Warm reunion as ‘home away from home’ celebrates fifth year in Tooting
It was a warm reunion as staff and guests celebrated the five-year anniversary of Ronald McDonald House in Tooting this week.
Ronald McDonald House staff were pleased to welcome back the Stone family, who stayed at the house in February 2010 when their nine-day-old baby, Sarah, was admitted to St George’s PICU with septicemia.
Elizabeth Stone, Sarah’s mother, said: “Sarah was born healthy but she suddenly became ill. She was taken to St George’s and was put on maximum support – we were told to prepare for the worst.
“Being able to stay at the house was great as the family got to stay together – I have an older child, Hannah, so by staying here my husband and I did not have to take it in turns to look after Hannah, which reduced the stress in a terrible situation. I didn’t miss my house – my home is my family.
“The house is a lovely place to be and we were able to maintain some normality by using the kitchen to cook for ourselves and clean our clothes in the laundry room. The staff are so friendly too.”
Now ten months old, baby Sarah will be able to enjoy her first Christmas with her family.
The occasion was marked with a buffet and celebratory raffle, with winners drawn by Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting.
Sadiq Khan officially opened Ronald McDonald House in Tooting in 2005. He said: “It is brilliant to see the house going from strength to strength. Literally hundreds of families have had their lives improved by this home away from home during the most stressful times of their lives.”
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) aims to provide free ‘home away from home’ accommodation at hospitals across the UK, allowing families to stay close to their children, maintaining a degree of normal family life.
Families can stay at the Ronald McDonald House whilst their child is receiving care as an in-patient at St George’s Hospital – the length of stay can vary from a few days to a few months. Families are not charged for the use of the facilities, or for the support services provided. Instead the charity relies on sponsorship and donations from individuals and companies to help maintain its running costs.
For more information about RMHC visit www.rmhc.org.uk
Notes to editors
- For more information, please contact contact the communications unit on 020 8725 5151 or firstname.lastname@example.org Outside working hours, please page us by calling St George’s 07659 146548 and leave a message for pager SG548.
- 2. RMH was officially opened on the St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust site in December 2005 and offers eight en-suite bedrooms, a sitting room, a lounge, a kitchen, a play area and a patio garden.