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Special family House needs a Lot of Love

Special family House needs a Lot of Love

Ronald McDonald House Wellington Trust (RMHW) has announced the launch of a $9.5 million fundraising campaign to build a new, bigger and better House for families of sick children in New Zealand.

The campaign will raise the funds needed to build a new Ronald McDonald House to accommodate up to 34 families at any one time from the surrounding regions whilst their child is being treated in Wellington.

Directly opposite Wellington Hospital, the House provides a temporary home for families with seriously ill children outside of the Capital.

The House currently has 12 rooms and serves over 400 families each year, but is continually operating at capacity and is sometimes forced to turn away families due to inadequate space. With Wellington Regional Hospital’s upgraded facilities set to open in 2008-09, the demand for accommodation will increase even further.

“The House gives families a safe and secure place so they can focus on the important things. Our dream is to not turn away any family who needs us, to be able to give them a place to call home when they need it most,” said Lesley Slieker, Chief Executive, Ronald McDonald House Wellington Trust.

“Having a seriously ill child is a worrisome, scary and stressful experience for families. Families can be away from the comfort and safety of their own home for days, weeks or even months,” she continued.

A building needs analysis was completed by Deloitte using information provided by Capital & Coast District Health Board. Further analysis using updated patient demand was completed recently. “These confirmed the need for our new House to accommodate between 29 and 35 families,” said Lesley.

The new House aims to create a ‘home-like’ environment. The interior furnishing will be bright and light and the different family needs and wants have been catered for as much as possible.

The new facilities will include 30 en-suite bedrooms, 4 self-contained apartments to meet the extra special needs of some families, a therapeutic children’s art room, a communal self-catering kitchen, five family lounges plus rooms available to the local community to raise awareness of the House.

No family pays to stay at the House. “The Trust recognises families are already under significant stress without the additional worry of finding money to pay for accommodation and other essential needs,” said Lesley.

In this first phase of the campaign, the Trust is calling on all businesses and organisations to make a donation to the new House project. They would particularly like to receive support from the wider Central Region where most of the families who use the House come from.

Organisations are encouraged to visit or call 0800 LOT OF LOVE to find out how they can help.

“We know raising $9.5 million is an ambitious task. That’s why we need all the help we can get. The House will be of huge value to the community so together we can do it,” Lesley concluded.

To make a donation to Ronald McDonald House Wellington or to find out more about the project, please visit


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