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Ronald McDonald House

The £7 million Ronald McDonald House, adjacent to Southampton General Hospital, provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation to families whose children are in our care. It’s provided and run by Ronald McDonald House Charities – an independent charity that provides free accommodation to families with sick children in hospitals across the UK. They believe, as do we, that every child should be able to have their parents close by when they are in hospital.


Ronald McDonald House offers visitors:

  • 53 en-suite bedrooms, which can accommodate a family of four
  • each bedroom has a direct line phone to the children’s hospital
  • communal lounges
  • playrooms
  • kitchens where families can cook their own food
  • laundry rooms with washing machines, dryers and irons (there is a small charge of £2 for both the use of the washing machines and dryers)
  • an open-air roof terrace


The House is just in front of the eye unit at Southampton General Hospital, so it’s just a short distance to Southampton Children’s Hospital (housed within Southampton General) and about a five minute walk to Princess Anne. 

Room allocation

Ronald McDonald House Charities work closely with our staff to ensure that rooms go to those families with the greatest need. Our nursing staff and doctors will refer families to the House via a referral form. It’s then up to the House staff to prioritise and allocate rooms. They will prioritise each case on an individual basis but will use three main criteria:

  1. the degree of severity of the child’s illness
  2. the distance you have to travel
  3. the length of time you’re likely to stay

If your child is being treated by us, then you can still use the day facilities to take a shower, cook a meal and to get some time away from the ward, even if you don’t require or haven’t been allocated a room. Please ask the ward for a day pass.

How much does it cost to stay at the House?

If you’re allocated a room, your accommodation cost is covered by Ronald McDonald House Charities, so you won’t need to pay. The charity will accommodate you and your family free of charge for as long as your child’s in hospital with us – whether that’s one week, one month or one year. You’ll just be asked to give a £25 key deposit, which will be returned to you when you leave. You’ll need to buy and cook your own food and there is also a small charge for use of the washing machine.


Staff at the House would be delighted to hear from you if you’re interested in volunteering. You could be doing anything from unpacking toys for the playroom, vacuuming, ironing bed sheets, gardening and putting away kitchen utensils. If you’d like to volunteer you can apply online at

Keeping Ronald McDonald House open

It costs £500,000 a year to keep the House open so they’d welcome your support, whether that’s taking part in a sponsored activity, joining the team at a fundraising event, making a donation or donating gifts in-kind. 

Find out more about Ronald McDonald House Charities

You’ll find lots of information about the charity, including how to volunteer and donate, at their website