I knew from a very early age that a Ronald McDonald House was a special place. I remember how my dad – who is a Franchisee for McDonald’s (Ismet Turen) - would talk about the House at Brighton and liked to get involved, as he still does today. As a young child, I thought it was perhaps where Ronald lived and maybe even the Hamburglar was a nearby mischievous neighbour!
The moment I realised just what the Charity meant to me was when I got a bit older. At that time, we moved to Brighton and my dad spoke again about the Ronald McDonald House. Now it really was on our doorstep and my dad encouraged us to visit the House and start getting more involved with the Charity.
I began to understand the impact that the House has on families with children in hospital and I felt that Ronald McDonald House Charities didn't really have the recognition it deserves within the UK. This is something that I still feel strongly about to this day.
Now, my sister Lizzie and I try to regularly drop in and help out at Ronald McDonald House Brighton. It would be easier for us to donate monthly and forget about the work the Charity does but we want to take a more hands on approach.
When we go to the House and we meet the mums and dads the great work the Charity does, it sinks in, probably because you can see it first-hand.
The team in Brighton are brilliant and made up of House Manager, Martin, Kailla, the Chief Go Getter and Madge, who makes the House look immaculate every day. They instantly make you feel at ease and I know, help the families immensely. It's not so much a 'House' as it is more a home.