Noah's Ark Children's Hospice.
One of our Charity’s aims has always been to help provide support for young adult bereaved siblings and we are really excited to announce that this has now been made possible together with Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.
This incredible Charity provides clinical, practical and emotional support to babies, children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families living in North and Central London and Hertsmere.
They have recently built The Ark - a brand new children’s hospice building located in Barnet on a 7.5 acre nature reserve. This is a home-from-home for children who are seriously unwell, where they are given the time and space to be children and not just patients. It provides an inspiring space for relaxation, adventure, and for children and their families to connect with others facing similar challenges.
At the beginning of 2018, through the support of Max’s Foundation, Noah’s Ark established its Synergy Group programme. This programme is designed for children and young people, aged 14 to 18, whose siblings have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, as well as those who have lost a sibling.
Through regular group events, these children are provided with valuable opportunities to meet, connect, and make friends with others facing similar situations. Excursions this year have included an ice-skating trip in February as well as a group outing to Go Ape in April. Upcoming events include a trip to Thorpe Park and go-karting. One sibling, aged 14, said after one event: “I liked coming to the event because it made me feel like a child again.”
Megan Scott, Family Activities Co-ordinator at Noah’s Ark, explains:
“Thanks to Max’s Foundation, we have been able to offer our 14 to 18 year old siblings invaluable regular days out. The Synergy Group events not only give them a chance to try something new but also give them an opportunity to socialise with other young people in similar situations.
It is lovely to see friendships between the young people growing greater each time they meet up! Each event is so important as it gives them a chance to do something that is solely for themselves and just have fun!”
Max’s Foundation has also funded bereavement counselling training for Noah’s Ark staff. Catherine Toohey, Head of Family Link and Therapies at Noah’s Ark, says:
“We are very appreciative that this funding gives us an opportunity to build a bespoke training day which will specifically meet our needs as we continue to expand our services. The training aims to give a deeper understanding of the process of grief and different reactions to the grieving process. This will equip our staff to provide support and comfort for families when a child dies.
It will also provide an appreciation of anticipatory grief which occurs when a child is facing end-of-life, to provide support for parents and carers as they face impending loss whilst continuing to provide daily care. This is clearly a very emotional and stressful time for families and it is important for our care staff to have appropriate knowledge and skills in order to provide the highest levels of support at this time.
The training will also focus on self-care and resilience which will ensure quality care from Noah’s Ark care staff throughout the family journey.”
Thank you so much once again to Max’s Foundation for its continued support, which has had, and will continue to have, a hugely important impact on the lives of the seriously unwell children and families that Noah’s Ark supports.
For more information on Noah’s Ark click here (NoahsArkHospice.org.uk).