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Mac House Appeal

Big investments for our Alder Hey House

We’re undertaking a major refurbishment of our largest Ronald McDonald House, Mac House, at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital – and we need your help.

Ronald McDonald House Alder Hey, fondly known as Mac House, has been providing a free ‘home away from home’ to families with children receiving treatment at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital since 1993. Thousands of families have come through its doors, and the House has helped to alleviate some of the stresses and worries of having a poorly child while allowing them to be just a stone’s throw away from the hospital. Now, however, Mac House desperately needs a major transformation and we urgently need your help to ensure it can be there for future families over the years to come.

Our Mac House transformation is a major £11.2 million remodelling project which will provide new and improved multi-functional spaces, better accessibility, an overhaul of the outdated building services and infrastructure and a brighter modernised House that better supports the well-being of the families we serve.

We urgently need your support towards our biggest refurbishment project to date. Help us raise the final £2 million and transform the lives of families with children in hospital.

“I was delighted to discover that the Alder Hey House is about to undergo a large-scale multi-million-pound refurbishment. Although its staff and volunteers are so warm and welcoming, the 30-year-old building is in desperate need of a major revamp.


The transformation to the House will help ensure the Charity can continue to support families like ours for many years to come. We, as a family, will never stop supporting these projects and urge other people to get involved.”


Claire, Theodore’s mum



Why is Ronald McDonald House Alder Hey being refurbed?

Ronald McDonald House Alder has been supporting families since 1993, making it the oldest House in our estate. Over the past 30 years the House has been able to expand, more than tripling in size. But due to the age, the ‘home away from home’ is now in desperate need of modernisation and requires major maintenance investment to improve the building services and therefore enhance the family experience.

Ronald McDonald Houses provide more than just a bed for the night, and the current layout, décor and amenities provided within the House do not offer the same ‘home away from home’ environment families would experience staying in another one of our Houses.

How much is the refurb estimated to cost?

This is our largest refurbishment to date. The House requires much more than a lick of paint, and our project will encompass a change in layout, with additional spaces, all new equipment, and extensive upgrades in building services. The project will cost Ronald McDonald House Charities UK £11 million, and we have allocated £9 million from our charity reserves. We’re asking for your help in raising the final £2 million to bring our vision to life.

If the Charity doesn’t raise the required £2m, what will happen?

As we operate 14 Ronald McDonald Houses across the UK, the Charity has a number of approved and pending projects planned to enhance other facilities and to strengthen the support we provide to families with children in hospital. If we are unable to raise the required £2m for this project, it could create a major delay on these other projects, impacting the quality of care we can give to families across the UK.

Will the number of bedrooms change?

We know that our existing provision and layout no longer meets the needs of the modern family. Following feedback we have received, we are therefore completely redesigning the space. To support larger and blended families we will be introducing 12 interconnecting bedrooms which can be used flexibly and opened into one private space as needed. We will also be building brand-new family kitchens on each of the upper floors, which is an essential component of our family living model to ensure families have easy access to kitchen facilities 24/7.

This redesign means that we will be losing six existing bedrooms. A review of current usage, along with plans for additional bedrooms created within the Neonatal Unit at the Hospital, means we do not anticipate changes having an impact on the overall number of families that have access to accommodation at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Will the House still be the largest Ronald McDonald House in Europe?

Despite losing six bedrooms, Ronald McDonald House Alder Hey will still proudly hold its title of the largest Ronald McDonald House in Europe, with 77 family bedrooms! Our UK Chapter currently operates the six largest Ronald McDonald Houses in Europe.

How will the interconnecting rooms work?

We will have a couple of different types of interconnecting rooms within the House. Four rooms will have an interconnecting lounge. These will be on the ground floor and two of these bedrooms will be an accessible (DDA compliant) type room.

Within the upper floors a small number of bedrooms will have a simple interconnect door between which allows adjacent bedrooms to be joined.

How will families be impacted during the construction?

To minimise disruption to families staying at the House we will be approaching this project in two phases. This will allow us to keep half the House operational during each 30-week window of construction work to avoid having to close the service completely. During the entire process, we will be working closely with the hospital and each ward to ensure families’ needs are taken care of as much as possible. We will also aim to increase the promotion of our Day Pass programme as much as possible to ensure those who can benefit from it are aware of the service.

How long is the work estimated to take?

Each phase of the project is estimated to take 30 weeks, with an six-week window between phase one and two.

What will the running costs be after the renovations?

The current annual running costs of the Alder Hey House are approximately £650,000. We do not envisage significant overall change to the running costs of the House after the refurbishment. We anticipate some savings due to efficiencies gained through better and newer kit installed, but we foresee greater usages of the facilities due to the improved Day Pass amenities. There will, however, be significant savings in additional maintenance costs.

As part of Ronald McDonald House Charities UK, all annual running costs are paid for by the Charity, with the funds raised on a local and national level, through fundraising, events, contributions from individual donors, businesses, and trusts, as well as through McDonald’s UK and their customers.

How can I support the fundraising appeal?

There are countless ways to get involved and every penny raised will go along way in shaping the future of the House. Visit our ‘Get Involved’ section to find out more.

What will happen to previous room plaques and Tree of Life discs?

Mac House has had tremendous support over the years, which is clear to see from the hundreds of plaques and discs that have hung from the walls. With these new planned works, we will be taking the opportunity to bring the House in line with our wider charity policy, whereby plaques will not hang indefinitely. This is to ensure we do not run out of space throughout the building and to provide all supporters with the opportunity to have a plaque.

Unfortunately, the historic data we have means we are unable to contact all supporters directly, but we want to reunite plaques with their owners to have as keepsakes as a treasured reminder of the impact they have had. To honour the promise made to these supporters, we are also looking at ways to incorporate all the names/engravings in the new House to show future families and visitors all those people who have been part of Mac House’s history. If you have a plaque and would like more information, please contact alice.beck@uk.mcd.com.