Representatives from a host of organisations, including Rotary and Lions Clubs, Masonic Lodges, Inner Wheel branches and local schools, had their photographs taken in recognition of the money they have collected and donated.
So far £8million has been raised towards the £12 million cost of constructing and fitting out the hospice.
It will provide 24-hour end-of-life and post-death care, accommodation for overnight stays, and sensory music and art rooms for children with life-threatening conditions.
Noah’s Ark Hospice currently provides help for 230 children across five London boroughs, Barnet, Enfield, Camden, Islington, Haringey, and Hertsmere.
Rachel Black, Noah’s Ark’s director of care, thanked the fund raisers, some of whom had been raising money for the hospice since 1999.
We can’t wait to use the hospice.
“We can’t wait to use the hospice. We will of course continue to do our community and hospice-at-home services, but from next spring we will be able to offer more end-of-life choice for children, at home or at the hospice in a near home-to-home environment, a choice some parents will prefer rather than care at hospital.
“At last we will also have a drop-in centre for families and their children and chance to help children live their lives to the fullest for as long as possible.”
Ms Black said parents wanted their last days with children with life threatening conditions to be as precious as possible and the hospice and its surroundings would offer them a special environment.
The new hospice shares the 7.5 acre-nature reserve managed by the Barnet Environment Centre which has its headquarters next door.
Landscaping will be a key feature once the construction work is completed and outdoor spaces will include a play zone and sensory, contemplation and therapeutic gardens.
Leading off from the main reception area will be a wing with six children’s bedrooms; a wing with three family rooms for visitors, and nursery facilities; a wing with therapy play areas with soft and wet games, and a children’s den; and a wing providing offices for the charity.
Sponsors are now being invited to help fit out the hospice – and the options range from sponsoring a bench in the hospice grounds at a cost of £5,000; a ceiling mobility hoist for £10,000; or a specialist paediatric care bed for £20,000.
Ru Watkins, chief executive of Noah’s Ark, thanked and congratulated all those who had gone the extra mile in fund raising. “We will be opening the hospice in the spring of next year and children who come here will be able to use most of the services straight away.”
In 2010 there were estimated to be 1,200 children across the five boroughs that would be benefit from the services offered by the hospice, but the most recent data suggested the total in need was nearer 2,400.