Philanthropist Leo Noé donned wellies and a hard hat on Wednesday to visit a £6 million respite home for Jewish children with special needs which is under construction in Stamford Hill.
Standing in what will be an airy, glass-walled atrium at the 25-bed Bayis Sheli, Mr Noé said "the reason this didn't exist before is because it needed women of foresight to make it happen". Those women are Sophie Bernstein and trustees Leah Stern and Tzirel Gluck.
"We've been working on this for eight years now," said Mrs Stern, "and we hope to welcome the first children in July 2012. We've had parents contacting us from Gateshead, even Switzerland".
Mr Noé has donated £390,000 to the project, which is currently £1 million short of its target. Facilities will include a hydrotherapy pool, sensory rooms and a small synagogue.
It will accept children from all Jewish backgrounds, prioritising those from London.
"This project has raised funds from all sectors of the Jewish community," Mr Noé said. "It is for the whole community."