Give & Gain Day in Birmingham
Guest blogger: Maria Surcel
On Friday 17 May, I was lucky enough to visit Ronald McDonald House Birmingham for a very special occasion indeed. It marked annual Give & Gain Day, which aims to connect skilled professionals with community organisations by getting them involved in a volunteering project.
Project organisers Hannah Kirkland and Charlotte Cooper from Lex Autolease were thrilled to be partnered with Ronald McDonald House Birmingham and keen to help out in any way they could.
Hannah said, “Ronald McDonald House is such a humble charity we wanted to create an atmosphere for families to come and relax with us and enjoy what we could offer as a business.”
And a relaxing environment is exactly what the volunteers created. The day kicked off at 9am sharp with a complimentary drop-in ironing service which families made full use of. A little luxury such as this can be just the trick to ease the strain of the day to day stresses our families go through.
Whilst the ironing team were getting busy with the sheets, those of Lex Autolease who were feeling a little more green-fingered took a trip to the top floor balcony where their challenge was to transform the space into an enticing environment for families. They very kindly purchased some lovely plants and decorations and gave the balcony a good scrub; fit for a Birmingham House family!
Volunteers also expended their energy painting the ground floor playroom/dining area which looked as pretty as a picture by the end of the day.
In preparation for the day, Hannah, Charlotte and the team had been hard at work in their office raising money amongst colleagues and arranging donations from their local branches of Tesco and Greggs. The donations allowed the team to host a morning fry-up with sausages, bacon and egg which unsurprisingly, proved very popular amongst the families! Below is a snap of dad Andrew and son Bradley tucking in.
The day culminated in a beautiful afternoon tea spread which included homemade and donated cakes, shortbread and refreshments. Dad Paul Raine took full advantage of the selection on offer as you can see in this photo!
There was a raffle draw with some beautiful prizes donated, such as a Costco food hamper and chocolate and sweets selection boxes.
By the end of the day, the momentum and buzz in the House had all but waned and volunteers took this opportunity to have a chat with families and find out first-hand the support Ronald McDonald House Charities offers to families with sick children.
Hannah Kirkland further reiterated this idea, “Every single volunteer who contributed on the day left feeling inspired by the families that are so strong and Ronald McDonald House staff that are so genuinely caring, it was a day I will never forget and I look forward to returning.”
Thanks for having us Ronald McDonald House Birmingham!