North Wales merchandiser, Sional, was pleased to present Birmingham’s Ronald McDonald House with a donation of 100 specially-printed mugs and 500 stickers to sell to support their charitable efforts.
The generous gesture was inspired by a member of Sional’s team, Chris Williamson, who has been a fervent champion of the charity ever since he and his partner Emily Hughes benefited from their services while their young son, Albert, underwent emergency surgery at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital.
Ronald McDonald Houses provide free accommodation to create a warm ‘home away from home’ for the families of children in hospital, ensuring they can stay close by. Since 1989, the charity has opened 14 Ronald McDonald Houses in the UK.
Fundraising administrator Lydia Hextell of the R.M.H commented, “The new House at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital is one of our largest purpose-built accommodation facilities. As well as providing 66 bedrooms we offer families the opportunity to cook together, eat together and share personal experiences. The House also offers a lounge, kitchen and play area for families visiting the hospital for the day.
“We provide families with more than just a place to sleep; we offer home comforts and organise family-friendly activities, creating a welcoming and supportive environment for our families. One of our aims as a charity is to make a tough time a bit more bearable and this allows families to maintain some degree of normality and stay together whilst their child is unwell.”
Managing director of Sional, Alan Jones, noted, “We are a very family-orientated business as the team works closely together. Since Chris joined us I have seen Albert (now six years old) grow up to be a lovely young lad. I was delighted to be able to help when Chris asked if we were able to send some promotional mugs to Birmingham. We have our own in-house printing machine so it was very simple and quick to organise, and then send over to the charity.”
Albert Williamson was born 11 weeks early, weighing just 2lb 4oz and was cared for at the hospital’s neonatal unit for several weeks. However, as he was ready to be discharged, his belly began to inflate and he was diagnosed with a rare blood clot on his liver.
Chris explained: “We were very lucky that Birmingham Children’s Hospital is a specialist liver centre for the UK and also that a specialist consultant for this condition was onsite when Albert was diagnosed. He was able to have the surgery straight away.”
Chris and his wife, Emily, have been supporting the hospital with fundraising efforts whenever they can and saw branded mugs as an excellent way of extending this.
Last year the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham (which is one of 14 Houses in the UK) helped 1,183 families stay close to their children in hospital.