Are your programs still operating?
Yes. Guided by the Ministry of Health and in collaboration with partnering District Health Boards, we have introduced a series of actions to ensure we can safely continue to provide accommodation and care for families with a child undergoing medical treatment. These include:
Families checking in will be accommodated at either Auckland Domain, Grafton Mews, or Wellington House. From Sunday the 7th March visitors will be capped at 3 visitors per family. While physical distancing and increased hygiene protocols remain in place throughout all RMHC New Zealand facilities, our programs will operate at reduced capacity to ensure the safety of our families, staff, and volunteers. Should the demand for accommodation exceed capacity, we will continue to support families in offsite, self-contained accommodation close to the hospital. The cost of this accommodation will be covered by RMHC New Zealand.
How are the Family Rooms affected?
The Ronald McDonald Family Room programme day lounge at the Wellington Hospital is open with restrictions to capacity to ensure physical distancing can safely occur. The Ronald McDonald Family Room programme day lounge at the National Children’s Hospital in Auckland is closed. Please be assured that our commitment to support all referred PICU, NICU, and HDU families – both local and traveling – will continue, either in our Family Room accommodation, Houses, or in local offsite self-contained accommodation.
Is it safe for families to come to the House?
Our facilities are currently free from Covid-19 and with our visitor screening process in place; we have taken steps to ensure you are as safe as possible. It is probable that if the virus is spread further then additional restrictions will be implemented. Please check the website for the most up to date information.
Are you turning any families away?
As ever, we are committed to ensuring that any eligible family that requires accommodation close to the hospital is welcomed. We have a screening process in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our families, staff, and volunteers.
How are you keeping families safe once they are in one of the facilities?
We have implemented a stringent screening process for all families, staff, and volunteers entering our programs to reduce the risk of introducing or spreading the virus. All our families have been provided information to help keep them safe and families, staff, and volunteers have been asked to practice social distancing – minimizing your social interactions, not attending large group events, restricting intimate contact such as hugging, kissing, shaking hands, and hongi – where possible.
What happens if someone in the House tests positive for Covid-19?
If anyone has a positive diagnosis for Covid-19 they will not be able to stay at the House. Our facilities are not equipped to support the full isolation that these situations require.
If a person staying at the House is diagnosed with Covid-19 they will not be able to remain in the House. We will work with our partnering hospital and Public Health to determine how that family will be supported and transported home or to a suitable isolation facility, or hospital.
We will also work with Public Heath on the steps that would follow for isolating known contacts, evacuating the house, etc.
Are you accepting donations for the families?
Cash donations would be very welcome. Non-perishable foods are always welcome although we respectfully request you please leave these at the door. Sadly, we cannot accept second-hand toys or clothes during this time.
Can I still volunteer or come and cook at the House?
Regular individual volunteers are very welcome. Small groups can cook or contribute through working bees. To find out more information, click here.
When will you re-start your cook night/meal preparation programs?
Due to Covid-19, we have had to suspend dinner group volunteers in Auckland, this will be reviewed on-going.
Are your events and fundraisers still going ahead?
All large group fundraisers run by RMHC New Zealand are postponed or cancelled until the threat from Covid-19 has subsided. Other events operated by supporters, that benefit RMHC New Zealand, will likely be impacted too but this will be decided by the organisers.
Is RMHC New Zealand OK?
Our priorities are to keep the whānau safe and keep programs running. This will be a tough time for everyone over the coming weeks and months, and families will still need our services. We are resilient but need your support as much as ever, if not more so.
What’s the best way to support House families?
Given the impact on our fundraising through cancelled events and campaigns, we are facing a significant reduction in income and therefore our ability to support all families. If you can support House families please consider a cash donation at rhmc.org.nz. We are accepting non-perishable food items (although please leave these at the door of one of our facilities) but please do not be offended if we don’t accept second-hand toys or clothes during this time.