Have you ever seen those boxes at the tills in McDonald’s and wondered what they are for? All the donations from them go to the Ronald McDonald House Charity. RMHC provide accommodation for families near to specialist children’s hospitals making it easier for families to be closer to their children when they are seriously ill.

I think there is a bit of a stigma attached to this particular charity because lots of people think that McDonald’s run it and could afford to fund it. RMHC is an independent charity whose biggest corporate supporter is McDonald’s. So, all those pennies in the boxes at the tills mean a lot.

Happy Birthday

I was kindly invited to their Cardiff house’s first birthday party celebrations. It was a great feel good community event, with lots of returning families as guests. There was loads of great stuff for the kids, all free and we had a lovely afternoon. I actually felt a little emotional as I recalled our family’s own journey in the early weeks of my baby’s life when he was in neonatal intensive care and I thought about what the families who use this charity could be going through.

The house is very impressive, a true home from home. Everything has been thought of in order to lift as much of the mental load as they can for the families that stay there. All the décor is a nice high quality and the design is thought out so that the place feels light and airy and modern. The rooms downstairs are accessible to anyone with limited mobility and one bedroom has a hoist that goes through to the bathroom. The downstairs kitchen is designed with access in mind with lowered counter worktops. The finer details are taken care of like a laundry room and household amenities like washing up liquid and shower gel.

Families

As much as the house has little details included the finer point of this charity is the person-centred approach they have. Over and above the design and mod cons is the needs of the families they serve. Volunteers and house staff facilitate parties for special occasions. Mother’s Day and Father’s day were both marked at the house last year with treats for the mum’s and dad’s like having a hairdresser visit. Birthdays are celebrated. They openly accept anyone who is part of the family’s support network to stay with them. They have waffle Wednesdays! Every Wednesday they hold a communal breakfast of waffles which everyone at the house has the option of joining in with.

Community

The house is open 365 days a year and there is no limit to the amount of time you can stay there. The hospital refers families to the house and it’s completely free to stay. The Cardiff house is right opposite the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital at the Heath, so families can feel as close as they can without sleeping in a chair on the ward.

RMHC understand that they need to build more than just a house, and they are building community. When you are going through the worst times of your life it’s a huge thing to feel part of a community.

I’m blown away by the thoughtfulness of the Ronald McDonald House Charity and I urge you to pop your 15p change into one of those boxes the next time you visit McDonald’s. Or you can donate here: https://www.rmhc.org.uk/donate/

Or if you prefer something more practical here is the Amazon wish list for the Cardiff house.

Thanks so much to RMHC for inviting us along to celebrate with you it was a lovely day and a great event, and a cause I’m proud to support.

RMHC Cardiff

Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day

The Tree House

Meeting Space Available For Hire

An Accessible Bedroom With Hoist

After having a lovely time at Bloggers Meet for Macmillan I wanted to host a coffee morning myself at our church. We always have teas and coffees and a chat after church so cake is an added bonus.

SAMSUNG CSC

I signed up on the Macmillan website and they sent me a free coffee morning hosting pack in the post within the week. At church Beg and I set up a little table and put the cakes out, there were loads of decorations in the pack to make it eye-catching. The bunting was my favourite bit. Beg wrote out the cake labels they looked really cute in her handwriting.  I had a feeling my #churchfam would be receptive to the idea and I was right, everyone was very generous and in total we raised £73.96!

Macmillan’s Coffee Morning seems to be gaining momentum and I was really pleased to be a part of this year’s event and completely surprised we raised so much. It was a lovely morning, I knew I could rely on my church family to support such an amazing cause.

If you would like to get involved, it’s not too late to join in as there’s loads of free downloads and ideas on the Macmillan website to help you host your own.

If you live in Newport or nearby and are looking for a friendly bunch of people to call your own #churchfam you’re welcome to come and check us out at Faith Church

Thank you to everyone who donated! 🙂

Off the back of the Smiggle event I went to I joined a lovely group called South Wales parent bloggers and saw an invite to attend a Macmillan Coffee Morning. It was in Parc Play Cardiff so I thought I’d go along and introduce myself.Parc Play

You’ve probably already heard of or been to a Macmillan coffee morning event. It’s really easy to set up and you can sign up on their website to receive a free hosting pack to do your own. It’s a really nice event to do because people are so willing to get together to support it and donate to the charity and eat lots of cake together.  There’s lots of ideas and downloads on their website to help you host your own too.parcplay

Last year Macmillan raised £25 million through their national coffee morning. I was really interested to read all the things Macmillan actually do with that money. They can provide a specialist cancer nurse to someone dealing with a diagnosis, they can provide grants that can help to pay for things like a blender for people on a special liquidised diet as a result of their cancer treatment or hire a room for a support group to meet. It is obvious that Macmillan are there ‘on the ground’ helping people in very practical ways. Often as friends and family we don’t know what we can do to help and I think that’s why so many people and families are so grateful to Macmillan for their knowledge and support. So needless to say I was made up to be invited along to join in and promote the event this year.

I had been to a Macmillan coffee morning a few years ago organised by my friend Rachel as she was going through her cancer treatment. I fondly remember it because it kind of gave a positive spin on a terrible circumstance as I felt I was doing something active to help in some tiny small way. I got to catch up with some old workmates and we played games and nattered which made for a lovely fun atmosphere. Parc Play was one of the places we visited with the kids while Rach was going through her treatment too so it was nice to return again to support Macmillan.

me-rach-laura

Rach, me & Laura

This year’s coffee morning is being supported by Marks and Spencer and they have a range of lush cakes that you can buy and 10% of the sales of them will go to Macmillan. ms-cakes

Overall it was a lovely afternoon and I really enjoyed getting to meet  some other local mummy (& granny) bloggers. A special thanks to Cathryn of Cardiff Mummy Says for organising the event and being so welcoming to me as a newbie blogger. Thanks so much. Here we are left to right- me, Cathryn Cardiff Mummy Says , Sally Teddy Bears and Cardigans , Alina We Made This Life , Kerry All About A Mini Norris and Leanne A Slice of My Life Walesmummy bloggers

Right, I’m off to see about signing up to host one at my church. 🙂

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday