Volunteering at Ronald McDonald House Birmingham
Richard volunteers one day a week at Ronald McDonald House Birmingham, helping out with everything from greeting families at the House reception to cleaning. Here he tells us about his volunteering experience and what he has gained from it.
In September 2016 I became a Governor of Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham, and being recently retired I decided that I would spend half a day a week volunteering at the House. It has given me a valuable insight into the working of this wonderful organisation.
I was immediately made to feel part of the team of hard working and committed folk who run the house and I really look forward to my Tuesday mornings. I enjoy all of my morning, but if I had to single out a couple of things to highlight they would be:
- The warmth and welcome of the staff to parents and volunteers alike.
- Talking to parents, the house is like a really good hotel and they really appreciate the service it gives, in what for them can be difficult and distressing times.
I carry out a number of jobs on my morning:
- Reception: It’s great to meet and greet parents, children and visitors,
- Cleaning: The work of the housekeepers is exacting and for a novice like me very tiring. I take my cycle helmet off to them!
- Preparing for the many social events that mark out the Ronald McDonald House year.
Also, I’m not sure where else you could gain this range of unique new skills:
- Painting dinosaurs for the dinosaur party. The Tyrannosaurus Rex just would not keep still while I was painting him.
- Preparing reindeer food. We prepared 10,000 sachets for sale in the local restaurants, mixing porridge oats with edible glitter to a secret formula guarded even more closely than that for Coca Cola!
- Most of all, it’s great fun, and if I have to miss a week that week never seems quite complete.