How we help
Ronald McDonald House Charities keeps families together so children in hospital can get the love and comfort they need.
Our Houses give families somewhere to lay their heads at night while their child is in hospital. Our accommodation is provided free of charge and for as long as families need it, sparing them some of the financial issues that can arise during a prolonged hospital stay. According to a recent report by BLISS, families with a sick baby in hospital can face unexpected extra expenses of up to £2,000 per hospital visit. Ronald McDonald Houses enable parents to stay as close as possible to the children's ward and in doing so greatly reduce the need to travel and all of its associated stresses and costs.
Further, results of a recent study conducted at our House in Oxford show clearly that family members were able to sleep better and for longer whilst in a Ronald McDonald House, compared to sleeping on their child's ward. It is this quality sleep and recuperation that enables our families to properly support each other and their child in hospital.
Our Houses are fitted with everything a family could need to make themselves feel at home. Though it may sound mundane, the provision of facilities such as a laundry room and a kitchen are precisely what allow families to maintain some degree of normality.
The staff in a Ronald McDonald House are also on hand to offer support when needed, such as a listening ear or a chat over a cup of tea. Many Houses organise kids activities such as arts and crafts sessions, birthday parties or special visits, so the children staying with us feel supported and looked after during their time away from friends at home. Other communal activities such as 'Waffle Wednesday' or 'Film Friday' bring families together so they can share experiences; Peer-to-peer support is so invaluable during these times.
Where possible we also provide day services for families who either don’t require a room or who, due to demand, we are unable to accommodate. These services run from simply allowing them some space and time to rest away from the ward, to the extension of our laundry and cooking facilities and their inclusion in various House events.
This is an exciting time for our Charity. We are working hard to open more Houses and help more families in their time of need. Read more about what we’ve already achieved, how we are supported, and our plans for the future in our new annual report.Read our Annual Report
Our Houses, staff and volunteers have helped thousands of families over the last 25 years and some of them have kindly decided to share their experiences.Family stories