Special guests a big draw at charity raffle
A Christmas raffle was held at Ronald McDonald House Tooting on Thursday 11 December 2014 – with special guests the Mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Stuart Thom, and Tooting MP Sadiq Khan joining staff and families to draw the winners.
The raffle raised £2,500 for Ronald McDonald House Tooting, a free ‘home away from home’ where families who have children being treated at St George’s Hospital can stay.
The annual raffle has become a much-loved seasonal fixture and this year’s event was particularly well attended. Families who are staying at the House and staff from St George’s Hospital joined volunteers from the local community to kick-start the Christmas season and raise money for a good cause.
They were joined by staff from the Tooting High Street branch of Sainsbury’s, which had generously donated a full assortment of festive food and treats for guests to enjoy.
The Mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Stuart Thom, and Sadiq Khan MP offered some words of welcome before drawing the raffle.
Raffle prizes included a sought-after hamper from Harrods, a selection of wine donated by the Gorringe Park pub in Tooting and a dinner party in the winner’s home from Leiths Cooking School.
Speaking to guests, Sadiq Khan MP said: “I was very proud to open Ronald McDonald House in St George's nearly nine years ago, and since then the team has provided incredible support to hundreds of families. I want to thank all of the staff at Ronald McDonald House Tooting for working so hard to make the House a true home away from home for families who have sick children at St George’s Hospital. The brilliant raffle will raise much needed funds."
Among the many guests enjoying the House’s early Yuletide treat were the Pullen family from near Tunbridge Wells.
Ronald McDonald House Tooting has been a ‘home away from home’ for Emma Pullen, 31, Julian Pullen, 34, and 17 month-old Hollie Pullen since the beginning of this month. The newest addition to their family, two week-old Zoe Pullen, is currently being treated at St George’s Hospital after being born prematurely.
Emma explains the difference that being able to stay at the House has made:
“It was such a weight off our shoulders to know that we would be able to stay near Zoe while she is being treated in hospital. Without the free accommodation at Ronald McDonald House Tooting, we would have had to choose between a four-hour round trip everyday from our home near Tunbridge Wells, or spending money on a nearby hotel. We are so grateful.
“Although Zoe is doing well, she is unlikely to be discharged from the hospital before Christmas. There is no place like home – but this wonderful facility runs a close second and we are pleased that we will be able spend the Christmas period here – just a short walk away from our little girl”.
Rachel Tween, House Manager at Ronald McDonald House Tooting, adds: “We would like to thank all our guests and supporters who helped to bring a touch of seasonal sparkle to our House. We rely on the support of the local community and we really couldn’t have asked for more.”
Following the Christmas raffle, a donation of £2,000 was handed to the House by Sam Day who, together with her husband Terry Day, runs the Pollards Hill Poker Club at the Royal Surrey pub in Morden. The couple are long-standing supporters of the House and have made a number of donations over the past six years.
For more information about Ronald McDonald House Tooting visit www.rmhc.org.uk/tooting.
To speak to someone, for more pictures or further information please contact:
Alex Goldup, T. 020 7250 8291 M. 07791 765 915 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
1. Photography credit: Alex Goldup.
2. Ronald McDonald House Tooting is run by Ronald McDonald House Charities - an independent charity that provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation at hospitals across the UK. It enables seriously ill children to have their families close by when they are undergoing treatment and allows them to maintain a degree of normal family life.
3. There are 14 Ronald McDonald Houses in the UK and in 2013 they helped support over 7,000 families with children in hospital.
4. Ronald McDonald House Charities relies on the generosity of supporters and fundraisers, including McDonald’s customers, without whom it would be unable to continue its work. The Charity was founded in 1989 and in 2014 proudly celebrates 25 years of keeping families together.