Day in the Volunteering Life | Jane
Tell us how you first got involved with Ronald McDonald House Charities.
I first became aware of the charity in 2004 when my daughter was admitted to King's College Hospital and we were offered a room at the local Ronald McDonald House Camberwell. I had always remembered how helpful the Charity was at a time of stress for my family. Recently, I had been thinking about getting involved in some volunteering and when I checked out the opportunities available at the Southampton House I decided to make contact and see what I could do to help out!
What was your first impression of the Southampton House?
I was amazed at the size of the House and that it can accommodate 53 families at a time! The facilities are excellent and there is a lot of attention to detail to keep it comfortable for the families. The staff were also friendly and very welcoming.
What has surprised you most about working for the Charity?
The House is a lot more than just accommodation. The staff put on special events for the families such as a party for Mother’s Day and Easter to name a few, and also how important donations and fundraising are to the House.
When you volunteer how does it make you feel?
Useful! The staff are very hardworking and busy so it is good to be able to help out with tasks that they may not have a chance to complete as often. I come away from each session thinking I might have made a difference however small.
What do you wish other people knew about Ronald McDonald House Charities UK?
How helpful and important the charity is to families who have a child in the hospital. Especially if they are a long way from home. To have a comfortable bed to sleep in, an en-suite bathroom, use of kitchen facilities and a bit of space for relaxing, mean the world at a stressful time. The fact the Houses are so close to the hospitals mean that parents and families can come and go whenever they need to be by their child’s bedside.
What’s it like to be a volunteer for Ronald McDonald House Charities UK?
Welcoming. Interesting. Varied. I’ve helped with lots of different tasks, mainly practical tasks such as sorting through donations, gardening, making Easter cards for the families and wrapping presents. I never quite know what tasks I will be completing from week to week, but I always look forward to volunteering at the Southampton House!
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