The Gibraltar Government has donated £10,000 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provide free accommodation for families of children undergoing medical treatment in London.
The charity’s Evelina-London property provides many UK and Gibraltarian families with a ‘home away from home’ and the opportunity to remain close to their child whilst they are receiving medical care at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital.
The new location means that families can be by their child’s bedside in a matter of minutes if necessary, and the accommodation provided is free of charge.
The Minister for Health, Care and Justice, Neil Costa, personally presented the donation to the charity during a recent trip to London for GHA-related meetings.
“Whilst the sickness of any child, certainly one that requires referral to a tertiary hospital away from home, is always a stressful, difficult and anxious time, being in a pleasant environment close by, must provide a measure of relief,” Mr Costa said.
“The new premises were of an excellent finish, impeccably clean and with wonderfully homely and spacious rooms and play and living areas.”
“It truly was a privilege to have been able to visit the Ronald McDonald House and to personally extend, on behalf of the people of Gibraltar, the gratitude for the care and support provided to Gibraltarian families by such a dedicated team of kind and compassionate staff.”
Mr Costa was accompanied by the GHA Medical Director and Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Daniel Cassaglia.
Richard Francis, House Manager, together with Mrs Gillian Mulloy, London Grants Fundraiser, received the donation on behalf of the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
In appreciation of the donation, Mr Francis invited Mr Costa to unveil a plaque stating that Gibraltar now proudly sponsors one of their rooms.
“We are very lucky to have the support of the Government of Gibraltar,” Mr Francis said.
“Room sponsorships allow us to provide our accommodation free of charge, so that the financial burden is not on families.”
“This means families can concentrate on what matters most, staying together and caring for their child in hospital.”
Gillian Mulloy, London Grants Fundraiser added: “It costs the Charity just £25 a night to give a family a home. As an independent charity we rely on the generosity of donations so that we can continue to deliver quality accommodation and care.”
“We are enormously grateful to Mr Costa and the Government of Gibraltar for their commitment to supporting ordinary families facing extraordinary circumstances.”
Dr Cassaglia said the GHA enjoyed a longstanding partnership with the Evelina Children’s Hospital, a centre of excellence in paediatric medicine and an integral part of the Guy’s and St Thomas’s Trust.
“Any family who are due to attend the Evelina Hospital, whether as an inpatient or outpatient and requiring any length of stay in London, are encouraged to please contact the staff at the GHA’s Sponsored Patients Department for more information and advice about accommodation at the Ronald McDonald House,” he said.