Actor Ricky Tomlinson has made a £1m donation to a children's charity in Liverpool.
Ronald McDonald House provides overnight accommodation for families of patients staying at Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
The donation has helped fund a new £1.5m unit for 15 families who need to stay for more than six months. The Royle Family star declined to comment on the donation. However, the charity confirmed the gift.\
'Such a difference'
Jan Thomas, director of Ronald McDonald House, said: "We are absolutely overwhelmed at Ricky's modesty and generosity. He has made such a difference to the families who need to stay at Ronald McDonald House (RMH)."
The charity currently provides accommodation for 69 parents and families. The new flats will include a bedroom, kitchen, dining and lounge facilities and bathroom. Ms Thomas said Mr Tomlinson had made the donation two years ago after visiting the charity and they had kept the secret ever since.
"His accountant rang us and said Eric Tomlinson wants to make a donation," she said.
"We didn't know who Eric Tomlinson was. Then we realised it was Ricky."
She added: "I asked him why he wanted to give the donation and he said, 'it's for the kids - they are the future'."
Thanks to the BBC for this story You can read more here.
Both Micky and I have unpleasant memories of being in hospital as children, feeling lonely, abandoned and frightened because our Mum’s couldn’t stay with us.
When children have to stay in hospital for an extended period the distress for them and their families must be awful. Well done and well said, Ricky Tomlinson!
Micky: I certainly have bad memories of being rushed into hospital at the age of 7 or 8 with pneumonia (it had been a killer of kids). I fell asleep in the doctor's car and only awoke some time later - just for a moment - to see my Mummy and Daddy beside my bed.
Later, when I woke again it was to be told they'd gone home to look after my sister and brother.
"Just let me pull these down and turn over onto your side. Just draw your knees up, there's a good boy!"
"Doctor - can you feel what I can?"
"Mr Johnson - this boy . . . can you feel . . .you can't?"
I may have been quite wrong but all I could sense was apparently endless people putting their fingers up my bottom and sticking needles in.
I think Ricky Tomlinson has done kids (and their parents) an huge favour!
Malcolm: My first remembered experience of hospital was as a 3 year old when I had my tonsils removed. Petworth Cottage hospital didn't have a children's ward so I was in a full size bed, with side bars, on an adult ward.
My home village was so remote that Mummy could only visit me once, 2 days after I'd had surgery. When she did visit I was terribly upset that she wouldn't take me home so I threw a full scale toddler tantrum, climbed up the side bars and fell all the way to the floor before anybody could stop me.
For the majority of the time I was in hospital, over a week thanks to banging my head, they kept me sedated "for my own good". Every time I woke up I cried for my Mummy so they gave me jelly & ice cream before putting me under again.
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