Children visiting Townsville for medical treatment will receive their own ‘Passport to Townsville’ under an initiative by Ronald McDonald House North Queensland (RMHNQ), supported by Townsville Airport.
RMHNQ has produced an activity booklet, titled Passport to Townsville, to give to children and their families to help them engage with the region during their visit.
Passport to Townsville is one of six initiatives funded under the Townsville Airport Community Benefit Fund, which was introduced by parent company Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) in 2016 to support local community groups.
The booklet encourages children to enjoy and connect with some of the city’s must-visit sites and attractions, including Castle Hill, Jezzine Barracks and The Strand.
Suitable for primary school aged children, activities include word searches, Indigenous art colouring in, find-a-words and a reflective journal, each correlating to a local place of interest.
RMHNQ CEO Amy Cooper said the charity was grateful for the support this project received from Townsville Airport through its Community Benefit Fund.
“Ronald McDonald House North Queensland keeps seriously ill or injured children and their families close when they need to travel far from home for medical treatment,” she said.
“We often see siblings of these sick children accompany mum and dad to Townsville. With the average stay for our families extending anywhere from two to three months, having an activity like the Passport to Townsville is a great way to engage these children who are going through a difficult time in an unfamiliar environment.
“It’s also a complement to our Learning Program, which supports children who miss key education milestones due to serious illness. We also hope to extend the passports to our new Family Room when it opens at The Townsville Hospital in May.”
Townsville Airport Chief Operating Officer Kevin Gill said the activity booklet would help children connect with the city.
“Many children and families who visit Ronald McDonald House haven’t been to Townsville before, so this is a fun and engaging way for them to get to know the region during their stay,” he said.
“RMHNQ staff do a wonderful job of helping families have an enjoyable and positive time here despite challenging circumstances – this is just another tool that well help them achieve that objective.
“We’re very proud to have been able to contribute to this project and congratulate the team at Ronald McDonald House for championing this idea.
“The Community Benefit Fund has allowed us to give back to a broad cross-section of the local community and engage with some very positive initiatives such as this one.”
Other organisations supported by the 2016 Townsville Airport community Benefit Fund include Anglicare North Queensland, Townsville Men’s Shed, Townsville Hospital Foundation, Giru Daycare Association and Cootharinga North Queensland.
Applications for this year’s Townsville Airport Community Benefit Fund will be open from 8-29 May, 2017. For more information and to apply, visit townsvilleairport.com.au.