A charity that cares for children with life-limiting illnesses has raised more than £1 million with the help of world-famous royal snapper Rankin. 

Six families who have been supported by Noah’s Ark Children's Hospice since their child’s diagnosis had their portraits taken by the top celebrity photographer as part of the fundraising campaign.

The money donated was doubled by matching-fund pledges by benefactors. 

Rankin, who has photographed the late Queen, David Bowie and Kate Moss, wanted to highlight the positive impact children’s hospices have for the families they support. 

He said: “The joy of a place like Noah’s Ark is that you feel that sense of family and care from the moment you walk in.

“I wanted the photos to celebrate that feeling, the joy, the families and the work that Noah’s Ark does.”

Noah’s Ark, nestled in seven acres of woodland in High Barnet, cares for 350 children and their families. Its operating costs currently stand at around £120,000 a week, and only 17 per cent of its annual running costs are covered by state funding.

Noah’s Ark has a mission for every child who is seriously unwell and their families to have compassionate and expert palliative care from the point of diagnosis. This can mean providing care over a number of years, sometimes even before the child is born.

Noah’s Ark chief executive Sophie Andrews explained: “We invited six families to share their life-changing moments and have their portraits taken by Rankin.

“Giving to charity is difficult for many people but we’re grateful for any donations, however small, which helped us raise £1 million for the children and families who need us.

“Every family is unique but all of them will remember the moment that everything changed. We can be there from that moment, providing clinical care, therapies, play and fun, as well as emotional and practical support.”

The hospice, which ran its 72-hour appeal in October, has a wheelchair playground area, including a trampoline, roundabout and swing. It also has a sensory room, music room and hydrotherapy pool. Beds can be wheeled outside so the children can see and hear nature and wildlife.