McDonald’s to fund £3m ‘hotel’ for parents at new Sick Kids

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PARENTS of hospitalised children will be able to stay overnight in a £3 million custom-built ‘hotel’ at the new Sick Kids.

The 26-bedroom ‘home away from home’ will open on the top floor of the hospital, when it opens at Little France next spring.

Funded by fast-food giant McDonald’s charity, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the facility is designed to enable parents to stay free-of-charge close to their children during stays.

“To have access to high-quality accommodation where the whole family can stay will make a huge difference to the experience for families coping with a sick child in hospital,” said Sick Kids clinical director Janice MacKenzie.

The second project of its kind nationally, fundraising was boosted by more than £1m donated by McDonald’s restaurants in Scotland through the statutory carrier bag charge paid by customers.

Annual accommodation running costs of £300,000 will be funded by the charity for 25 years.

The new Ronald McDonald House is expected to house as many as 500 families each year – featuring lounges, kitchens, laundry facilities and a playroom.

Every bedroom has a telephone linked directly to the children’s wards and will be open 365 days a year.

Jodi and Kenneth Adamson, from Loanhead, stayed in a similar centre at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital when four-year-old son Kearyn needed treatment.

“It was a true haven away from the hospital ward that allowed us to stay together as a family,” said Jodi, 30.

Kearyn needed complex treatment after being born with Glaucoma and a rare genetic condition that causes tumours to grow on nerve endings, including behind the eye.

“Even though we were hundreds of miles from home, we didn’t have to worry about where we were going to stay, or how we were going to find the money for a hotel,” said Jodi.

“It was a huge help during a difficult time and I am so pleased that families with children being treated in Edinburgh will soon be able to enjoy the same comfort and support that we had.”

The News reported earlier this month how a fundraising appeal to get Kearyn a specially-trained therapy dog to help tackle anxiety had hit its target.

Parent accommodation at the £150 million Little France site will be expanded from the seven bedrooms currently provided by the Sick Kids Friends Foundation at Sciennes Road. The foundation has funded the UK’s largest package of art and therapeutic design projects at Little France.

Jon Haward, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities, said: “We’re delighted to be drawing closer to providing a vital service to families in Edinburgh as part of a new, world-class children’s hospital.

andy.shipley@jpress.co.uk