A new three-year partnership between Greater Charitable Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities, Northern NSW is set to achieve life-changing outcomes and reduce the financial burden for thousands of families with a seriously ill or injured child.
Greater Charitable Foundation has announced a commitment of more than $650,000 to the Stronger Together partnership across the Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast and New England Regions, significantly enhancing the financial wellbeing of families at a time of great stress and vulnerability.
Ronald McDonald House Charities, Northern NSW currently operate the Ronald McDonald Houses in Newcastle and Tamworth, Family Rooms at Newcastle’s John Hunter Children’s Hospital and Gosford Hospital, and the Family Retreat in Forster, all of which will benefit from the partnership.
The investment will also help fund the Ronald McDonald Learning Program that provides 600 hours of tailored one-on-one tutoring for up to 15 Northern NSW students per year who have missed long periods of school due to serious illness, giving them the chance to catch up on their education.
After initially partnering with Ronald McDonald House Charities, Northern NSW in 2019 for three years, this new agreement will see Greater Charitable Foundation’s total contribution to the charity top $1million.
Ronald McDonald House Charities, Northern NSW CEO, Ross Bingham, said that as an independent, not-for-profit organisation, they rely heavily on community support to deliver vital programs for families with seriously ill children.
“We’re exceptionally proud of the role Ronald McDonald House Charities, Northern NSW has played in supporting the thousands of families over the past 30 years, but it simply wouldn’t be possible without the support of organisations such as Greater Bank and Greater Charitable Foundation,” Ross said.
“Today’s announcement is incredibly important to our operations over the next three years. It supports the running of our programs and facilities across four regional areas, that in turn supports the social and financial wellbeing of many families across those areas.
“The focus and priority of families with a seriously ill or injured child is always getting the best possible care, however reality is that medical bills, living away from home, and the need for one or both parents to take time off work, can quickly become a major financial burden.
“Ronald McDonald Houses in Newcastle and Tamworth play a key role for families staying away from home, saving them an estimated $115 per night on accommodation, parking, food and laundry.
“Over the years, we’ve supported families who’ve been required to stay for upwards of 200 nights. Without this support, the financial burden could become crippling.
“Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Newcastle’s John Hunter Children’s Hospital and Gosford Hospital can alleviate costs through the provision of refreshments, food and laundry during an average hospital stay.
“In many cases, one thing these families need but can least afford is time away together, which is where our Family Retreat in Forster provides support. The facilities give families time to reconnect in a supportive and safe environment, without having to worry about the cost.”
Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Anne Long, said she was delighted to continue a partnership that will positively impact many lives across regional NSW.
“Ronald McDonald House Charities, Northern NSW has a long-held reputation for providing an outstanding service to many families and we are incredibly excited to extend our partnership for another three years,” Ms Long said.
“Their programs dovetail perfectly with our new funding strategy of improving the overall financial wellbeing of participants.
“Caring for a sick or injured loved one can be incredibly stressful, particularly when it’s a child needing care and the inevitable financial burden families face makes things even harder.
“This partnership will play an important role in reducing that burden for families so they can continue to focus on the health and wellbeing of their sick or injured child and, importantly, each other.”
For more information on the new partnership visit https://www.greater.com.au/greater-charitable-foundation/partners/ronald-mcdonald-house-charities-northern-nsw.
About RMHC NNSW
Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern NSW is an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing vital programs for families with seriously ill children.
The region’s first Ronald McDonald House was opened on the grounds of Newcastle’s John Hunter Children’s Hospital in 1991 and since then, a second House in Tamworth was established, as well as three Family Rooms and the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat Forster. These facilities have helped thousands of sick children and their families through accommodation and support services, as they strive to keep families together when life gets turned upside down due to a child’s illness.
The Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms are run by a tirelessly hard-working team of staff and volunteers, aided by the generous support of donors, sponsors and corporate partners.