BUILDING work begins today on a new “home away from home” for families with sick children being treated in Southampton.

The Ronald McDonald House Southampton will provide a haven for parents and siblings of youngsters fighting for life at Southampton General Hospital’s new Children’s Hospital.

Funded by the independent Ronald McDonald House Charity, the first stage of its construction will start today with Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead there to witness it.

It will have 53 bedrooms where relatives can stay in comfort, knowing that they are not too far from their children being cared for at the new state-of-the-art children’s hospital, which will see its first phase completed in 2020.