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Bags of thanks

To every McDonald’s customer in Scotland who has ever paid 5p for a McDonald’s takeaway paper bag, thank you.

The net proceeds have totalled a £3.9 million donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities UK.


We’ve used 100% of that donation to build and run free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families with children at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh.

We think that’s five pence well spent. You can help us keep the House open by donating now.

Step inside

We were delighted to open our 25 bedroom Ronald McDonald House in March 2021. It has communal areas such as lounges, kitchens, laundry facilities and a playroom, and every bedroom has a telephone directly linked to the children’s wards.

Take a look around…

Impact in action

Specialist medical care is often far from home. Providing a safe and welcoming place for families to stay for the duration of their children’s hospital treatment, is vital. We expect the House to accommodate around 500 families a year. Those McDonald’s 5p paper bags have really added up to have a lasting impact on families with children in hospital.

Alison and Donald live on the Isle of Skye, 219 miles away from the hospital. Their daughter Lucy, 14 years old, had a spinal fusion as a result of scoliosis, and the family found themselves staying longer than expected after Lucy was admitted to the intensive care unit after her operation.

“If we didn’t have accommodation I’m not sure how we would have dealt with it, coming from Skye. We would have had to travel continuously… or stay in a Travel Lodge or AirBnB. Long term, if we’re looking at a five or six week stay, it’s not sustainable. It’s been great to have us both here [in the House]. We can take it in turns sitting with Lucy and get away to have a sleep or break in the House. Alison would have been on her own quite a bit otherwise.”

~ Alison and Donald, mum and dad to Lucy

Supportive staff

The House is run by our incredible staff, led by House Manager, Gary Ridgewell. The team are there to ensure the smooth running of the House and to provide support to families through their journey of having a sick child in hospital.

“Opening our House has been an exciting and humbling experience for me and the team. It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point, so inviting in our very first families was really a moment I’ll never forget. The look on their faces when they saw the House for the first time was very emotional. Our families have very sick children and babies in hospital, and the last thing they need to worry about is where to sleep, where to cook their meals and how they are going to keep the family together. I’m glad we’re here for them, so that they can be there for their children.”

~ Gary Ridgewell, House Manager

Small change, changing lives

Since 2014, McDonald’s and its Scottish Franchisees have generously donated all net proceeds from the 5p bag tax in Scotland to the Charity, raising over £3.9 million! For this, we are forever grateful. 100% of the donations have gone towards building and running this brand new Ronald McDonald House in Scotland’s capital city.

Working in partnership with NHS Lothian

We’re proud to be part of the brand new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh. Our Ronald McDonald House has been developed in partnership with NHS Lothian as part of its commitment to world-class family-centred care.

“To have access to high quality accommodation where the whole family can stay will make a huge difference to the experience for families coping with a sick child in hospital. We are deeply grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities for supporting our families through the provision of this facility.” Janice MacKenzie, NHS Lothian Clinical Director for Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Get Involved

If you would like to learn more, please contact Gary at Gary.Ridgewell@uk.mcd.com.

78p from every pound donated is spent on running and developing houses

We operate from 12 NHS hospitals with more developments planned for the future.