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JLS star Aston Merrygold said it was “amazing” to help unveil a new playground made from recycled McDonald’s Happy Meal toys at one of the UK’s Ronald McDonald Houses.
The houses provide free accommodation to families with children staying in nearby hospitals and are supported by fast food company McDonald’s, which has raised over £100 million for the charity since 1989.
Boyband singer Merrygold, 34, opened the new playground at Manchester’s Ronald McDonald House, which supports families with children in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
“It was amazing to see exactly how the donations from McDonald’s and its customers help support the families staying at the Houses,” the singer said.
“Ronald McDonald House Charities UK provide a home away from home when families need it most.
“As a parent of two myself, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must be for these families.”
McDonald’s also announced its desire to raise a further £1 million this month through customer collection boxes, digital-giving channels and the continuous fundraising efforts of the franchise and its employees.
The opening in Manchester follows McDonald’s donation of playgrounds to four Ronald McDonald Houses in London in 2021.
Made from more than one million recycled Happy Meal toys, the playgrounds have been created especially for families staying at the houses and feature an activity course, pyramid den, interactive wall and activity table.
Merrygold was also able to meet some of the families staying at the house in Manchester and play with a few of the children.
“All the parents and guardians I met at the Manchester house couldn’t thank the team enough for the care they’ve given during such difficult moments,” he said.
“The new playground is an incredible addition to this house; it was so lovely to see the kids and their parents playing and enjoying some time together as a family.”