Jackie Bird breaks ground for new Ronald McDonald House

L-R: David Watson, Chairman, Ronald McDonald House -  Jackie Bird - Alastair Wylie, CCG Chairman & Chief Executive
L-R: David Watson, Chairman, Ronald McDonald House - Jackie Bird - Alastair Wylie, CCG Chairman & Chief Executive

BBC newsreader Jackie Bird broke ground last week to mark the start of leading charity Ronald McDonald House’s new facility at the South Glasgow Hospitals campus.

The development will provide modern ‘home from home’ accommodation for families of children being treated at the new children’s hospital.

Developed by Glasgow construction and manufacturing company CCG, the new 30 bedroom facility will offer free accommodation to enable families to stay close to their child throughout their time in hospital. The development is designed to maximise the comfort of visiting families and includes Wi-Fi, secure parking and a garden with picnic area to enjoy some outside space.

Jackie Bird on site at the new Ronald McDonald House ground breaking ceremony said: “The House is looking amazing because you can see the potential. To know that such a facility will be ready and waiting for a family that needs it is such a great thing to have. And I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished.

“My son Jacob was born 8 weeks premature and very, very ill and was in hospital for the first weeks of his life. Because we lived in Lanarkshire we were able to travel in and out.

“I remember vividly the trauma of it all and can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if we had come from Inverness or the Borders and had to find accommodation, look after other children and try to deal with something awful at the same time. It’s just too much and that’s why I am pleased to be associated with the House.”

Speaking at the ceremony alongside Jackie Bird, CCG chairman and chief executive Alastair Wylie said: “Ronald McDonald House is an excellent charity providing a critical life line to families in need of support. Here at CCG we are delighted that our first development in the health sector is such a worthwhile cause.”

The charity has a House at the current Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Yorkhill) which opened in 1996 and has supported 10,000 families. Due to the closure and relocation of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill as it moves to form part of the new South Glasgow Hospitals Campus, Ronald McDonald House will relocate along with them in summer 2015.

CCG is the main contractor for the project and will be aided by the diverse structure of the Group utilising the company’s flagship off-site manufacturing facility to significantly reduce build time and minimise waste on the £4.5 million project.

Ronald McDonald House Glasgow chairman David Watson said: “The House at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill has been a lifeline to many families over the past 18 years and we hope to continue to provide the same vital service at our new location.”

Robert Calderwood, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde chief executive, added: “Ronald McDonald House provides a vital facility for the families of our young patients, particularly those who require a prolonged stay in hospital. I am absolutely delighted that when the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children opens next summer, alongside the new South Glasgow University Hospital, we will in partnership with Ronald McDonald House be able once again to provide gold standard facilities for our patients and their families.”

To make a donation to the new Ronald McDonald House visit: www.justgiving.com/yorkhillfamilyhouse.

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