New 'home away from home' opens near Evelina London


This week saw the first families moving into the new, state-of-the-art Ronald McDonald House Evelina London, which has received funding from us.

Families whose children are being treated at Evelina London Children’s Hospital can now be near the ward yet enjoy a degree of normal family life, thanks to the £13 million House just a few minutes’ walk from the hospital.

 

Lucy and Tom (pictured) were among the first to move to the new house. 

Their seven-month old son Noah has chronic lung disease and needs ventilation 24/7. His parents stayed in the old home at Guy's for seven months and are awaiting one more operation before they can take Noah home.

Ronald McDonald House Charities provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation and support at specialist children’s hospitals across the country.

We have invested £8.3 million in the project, providing land for the new building as well as bringing the project partnership together, which includes Ronald McDonald House Charities, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the Evelina Family Trust. The building boasts a large day-room, catering facilities, full IT access, adaptations to make it fully accessible, a roof garden and thoughtful accessories to allow families to concentrate on the wellbeing of their child.

The 59 bedroom house will provide around 975 families with somewhere to stay – three times the number accommodated at the House it is replacing, which was near Guy’s Hospital at London Bridge. The original House was built there in 1980 because Evelina London’s wards used to be located at Guy’s before the new children’s hospital opened in 2005. The House, which was the first to open in the UK, was some distance from Evelina London, which meant families had to take transport to travel to and from the hospital.

 

 

Jon Haward, Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities says: "We are delighted that our flagship House is now ready for families. It was an ambitious project and we and our partners have worked long and hard to bring it to fruition. Demand is acute for our services all over the country and we are pleased to be able to provide our support to one of the leading children's specialist hospitals in London.

"Having a place to unwind away from the hospital makes a big difference to families at a stressful time, as well as easing the significant financial challenge of finding somewhere to stay close to their sick child.”

Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive of the Charity, says: “Having a child in hospital can be very distressing for families. It can also be very disruptive – particularly for children who need longer stays. We are delighted to have supported Ronald McDonald House to relocate so near to Evelina London, offering a modern and convenient space to help families continue being families during a testing time in their lives. A huge congratulations to everyone involved in this landmark project for generations of families to come.”

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