Ronald McDonald House

SSCFA present cheque & signed shirt to Ronald McDonald House, Birmingham

Ronald McDonald House Charities keeps families together so children in hospital can get the love and comfort they need.

They provide ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families with children in hospital, somewhere free to stay for as long as they need to. Many families travel miles from their homes to this hospital so that their child can receive expert medical care. Often, children have to remain in hospital for months at a time, so for the families, staying close to their child can be a struggle. Without a local Ronald McDonald House, many parents have to sleep on a chair by their child’s bed, on a pull down bed if this is available, or pay vast sums of money for hotel accommodation.

In recent years two Shropshire Schools and Colleges Football Association staff have benefited from the charity’s house in Birmingham while their young children were being treated in nearby Birmingham Children’s hospital.

The first to benefit around three years ago was Mark Hignett (SSCFA Vice Chairman, Football Development Officer and Team Manager) whose five year old daughter, Bethan, was in hospital having a multicystic dysplastic kidney removed. As a result of complications during the operation, she needed to stay in hospital for longer than was anticipated and this is where Ronald MacDonald House came to the rescue and saved not only the expense of additional nights in hotels but also the time away from his daughter’s bedside to search for one on a Saturday afternoon.

More recently, Mike Thomas (SSCFA Team Manager and Secretary for Shrewsbury District Schools FA) and his family were overwhelmingly appreciative of the charity when his newborn daughter Mia was rushed to Birmingham for open heart surgery as a result of coarctation of the aorta. Complications during the operation led to little Mia being placed on a life support machine for ten days which resulted in an extended stay in Birmingham for Mike and his wife Anna. Ronald MacDonald House was able to help another family and offered a free room for the duration of their two month stay. Mike said “Ronald MacDonald House is a truly amazing place. Thank you to everyone there.”

Mark Hignett said “For these reason’s SSCFA wanted to show our appreciation to this amazing charity who take away the financial burden and ease at least one worry for families unfortunate enough to need to spend time with their children in Birmingham Children’s Hospital.”

The committee of SSCFA unanimously agreed that they would like to support the charity through their recent 90th anniversary dinner at The Lord Hill Hotel on Saturday 16th March and enlisted the support of the evening’s special guests (and former SSCFA representative players) Joe Hart, Billy Jones, Boaz Myhill and Bernard McNally. The four all signed a unique replica U16 County shirt which was framed in preparation for presenting to the charity on June 2nd. The fundraising manager at RMH Birmingham commented that it would take pride of place in the House’s teenage room. In addition, a cheque for £300 was also handed over by Mia and Bethan on behalf of SSCFA from funds generated on the association’s evening of celebration earlier this year.

It costs £25 per room per night and the charity relies solely on charitable contributions. Other than beneficiaries of their service who return with donations, the majority of their funding comes from the staff of MacDonalds and the collection boxes that you see on the counter in their restaurants. Anyone wishing to contribute towards SSCFAs ongoing support of this charity can contact Mark Hignett on

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