weeks. We can offer support for compassionate extubation (the removal of life support) at The Ark or in the family home.
We work closely with your child, with you and with professionals to understand in advance your child’s end-of-life plans and wishes. Our Care Team supports the whole family in creating lasting memories and meaningful experiences together.
We can provide post-death care for babies, children and young people up to 18 who have died in any circumstances, even if they were not known to Noah’s Ark during their life.
This includes children who have died unexpectedly or suddenly through accident or illness, and stillborn babies (24+ weeks gestation). If a baby is stillborn following a diagnosis during pregnancy (‘foetal anomaly’), we may be able to offer care earlier than 24 weeks. In these circumstances we would ask the parent or referrer to call us to have a discussion with a Noah’s Ark nurse in advance.
The following services are available:
- Bereavement bedrooms with cold blankets and cuddle cots
- Designated family accommodation enabling families to stay close to their child, to visit and care for them after their death
- Family support, including advice on registering the death, arranging the funeral, and sourcing funding
- Bereavement support for the whole family, including creative therapies and 1-to-1 emotional support
- Opportunities to create keepsakes and complete memory work and crafts
- Sibling support from Specialist Play and Family Activities Team
We are very aware that for many families the grieving process begins at the point their child’s condition is diagnosed. We keep this closely in mind throughout our support for families.
Family Link Workers offer post-bereavement support for up to three years following the death of a child. We consider this to be a continuation of the relationship we develop with families from the point when we accept their referral.
Post-bereavement support can be practical, emotional or may simply involve us being there to listen. As a team, we recognise when grief is becoming complicated, and we will offer guidance or refer on when this seems to be the case.
In addition to Family Link, we offer bereavement support via our Bereavement and Therapies teams who support children and their families through memory making activities. We are also trained to give post-bereavement support to surviving siblings with input from our Play Specialist, Music Therapist, Art Therapist and Movement and Drama Therapist. Our Family Link, Bereavement and Therapies teams have plans to expand their service to support ‘all age’ interventions and groups.
Our Butterfly Groups, which we offer twice a year, are led by Family Link and Therapies teams together and provide whole family and peer support.
This post-bereavement support is available to any bereaved family, whether or not we had previously known their child.
We also hold an annual Memory Event which includes a non-denominational candle lighting ceremony, followed by all-age memory making and craft activities. Invitations are offered to families for as long as they wish, even after three years.
Completed in 2019, our award-winning children’s hospice building, The Ark includes a wide range of facilities.
In addition to the Soft Play and Sensory room, The Ark is home to a Gaming and Cinema Room (The Den), Creative and Music Room, and Hydrotherapy Room. We also have a Multi-Faith room available for contemplation and prayer.
All our care facilities have ceiling hoists, and we have the only fully accessible playground in north London. The grounds offer wheelchair accessible outdoor experiences, including a Woodland Walk through a 7.5-acre nature reserve and a sensory walkway. The path passes around our Butterfly Meadow, Wildlife Ponds and Bluebell Wood, and includes various resting spots dotted around the trail.
In the Woodlands Wing we have 6 children’s bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms, including sensory baths. The Meadows Wing has three comfortable family suites, where families can stay whilst their child is being cared for. There is even a well-equipped family kitchen where food can be prepared. You can also get food from The Rainbow Café, where our in-house chef prepares fresh meals daily for visitors to purchase for a small cost. We are able to cater for families’ particular dietary requirements.