News | 29 June 2022
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Council splashes out for kids in need

Wellington City Council is proud to announce a new partnership providing swimming pool passes to families at Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) Wellington.

Toby Leggett in PICU while family stays close to his side at Ronald McDonald House last year.
Toby Leggett in hospital with collapsed lung, while family stayed at Ronald McDonald House last year.

The swim passes are for whānau to use while staying at the Newtown RMHC, giving them some much needed time out, keeping them active, and also providing a bit of fun during some challenging times.

The partnership is in addition to passes for Wellington Zoo and the Cable Car, and Wellington Museums are also sharing the aroha with complimentary passes to Space Place.

“RMHC provides Kiwi families support and accommodation free of charge and any support is welcome,” says Wayne Howett, RMHC New Zealand CEO.

“We believe families should never be separated when they need each other the most.  We make it a priority to provide accommodation to all families that need it, no matter the added cost.

“This partnership with Wellington City Council providing access to their pools will bring relief to the families, and some much-needed recreation in what can be a long, sedentary process.”

Toby Leggett a year on after recovering from collapsed lung, with dad near lake.
Toby Leggett on the road to recovery.

Providing an opportunity for families to be distracted in a positive and healthy way was a no-brainer when the idea first came up according to Council’s Recreation Facilities Manager, Mat Bialy.

“Keeping active is important for mental and physical health. Not only are the benefits of swimming well known, but it’s also important for safety reasons – and it’s fun!”

The partnership announcement also coincides with RMHC’s annual appeal. This year’s appeal kicked-off on 15 June and runs until 15 July, and for the first time, the month-long appeal includes a National Pyjama Day on 1 July, when Kiwis can don their PJs, make a gold coin donation at, and support the families in the care of RMHC.