McDonald’s franchise owner Carl Room has become the first person to be awarded the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Special Recognition Award.

Ronald McDonald House Charities is an independent charity, which provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation to parents whose children are being treated in hospital. Room (pictured, left, with RMHC President Clive Bowring), who owns four McDonald’s franchised restaurants, was presented with the award for his contribution to the charity.

Room was presented with the award at the charity’s annual gala dinner in London. He had been unaware about his nomination for the newly created award until his name was announced. Room said: “I was overwhelmed but absolutely delighted to have been recognised for the work I have done with Ronald McDonald House Oxford. Since becoming a McDonald’s franchisee, I have put a lot of personal time into the charity and offered my business skills to help ensure that Ronald McDonald House Oxford runs to budget and raises enough money each year to stay open.

“As well as being the McDonald’s charity of choice, Ronald McDonald House Charities is also an organisation that resonates with me as a father of three children. When your child is ill, there is nowhere else you want to be but by their side and the accommodation offered by Ronald McDonald House Charities makes that possible.”

From joining McDonald’s aged 16 as a part-time crew member, Room developed a successful management career within the global restaurant chain and then decided to become a franchise owner in 2002. Now with four Oxfordshire restaurants in his portfolio, Room is busier than ever but has always managed to make time for his voluntary position as Chair of Trustees for Ronald McDonald House Oxford.

Alongside these commitments, Room is also responsible for setting and meeting the fundraising targets set for each of his restaurants. For the past two years, all four of his restaurants have been tasked with raising £5,000 each for Ronald McDonald House Oxford, bringing the annual contribution to £20,000. Room also donates a percentage of his sales to Ronald McDonald House Charities and all money donated by customers at the till points is also given to the national arm of the charity.

Commenting on how he motivates his staff to get behind the charity, Room said: “Each and every person who works for me is given an introduction to Ronald McDonald House Charities at the initial training session. All of my restaurant managers have been to visit Ronald McDonald House Oxford and many of my staff volunteer their time to go and help out at the House. Seeing firsthand how the charity helps parents of sick children is what motivates us all to go the extra mile in fundraising for Ronald McDonald House Charities.”

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