Ronald McDonald House Charities®

Ronald McDonald House Charities is an independent, registered charity providing free 'home away from home' accommodation for families with children in hospital across the UK, helping to keep the whole family together during what can be an extremely stressful time.

What they do

Ronald McDonald House Charities UK was established in 1989. It is one of a network of RMHC 'chapters' operating in over 50 countries and regions throughout the world, providing services to support the wellbeing of children and families.

In the UK, Ronald McDonald Houses are located near to NHS specialist children’s hospitals. The Charity offers families a warm and welcoming environment within which they can stay for as long as they need – be it a matter of days, months or even years. Houses are equipped with everything you would expect to find in your own home including en suite bedrooms, kitchens and communal living areas. They also have quiet spaces for children to do their school work and for parents to work remotely – in this way they ensure families can still operate together, as they would at home. Families can cook, clean, rest and be together, all the time knowing that they are only moments away from their child in hospital.

Where possible, a direct telephone line connects families' rooms in the Ronald McDonald House to their child's ward, providing reassurance that should an emergency arise at any time of the day or night they can be with their child in a matter of minutes.

Why they do what they do

In any year, up to one in every fifteen children and young people will be admitted to hospital. For some families, this is no more than an inconvenience, as their child will only be in hospital for one or two nights. For other families who have travelled a long distance for their child's treatment or who find themselves facing weeks, months or even years of in-patient care ahead, the lack of sleep can have a real and profound impact on their ability to cope with their child's need for support, not alone, the financial implications of having a child in hospital.

Ronald McDonald House Charities is able to provide support to such families and ensure they have somewhere to stay that is close to the hospital and available without cost. This means there is one less thing to worry about and parents can concentrate on their child's care.

The story so far

The first Ronald McDonald House was built in the U.S in 1974, thanks to the unlikely partnership of Dr Audrey Evans, an oncologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, local McDonald’s restaurants and the American Football team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the UK, Ronald McDonald House Charities was established in 1989 and McDonald’s UK has supported it as our ‘charity of choice’ ever since. In the last 25 years, fourteen Ronald McDonald Houses have been built, which help over 6,000 families each year. However, there is still a great deal to do. Many families still have to sleep on camp beds or in their cars in order to be close to their children and, with your help, Ronald McDonald House Charities is determined to help as many of them as possible.

Want to know more?

If you would like to donate or find out how you can get involved, please visit or contact one of the team on 0844 840 0844.