Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia
When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, it impacts the whole family, and their lives can be turned upside down. Fatigue, emotional stress, disruption to family routine, financial pressure and disconnection from their support system are just some of the challenges facing families. It’s important then that families are provided with the support they need to stay together and close to the care their sick child needs.
Since 2018, nib foundation has sponsored a unit at Ronald McDonald House Charities at John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle. To further support families of seriously ill children travelling for treatment, we've expanded this funding across NSW to sponsor two additional rooms at the Randwick, Westmead Houses and the kitchen at the Ronald McDonald Family Room located in Gosford Hospital.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Keeping Families Together Program helps provide a “home away from home” for families when they have to travel far from home to receive the vital treatment their child needs. It also supports families' physical, emotional, and practical needs during their child's hospital stay. The Family Room is a safe space to escape the ward, rest and recover. The rooms provide a place to connect as a family and for siblings to play and have fun.
Through our partnership, we’ve also been able to offer workplace volunteering opportunities to our employees which involves cooking a hot meal for the families at each location through Ronald McDonald House’s Home For Dinner and Meals from the Heart programs.
Through our partnership, we hope to provide family members with an opportunity to escape the clinical environment, de-stress, and connect with other families at the home. A recent report by Ronald McDonald House Charities highlighted the benefits of families who participate in the Program in NSW and found:
• 87% of families experienced improved emotional wellbeing;
• 91% of families experienced improved rest and physical wellbeing; • $106 saved on average in out-of-pocket expenses per family in the Family Room on refreshments, food, and laundry during an average hospital stay (around three days); • $1,265 in net savings per family during an average House stay of 11 days • 66% of families experienced an improved sense of normality and control.
By sponsoring these rooms, we hope to better support the health and wellbeing of families in our community who are caring for their sick children.