The generosity of United fans who donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities before Oxford United Women’s game against Nottingham Forest last month has raised £660 for the fantastic cause.
“I was genuinely blown away with the amount of support at the game; from the moment we turned up everyone was so welcoming,” said Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Community Fundraiser Nathan Swift.
“As the crowds flowed through the gate for about an hour and a half, everyone turned up willing to donate. The whole “Donate at the Gate” concept was brilliant and the support for both Oxford United Women and Ronald McDonald House Charities was absolutely fantastic.
“To put that £660 into context, that pays for 26 nights of accommodation for a family, all thanks to the supporters of Oxford United Women. That money means that we can continue to provide the facilities which we provide for families when they need it, which is incredible.
“We can provide an en-suite room, free of charge, and families can stay with us and be back by their child’s bedside in a matter of minutes. They have somewhere to sleep, somewhere to shower, somewhere to prepare food, laundry facilities so they can wash their clothes – all of the tools families need to maintain a routine while the hospital looks after their child.”
Ronald McDonald House Charities UK is an independent charity that relies on the continuous support and generosity of volunteers, fundraisers and donors to keep up to 6,000 families close to their sick children in hospital each year. They have been operating for over 30 years, offering free ‘home away from home’ accommodation to families with children in hospital. Having a child in hospital is an unimaginable and stressful time for all concerned, so Ronald McDonald House Charities aim to ease some of the burden by providing a space for families to rest while their child receives treatment.
In April 2020 they opened a brand new 62 Bedroom House, replacing the 17 Bedroom facility that had operated since 2007. This purpose-built House supports families with children in the Oxford Children’s Hospital, the Critical Care Unit, and the New-Born Care Unit.
Speaking about United Women’s last match of post-season, where supporters could see the Ronald McDonald House Charities logo as back-of-shirt sponsor for the first time, Nathan added:
“It was lovely. I’ve got to give a huge thank you to Michael and Maria at Autotrak for giving us the opportunity to do that, as it is incredibly generous of them. To see the Ronald McDonald House Charities logo on the back of the shirt in person when the players were doing their pre-match huddle, when all you saw was the names, numbers and our logo, was a special moment.”
“There was a really strong and enthusiastic crowd; it was lovely to see people enjoying themselves in the sunshine and it was a really friendly environment. I think that going down and watching an Oxford United Women game will be a great way for me to spend a Sunday afternoon now. After having this wonderful partnership with the club this season, the opportunity for ourselves at Ronald McDonald House Charities to go and see a game and be part of it was great.”
Supporters can also continue the fundraising this Saturday, as people will be running a four-hour continuous swim in Bicester Hotel and Spa’s outdoor swimming lake in aid of Ronald McDonald House Charities.