What we’ve been up to | July 2019
July has been a fantastic month for Ronald McDonald House Charities UK. We re-opened our Tooting House at St George’s Hospital in London after a much-needed refurb, made progress on our build at Oxford and checked in 565 families to our Houses across the UK.
565 families checked in to a Ronald McDonald House
We checked 565 families into our 11 Ronald McDonald Houses throughout July; this was slightly more than in June. Our Houses range in size from seven to 66 bedrooms and provide communal living facilities such as dining rooms, kitchens, lounges, playrooms and gardens.
The communal areas provide our House staff with the perfect opportunity to host activities and events for our families. In July we organised a Teddy Bear’s Picnic in Manchester, a craft session in Southampton, a tea party in Tooting (London), stone painting in Birmingham and many more activities to bring families together.
Ronald McDonald House Tooting has now reopened!
In June’s update, we shared all the detail about the refurbishment of our eight bedroom Ronald McDonald House based at St George’s Hospital. We’re so pleased that the House reopened on 5 July and was full by 19 July.
Of the eight families staying in July, six had never stayed in the House before and two had previously stayed before the refurbishment work temporarily closed the House.
One returning family said: “Life in the hospital without the House, I actually felt physically unwell in myself, I couldn’t eat or rest well. I can’t believe the bathrooms, they are like a posh hotel.” This family is hoping to be home for September when their son will be two years old. It’s the third time this family has stayed with us.
Rachel Tween, our wonderful House Manager is delighted the refurbishment is now complete.
She says: “Our Tooting House is always loved dearly by the families whose lives it touches. The Charity has invested supporters’ donations and done an outstanding job of showering one of its smallest Houses with love. The House now boasts eight shiny new en suite shower rooms, two brand new beautiful communal bathrooms and eight freshly painted bedrooms with cosy new carpets. The reception area has been opened up to maximise family care; words of encouragement can make all the difference. The refurb means we can support hundreds of families for years to come in comfort, giving them the strength to face another day with a seriously sick child in the hospital.”
We’d like to thank some special donors who made this project possible – whether it was making a cash donation or donating gifts in kind.
- Mitie from St George’s Hospital donated £10,000 worth of work to the outside of the House for us, which included roof washing, repointing and a fresh coat of paint
- Money raised by Kalpesh Patel’s JustGiving page after he sadly passed away was used to pay for the new bathrooms in Tooting. His wife Clara has now made a further £25k donation to cover the costs of the furniture in the bedrooms
- Sue Fog from RBC helped with our new bedding and bathroom accessories, which included 17 quilts, 34 pillows and two towel sets from Media Ocean
- Higherground donated £2,000 for rugs to make our lounges more homely
- McDonald’s restaurants sent in four volunteers to help with the big clean up after the builders left. They worked so hard and it was all in their own time
Progress at Ronald McDonald House Oxford
Building work on our new 62 bedroom Ronald McDonald House in Oxford is progressing well. Willmott Dixon, who are leading the construction of the House, currently has around 50 workmen on site and 10 different trades.
Externally the concrete frame has been completed, the metsec and weatherboard infills are almost finished. Excitingly the windows are going in and the ground floor brickwork is underway!
Internally things are also moving along nicely. The internal partition walls are going up on the ground and first floor. Mechanical and electrical work has also started. The ground floor will soon start to see some finishing touches, including carpentry and decoration.