New £7 million accommodation for families of children in hospital opens in Southampton

New £7 million accommodation for families of children in hospital opens in Southampton

Family accommodation needed due to expanding catchment area of hospital

A flagship charity-run accommodation facility for families who have children being treated at Southampton Children’s Hospital and the nearby Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton welcomes the first families to stay today (Tuesday 9 December 2014).

Ronald McDonald House Southampton opens today to provide free ‘home away from home’ accommodation so that families who have sick children in hospital can stay together close to the hospital wards.

House Manager Heidi Palfrey welcomes the first families to the purpose-built facility this afternoon. More families will be given a place to stay at the House over the coming days. They, like all families at the new Ronald McDonald House, can stay free of charge and for as long as they have a child in hospital.

The House has 53 en-suite bedrooms that can accommodate a family of four, and communal lounges and kitchens where families can cook, wash and get much-needed rest – all just minutes away from their child in hospital.

It is run by Ronald McDonald House Charities – an independent charity that for 25 years has provided free ‘home away from home’ accommodation to families with sick children across the UK.

The House is needed to meet a demand for family accommodation that is increasing due to Southampton Children’s Hospital’s wider catchment area in the south of England and beyond. It cost £7 million to build and an additional £500,000 a year is needed for the running costs of the House.

Ronald McDonald House Charities is calling on businesses and the community across the south of England to help raise funds to run the facility.

Heidi Palfrey, House Manager, says: “Each year thousands of children are admitted for treatment at Southampton Children’s Hospital and Princess Anne Hospital, and many of these will have to travel far from home so that their child can have the expert care that they need.

“We are pleased that after months of hard work from staff and volunteers we are finally able to open our doors. We believe that this House will make a huge difference to these families – helping to keep them together while they have a child in hospital and easing the stress and worry of caring and coping.”

For more information about Ronald McDonald House Southampton visit www.rmhc.org.uk/southampton.  

 

~ends~

 

To speak to someone, for more pictures or further information please contact:

 

Alex Goldup, T. 020 7250 8291 M. 07791 765 915 E: alex@thirdsectorpr.co.uk

 

Notes to Editors

 

  1. Available to interview:

 

-       A spokesperson from Ronald McDonald House Southampton

-       A spokesperson from University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

 

To speak to someone or for more pictures please contact Alex Goldup using the details above.

 

1. Ronald McDonald House Southampton 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.

2. There are 14 Ronald McDonald Houses in the UK and in 2013 they helped support over 7,000 families with children in hospital.

3. 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.

 

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