A NEW children’s hospice serving youngsters in Potters Bar has been given the go-ahead.

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Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice has been given planning permission by Barnet Council to build a facility at a nature reserve in Byng Road, High Barnet.

The new unit will serve families with seriously ill children in need of support and respite from Hertsmere, including Potters Bar.

And the news has been welcomed by Hertsmere mayor Peter Knell – who drew on his own experiences of childhood bereavement to highlight the importance of hospices.

In 1967, the Potters Bar councillor lost his younger brother Andrew, who died aged 17 after suffering from encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.

One of his mayoral charities this year is The Peace Hospice in Watford.

“Hospices are an extremely good thing,” Cllr Knell said.

“I lost my brother at the age of 17, and we didn’t know anything about hospices then.

“Hospices for adults and children help people towards the end of their life and helps the family come to terms with their grief.

“The people are so caring and so understanding and bring a lot of peace, whether you’re a family member or just a visitor.”

The new unit will be built within the eight-acre reserve on the edge of Barnet, and will offer families access to nearby amenities as well as a large green space for reflection and refuge.

It will have six fully-equipped ensuite children’s bedrooms, plus four rooms to accommodate family members.

Noah’s Ark provides a range of flexible services designed to meet the individual needs of the families it supports. To date, the charity has supported more than 130 families.

The next phase of the new hospice will be to organise a fundraising appeal to help with the building costs.

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