Boys' School Staff Offer Service

June 30, 2021 at 12:11 PM

Saint Kentigern has a strong service ethic and this week, it was the turn of the staff from the Boys’ School to lend a hand. Ten staff members donned aprons and got to work in the kitchen at Ronald McDonald House, to prepare and serve dinner to families of children undergoing long term care at Starship Hospital.

The Ronald McDonald Houses, in each of the major centres around New Zealand, offer a vital service to support families when their child is in hospital away from their home town. Last year alone, over 4,300 families were assisted with accommodation and support, free of charge, to help relieve some of the everyday stresses they face when their child is unwell.

Families come from across New Zealand and although the average length of stay is seven days, many families will to stay for weeks or even months on end. This can be a very stressful time and the Houses aim to provide a ‘home-away-from-home’, offering families a safe haven to retreat to after a long day on the ward, allowing them to escape the clinical world of medicine, and take comfort in the familiarity and routine of a home-like environment.

Volunteers have an important part to play. On two nights a week, family dinners are provided by volunteer groups, giving families a chance to relax and enjoy a home cooked meal. 

With funds collected through our Chapel offerings, the Boys’ School team of volunteers set out to buy the food items required to create a choice of nutritious dinners for all the families staying at the House - on this occasion, almost 150 people. The team achieved its objective, with dinner on the table by 6pm, after an afternoon spent preparing food in volume under the watchful eye of the resident chef. The meal was well received and there were most appreciative comments about the meal.

For those staff involved, it was a most moving experience, particularly when they met with the families and got a real understanding of the emotional impact it has when a child is ill. The staff returned home with gratitude for their own situations and a sense of purpose for having made a positive contribution for others.


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