VERTO and Ronald McDonald house bringing hope to Forbes and Parkes families

Ella and Isaac Bernardi of Forbes are one of 138 families from the town who have experienced firsthand the hospitality and welcoming atmosphere of Ronald McDonald House Charities Central West (RMHCCW) in Orange since it opened in April, 2015.

“Isaac was fortunate to be able to stay at the house close to the hospital while I was admitted to Orange Hospital in the lead up to the delivery of our baby boy,” Mrs Bernardi said.

“This meant he didn’t have to drive the 115 kilometres back and forth to Forbes while I was in hospital.

“As soon as Isaac arrived, he felt welcome as he was met by such caring staff and volunteers who were thoughtful and very helpful in our situation,” she said.

Mrs Bernardi said the family ‘was absolutely amazed’ by the wonderful facilities provided at the house. This includes free accommodation for as long as required, emergency meals, grocery items for self-catering and complimentary toiletries in the room upon arrival.

“When it came time for us to leave the hospital, house manager Bronwyn presented our family with a beautiful gift bag of special hand-made toys, blankets and baby items for our little boy,” Mrs Bernardi said.

“Our family just can’t thank everyone enough for all the hard and selfless work they do.”

While 138 families from Forbes have stayed at RMHCCW for a total of 666 nights since the doors opened, families from nearby Parkes have stayed at the house at twice that rate, with 263 families staying for 1701 nights.

This means Forbes and Parkes families have so far saved a total of $55,338 in accommodation charges, and been able to stay close to loved ones, often during incredibly difficult times.

The house in Orange relies heavily on the dedication of more than 100 volunteers who are part of a 24 hour/365 days roster.

“One of the things we are also very proud of is that all of the money raised through our generous Central West supporters and sponsors stays in Orange to directly support families in the region,” Executive Officer of RMHCCW, Rebecca Walsh, said.

VERTO Chief Executive Officer, Ron Maxwell, said the not-for-profit employment and training organisation was proud to be a continuing sponsor of RMHCCW, committing $30,000 from 2023 to 2025.

“VERTO is committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of the individuals and communities we serve,” VERTO CEO Ron Maxwell said.

“VERTO has proudly made more than $70,000 in contributions over the past three years to houses in Orange, Sydney and Newcastle that support their mission of providing comfort and care to families during extremely challenging times.”

VERTO is a not-for-profit organisation delivering a range of apprenticeship, community support, employment and training services to assist individuals, employers and industries. We can be found in more than 60 locations across New South Wales. For more information, visit