Ronald McDonald House Orange supporting Canowindra families

Danielle Kinsela stayed at Ronald McDonald House in 2016 while her premature twin babies Archie and Banjo were being cared for in the special care nursery of Orange hospital. Photo: STEVE GOSCH
Danielle Kinsela stayed at Ronald McDonald House in 2016 while her premature twin babies Archie and Banjo were being cared for in the special care nursery of Orange hospital. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

Despite having one of the Central West's smaller populations, quite a number of Canowindra families have used the Ronald McDonald House in Orange, according to the statistics.

The data from December 2019 shows 12 families have stayed 13 times for a total of 66 nights since the service opened its doors in 2015.

In neighbouring Cowra, 50 families have stayed in the house 59 times for 256 nights, while one Molong family has used the service.

Executive Officer Rebecca Walsh said the majority of cases presented are high risk pregnancies and child and adolescent mental health issues.

"It depends on what is happening at the hospital, but we are seeing more high risk pregnancies coming to stay with us, and I think we can put that down to Orange has a fabulous health service here to be able to support soon to be mums and potentially they don't have the services in their home towns to be able to cater for that," she said.

"The other area that continues to grow for us is child and adolescent mental health, and they are our longer stay families."

Ms Walsh said eight families can stay at the house at any one time.

"We're only a very short walk to the back doors of the hospital, so it's a couple of minutes for a family to get up there," she said.

"The house is very tranquil and it's safe and secure and families know they can be close to their child or high risk pregnancies are close to the hospital and they can be together during the recovery period."

111 volunteers help out at the house, putting in a total of 57,361 hours since 2015.

"We could not do what we do on a daily basis without our volunteers," Ms Walsh said.

"That also includes board members... ball committee and then our volunteers that keep our house operating on a daily basis... we've got overnight volunteers that stay on site while we ever have a family staying in the house."