Volunteering beyond Santa's Grotto
1st December means the ‘c’ word is no longer a taboo; it’s officially the countdown to CHRISTMAS. Lights are up (some since the summer it seems), Christmas trees are appearing and everyone is getting a little festive, so our London People Team took the opportunity to head down to Ronald McDonald House in Lambeth to bring some festive cheer to those that need it.
When a child goes into hospital it’s often the beginning of a tough journey for families. The whole family can’t stay by the bedside, and the simplest things like jumping in the shower, doing the laundry or cooking a family meal can become impossible. That’s why Ronald McDonald House Charities offer families free accommodation close to children’s hospitals in major cities across the country. They give families a place where they can eat, work, play and get a good night’s sleep, just moments away from their child on the ward. A place where parents can gather their strength when they need it most.
But it’s not just the parents who are affected, siblings have to see their parents struggle and their brother or sister in hospital, and that’s where we came in. We worked with RMHC at Evelina House, close to Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital, to create the perfect Santa’s grotto. The following day when the children in the house woke up, they received letters from Santa inviting them down to meet him in the grotto, a small gesture to help them feel a little more festive and gain back some sense of normality.
Not only did we build a grotto (view our photos here) but we got to see the house itself. I was blown away with the facilities on offer, how friendly the staff are and the fantastic stories they have from those that have stayed with them. It’s such a wonderful organisation doing fantastic things for those in need and I felt privileged to be a part of it for the day.
Morgan McKinley partner with a number of different charities that provide volunteering opportunities and this was my first experience doing anything like this. It was great to take some time out of the day job to give something back and I’m looking forward to the next one already.
Ella Justin-French | HR Business Partner