A playground made from McDonald’s Happy Meal toys will be opening in Camberwell for families visiting children in hospital.
The playground is one of four across the Ronald McDonald Houses in London, and part of a project involving fifteen new playgrounds all built from over a million Happy Meal toys.
Ronald McDonald Houses provide accommodation for families of children being treated in hospital, so that they can stay nearer their child.
The company is also donating £250,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities UK this December, to pay for 10,000 nights of stays for families, and has contributed an estimated £100 million over the last 30 years.
The playground announcement was accompanied by an emotional video of Ronan Keating meeting families who have benefited from the scheme.
Mr Keating said: “As a parent I can’t imagine how hard it must be to go through what these families do, especially at Christmas, but the support provided by Ronald McDonald Houses is a lifeline for those that need it.
“Seeing the children laughing and enjoying the playground helps show how vital it is for them to have this kind of outdoor space, so they can feel like themselves.”
The playgrounds have been designed to help promote both physical and brain development, and are also available for siblings of children in the Houses, when they are well enough to visit from hospital.
The recycled toys were collected before the COVID pandemic, when selected McDonald’s restaurants across the UK and Ireland held a ‘toy amnesty’ collecting plastic toys to recycle.
These were combined with surplus toys from when restaurant businesses closed during the first lockdown.
McDonald’s report that from the beginning of this year there has been no non-sustainable hard plastic in Happy Meal toys, removing over 3,000 tonnes of plastic from circulation moving forward.