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HAPPY CHRISTMAS: McDonald’s donates playgrounds to Ronald McDonald Houses, made from recycled Happy Meal® toys

Ronan Keating brought some magic to families ahead of Christmas as he officially opened the Evelina London Ronald McDonald House Charities playground

  • McDonald’s is also donating £250,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities UK this December, to pay for 10,000 nights stay for families
  • McDonald’s is the biggest supporter of the charity – contributing an estimated £100 million over the last 30 years, via its customer collection boxes, digital giving channels and the fundraising efforts of Franchisees and crew members

McDonald’s has helped spread some Christmas cheer in the shape of four new playgrounds, made using recycled Happy Meal toys, which will be available for families staying at the Ronald McDonald Houses in London.

Cameras captured the heart-warming moment pop-star and dad-of-five Ronan Keating officially opened the playground as delighted families took to the latest addition to the House, as some face a tough few weeks with their children in hospital over the festive period. He was also able to talk to families to find out what the donation equalling 10,000 nights stay means to them, in their time of need.

Ronan Keating said: “It was amazing to hear and see first-hand where the donations from McDonald’s and its customers go. Ronald McDonald House Charities UK provide a vital home away from home when families need it most. As a parent I can’t imagine how hard it must be to go through what these families do, especially at Christmas, but the support provided by RMHC UK is a lifeline for those that need it.

Seeing the children laughing and enjoying the playground helps show how vital it is for them to have this kind of outdoor space, so they can feel like themselves.”

Ronald McDonald Houses provide a ‘home away from home’, giving families across the UK and abroad the chance to remain close to their child whilst they are in hospital. The location of these Houses means that families can be by their child's bedside in a matter of moments and maintain a degree of normal life.

McDonald’s has donated four Happy Meal® playgrounds to all London Ronald McDonald Houses including Ronald McDonald House Evelina London, Ronald McDonald House Moorfields, Ronald McDonald House Tooting and Ronald McDonald House Camberwell, which are four of at least fifteen being made from more than one million recycled Happy Meal® toys.

Featuring an activity course, pyramid den, interactive wall and activity table, the playground at the Evelina London House has been designed to help promote both physical and cognitive development.

The playgrounds will be available for all children staying at the Ronald McDonald Houses, as well as their siblings in hospital, who often visit the Houses when they are well enough, providing much needed respite for families at this difficult time. The average family stay is 17 nights, costing the charity £400.  With the longest time spent at a house being 1,242 nights, the charity can really help to reduce both emotional and financial strain for families in their time of need and these playgrounds provide a little lift for young siblings staying in the Houses whilst their loved ones are in hospital.

Pre-COVID, selected McDonald’s restaurants across the UK and Ireland held a ‘toy amnesty’ collecting plastic toys to recycle. These toys, along with surplus toys from when the restaurant business closed during the first lockdown, have been given a new lease of life as part of this programme. Once the playground reaches its end of life, it has been designed to ensure it can be recycled again and again.

From the beginning of this year there has been no non-sustainable hard plastic in Happy Meal® toys, removing over 3,000 tonnes of plastic from circulation moving forward.

Jon Haward, Executive Director at Ronald McDonald House Charities UK said: “Ronald McDonald House Charities UK provides free, ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families who need to stay close to their child when they’re in hospital far from home. We have 12 Houses across the UK, and without this vital service, families would often have to travel hundreds of miles or stay in expensive accommodation. For those going through such a difficult time, our Houses give a sense of normality, with kitchens, living areas, and now thanks to McDonald’s; playgrounds. We know that both the children at the hospital and their siblings will love being outdoors and being able to play together.”

-ENDS-

Notes to Editor

McDonald’s and Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

  • Ronald McDonald House Charities UK has been working with McDonald’s since the Charity was founded in the UK in 1989
  • The Charity’s 12 Houses across the UK are partnered with NHS hospitals and provide families with free accommodation to support them whilst their child is in hospital.
  • Since 1989, McDonald’s and its Franchisees have raised an estimated £100 million for the Charity which goes towards the running and building of Ronald McDonald Houses across the UK
  • As well as donating part of their profits, McDonald’s and its Franchisees also hold annual fundraising days, provide free office space, business resources and advertising

Red Monkey

Red Monkey Play are a leading UK manufacturer of wooden play equipment for schools, nurseries and leisure and are pleased to be manufacturing the products from recycled plastic McDonald toys and will be working on a number of other similar projects over the next few months.

Circular&Co.
Circular&Co. are pioneers of Circular Design. Since 2003 we have been creating circular products because we know it's a sustainable solution to righting our global wrongs.  As well as our own range of award winning products we advise, develop and deliver circular solutions for brands worldwide, reinventing waste for tomorrow’s Circular product. The future requires solutions. The future is circular.

About Plaswood

Plaswood is part of Berry bpi, a company of Berry Global, and is a leading supplier of recycled plastic furniture and lumber suitable for commercial and domestic applications.

Berry bpi manufactures high performance polythene films and is one of Europe’s largest recyclers of polythene. The company’s advanced and innovative products are used by companies worldwide to grow, harvest, package or protect their goods across the agriculture, food, beverage, healthcare, construction, facilities management, industrial and retail sectors.

About Veolia 

Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions which contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.

In 2019, the Veolia group supplied 98 million people with drinking water and 67 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 45 million megawatt hours of energy and treated 50 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environment (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €27.189 billion in 2019 (USD 29.9 billion). www.veolia.com

 

12-09-2021
Ronan Keating brought some magic to families ahead of Christmas as he officially opened the Evelina London Ronald McDonald House Charities playground

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