London Mayor Sadiq Khan praised community support for a new children’s hospice building in Barnet that will serve hundreds of families affected by serious childhood illness.
Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice opened its new £8.5m building, the Ark, in Barnet on Thursday to serve Jewish and non-Jewish families in north and central London and Hertsmere.
The facilities, built in the shape of a butterfly in a 7.5-acre nature reserve, offer family and children’s activities in sensory, music and art rooms, 24-hour end-of-life-care and bereavement counselling.
“As the Mayor I am so inspired in relation to the generosity of Jewish Londoners,” Khan told Jewish News. “I’ve met children of Islamic faith. I’ve met children who are African-Caribbean. I’ve met children who may not be of the Jewish faith. They’re benefiting because of the generosity of Jewish people,” he said.
“I want every Jewish News reader of Jewish faith, Jewish background, Jewish heritage, who’s given money, given support, volunteered, got involved in this to be so proud of the fact that there are children of other backgrounds, other faiths, other heritages who will benefit,” he added.
Also attending the opening of the new building, which received support from Tottenham Hotspurs FC, were team captains Hugo Lloris and Jenna Schillaci.
Donna-Maria Cullen, executive director of the club, said: “The Ark truly is the home that the charity and those it supports deserves, providing first-class facilities to further enhance the vital delivery of care and support. The club, its staff, players and fans are humbled to have played a small part on this journey.”
Among those who lent their support in the community were Sue and Leo Noé of the Rachel Charitable Trust, the Dorfman Foundation, philanthropist Alan Howard, Sir Mick Davis and Lady Barbara, Sharon and Jonathan Goldstein, while the Maurice Wohl Foundation sponsored a room that will prioritise families supported by Jewish charity Camp Simcha.
Noah’s Ark chair of trustees Jeremy Isaacs told Jewish News: “[The Maurice Wohl Foundation room] is part of us recognising that obviously the Jewish community is very much present within the areas that we’re operating in, that is North and Central London.
“Our community is fantastic when it comes to supporting important philanthropic requirements or need within not just the Jewish community but also in the areas where they live and can make a difference and that’s really powerful,” he added.
Hertsmere Mayor Councillor Alan Plancey, who attended the opening in his mayoral chains, praised “the Jewish charitable organisations that have come out in support of this venture together with the other charitable organisations.”