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Hard hats and hammers at the House that love built

Ronald McDonald House South Island GM of Operations Sharon Cocker, sees every day how important it is for families with children in hospital to be able to focus on what matters most, their child.

She also knows that as the years go by, Ronald McDonald House South Island adapts to continue to best deliver its Mission – to create, find and support programmes that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their family/whanau.

As part of that future planning, preparation for a major interior refurbishment of the Christchurch House began more than three years ago.

“Our facilities aim to alleviate emotional, practical and financial stress for families so they can concentrate on the medical needs of their child. The refurbishment is an opportunity to provide an even more comfortable and stress-free experience for the families who stay with us,” she said.

Those who have visited the Christchurch House lately will know the project is now in full swing – with many extra guests about the place, clad in hi-vis and tool belts.

The project will see the House’s 27 family ensuite bedrooms, volunteer bedroom, adults lounge, teenagers room, education room, back of house offices plus the Annex building all get a complete makeover. A new welcome lounge for families is also being incorporated as part of a front of house reception transformation.

“The addition of a welcome lounge will be of great value. It will act as a comfortable and private space for families to meet with each other when needed, and for our team to welcome new families into the House,” Sharon said.

The project is currently part-way through its expected six-month duration, and on track to be completed by the end of the year. Until then, the Ronald McDonald House team are working with a limited room inventory, however as Sharon explains, this does not mean families miss out.

“We work closely with offsite accommodation providers to accommodate all eligible families until a room becomes available at Ronald McDonald House. Any families who are staying offsite still receive support and are welcome to utilise the communal lounge, kitchen, dining and Family Dinner Programme – just as they are when the House is at full capacity during normal operating conditions,” she said.

“We couldn’t achieve any of this without the generosity from our wonderful supporters. We are very excited to see the reactions from the families once this project is completed.”

The total cost of the project is $1.4 million. Special thanks go to Cosgroves, HRS Construction, J.M Harris Construction Consulting and LH Design for working on this project.

Find out how you can support the Room Refurbishment programme here.

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