Friday, May 13, 2022


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Ronald McDonald House One Step Closer To Caring For Families

Construction for Mackay’s Ronald McDonald Family Room began last Friday, the next step in providing Mackay families a safe space for respite when caring for their sick children.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) North Australia CEO Tamara South says the Family Room will play a vital role in the families of the region.

“To get here today, we have had an immeasurable amount of community and corporate supporters in helping to essentially make the Family Room happen,” Ms South said.

“Partnering with Mackay Hospital and Health Service and Mackay Hospital Foundation to deliver Ronald McDonald Family Room to help support the more than 2500 families that call upon Mackay Base Hospital each and every year.”

The two-bedroom house will be fully equipped with a kitchen, food, bathroom and laundry amenities, and volunteers for families to utilise, eliminating the need to leave their sick children while in the care of the hospital.

“It’s about providing that home-like environment steps away from a child’s bedside so there is no reason you need to leave these premises when you have a sick child,” Ms South said.

Amber Hollywood has utilised Ronald McDonald facilities in Townsville and Brisbane while caring for her 16-month-old Samuel and says she wishes Mackay had the facilities when Samuel was born.

“Samuel was in the special care nursery for the first two weeks of his life, and it was very hard, every day, having to leave him and go home when he was a newborn,” Ms Hollywood said.

“It’ll be really great for our family to have a place where we can go to recharge and refresh together, to get away from the harshness of hospital life.”

Local company Fergus Builders are leading the construction of the facility and Project Manager Adam Wright says the company is proud to be involved in the project.

“We jumped at the opportunity when we first heard about the tender,” Mr Wright said.

“It’s really special for us.”

Fergus Builders plan to fundraise for RMHC throughout construction.

Ms South hopes to have the project complete by the end of the year and the Ronald McDonald Family Room caring for families by Christmas.

L-R Fergus Builders Project Manager Adam Wright, previous RMHC North Australia guest Amber Hollywood, Local McDonalds Licensee Niki Ramsay, Mackay Hospital Foundation Chair Peter Tait, RMHC North Australia CEO Tamara South, and Mackay Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Lisa Davies-Jones. Photo: Sam Gillespie

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