What to expect during this immersive experience
You will gain a first-hand understanding what parents and carers go through on a daily basis, as well as getting an opportunity to see what it takes to create the best possible experience for a family and come to know the families staying at the House in Orange.
During this 22-hour overnight immersion experience, you will be:
- Cooking and serving dinner and breakfast to our families;
- Guided through real life scenarios, gaining a better understanding of what families go through;
- Using your skills and knowledge together to tackle a business issue
- Gaining a unique insight on what it takes to run the House and create a true sense of empathy for the families that stay at RMHC Orange.
Number of CEOs
Earlier this year I was watching TV and saw a story about Ronald McDonald House Charities...I remember thinking to myself at the time, that's a service I will never need to use.
Unfortunately, life can throw you a curve ball when you least expect it. My 17-year-old son became unwell and needed to be admitted to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service at the Orange Health Service. After two days of driving back and forth to Orange from Parkes I realised that with the emotional stress and worry that I was carrying I wouldn't be able to continue to drive to Orange daily but felt torn because I knew my son needed me. I was in the process of making up a bed in the back of my car when I received a call from RMHC Orange asking me what time I would be checking in. The relief I felt was enormous knowing that I would have somewhere safe and warm to sleep but still be able to be close to my son. I cried for close to ten minutes when I got off the phone.
RMHC in Orange has provided me with far more than a warm, safe place to stay. I have been astounded by the kindness of staff and volunteers and even the local community.
I would like to share just an example with you. My second night staying in the house,
I returned from the hospital late, feeling exhausted both physically and emotionally. The lovely overnight volunteer helped me prepare some dinner, made me a cup of tea, and sat with me while I ate. After I had finished eating, she went to the fridge and pulled out an individual apple crumble, which another volunteer had made for me and left in the fridge with a note.
There have been many nights when the overnight volunteers have kept me company while I ate or just watched TV. Some have listened or sat with me while I cried.
Being a single mother, I have learnt to cope with most things that come my way, on my own. The last five weeks however I have felt like I have been on an emotional roller coaster. It had been the support of friends at home and the people here at RMHC Orange that have helped me through this difficult time. From the ladies that come in and cook, to the staff who always made time for me, the volunteers that have kept me company of an evening, even the ladies that crocheted the lovely blankets, the " NANS " who knitted my beanie that has kept my head warm and the florist who deposited flowers in my room with a lovely note. All these things have helped me to feel cared for and given me the strength to care for my son. RMHC Orange is so much more than a safe place to stay, it's a home where tired and exhausted parents can find refuge, comfort and the strength to face another day.
Since Ronald McDonald House Charities Orange opened in 2015, almost 1,000 families have stayed at the house for a total of 7,776 nights at no cost.
As we wrap around families in their time of need, the Orange house also provides free of charge emergency meals, toiletries for rooms, grocery items for self catering and beautiful gift bags of new toys, activities and books for the sick child in hospital.
Our area takes in families from 86 per cent of the state, primarily from rural and regional NSW and more than 20 % of our families who have stayed at the house so far have had a child or adolescent requiring urgent and life saving care in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit in Orange Hospital (representing over 50% of our room nights). This specialist unit is the only one outside of Sydney.
For country people who may come under added pressure of negotiating the unfamiliar territory of a large metropolitan city, our ‘home away from home” in Orange is built in the beautiful leafy setting close to the hospital.
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit (CAMHS) in Orange services 86% of NSW. It is the only dedicated Child and Adolescent Mental health unit in NSW outside of Sydney.
For RMHC Orange, families with a child in the CAMHS unit represent 20% of our families and over 50% of our room nights.