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Cardiff businesses give families with sick children a well-deserved pamper

Families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Cardiff on Thursday (4th April) received a much-deserved pampering session from local barbers, hairdressers and beauticians.

The families all have children receiving specialist medical care in Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital, just opposite the House.

The event was supported by local barber Alun Reynolds, who organised other local businesses to join him and provide haircuts and beauty treatments for families. Having a child in hospital often means that parents often don’t have the time or the opportunity to take time for themselves.

Ronald McDonald House Charities UK has been providing free accommodation at the University Hospital of Wales, supporting the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital since the House opened in 2017 and last year supported 608 families with children in the hospital.

Barber Alun Reynolds says: “I honestly hadn’t heard of Ronald McDonald House Charities before this, but when I came in and visited for the first time, I immediately wanted to give something back. It’s an amazing charity and I want to be able to help families by being able to do something for them to bring about bit of normality but also to make them feel pampered and special.”

Julian Bowen Sargent, Cardiff House Manager says: “We usually hold pamper evenings for special days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day but we wanted to make them a more regular event. It’s been a fantastic community effort, with local businesses volunteering their time and donating services for free. The generosity of everyone has been incredible. Families staying with us are going through a very traumatic time of having a seriously ill child, so events we hold in the House can help them de-stress and take some time away from the hospital ward.”

Matthew Harris has been staying at Ronald McDonald House Cardiff since 1stApril whilst his daughter Ellie receives treatment at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital. He and his family have also previously stayed this year when they were at the House for 35 nights. Matthew said:“The Ronald McDonald House has been amazing. It’s allowed me and my family to be together whilst Ellie is in hospital. Being so close to the hospital means that we don’t have to leave the site which would be very stressful but we can also try and do the normal things like watch some TV or eat a meal together. The staff are really supportive and we don’t know what we would have done without the support.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities UK is an independent charity which providesfamilies with free accommodation just moments away from the hospital their child is being treated in. Often, the best medical care isn’t at the family’s local hospital, therefore families may have to travel great distances to specialist hospitals, which may mean costly hotel or travel bills and splitting the family unit. Ronald McDonald Houses are able to keep the entire family together.