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01 Oct 2022

Climb a hill for Laois children who have mountains to climb

Climb a hill for Laois children who have mountains to climb

Pictured is Mary Joe Guilfoyle, Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation liaison nurse manager for Laois, who is urging people to go Up the Hill for Jack and Jill October.

Laois People urged to take on a hill for Jack and Jill this October to raise money to fund home nursing care for 11 local children.

This is a significant year for the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, as it celebrates 25 years of funding and providing specialist in-home nursing care and respite support for children with severe to profound neurodevelopmental delay, up to the age of six.

This includes children who may have a brain injury, cerebral palsy, a genetic diagnosis or other undiagnosed condition. Another key part of the service is end-of-life care at home for all children up to the age of six who require it, irrespective of diagnosis.

The nationwide charity has reached its own summit in 2022 by providing support to 412 children, the highest number in its 25-year history. 

Jack and Jill has provided support to 48 Laois families since it was first established. To meet its steep care commitment, the charity is asking people across Laois to support local families in their community by going Up the Hill for Jack and Jill.

With Jack and Jill, there is no means test, no waiting list and no unnecessary red tape. The core nursing team devises a home nursing care plan that is tailored around the child and the family’s needs, with the charity funding and providing up to 80 hours’ support each month. Jack and Jill’s funding model relies heavily on public donations to mobilise over 500 nurses and carers at community level and, in 2021, they delivered almost 110,000 hours of in-home nursing care and respite support.

Jack and Jill Liaison Nurse Manager for Laois, Mary Joe Guilfoyle, says every parent needs a break.

“It’s a privilege to be a part of the lives of Jack and Jill families. These are ordinary parents facing the extraordinary care needs of a child with a complex medical condition; a child who may not be able to walk or talk, who may be tube-fed or oxygen-dependent, requiring intensive, around-the-clock care, at home. But everyone needs a break, and that’s where we come in, literally, into the home, to give them relief and we are very proud to walk this care journey with them,” she said.

Carmel Doyle, CEO, Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, believes charity really does begin at home with Jack and Jill.

“Every year, it’s an uphill challenge to raise the money we require to provide our service. But, like the families we support, we just keep going, with a gentle push from the people who donate in the knowledge that their support means so much to local children. With Jack and Jill, charity really does begin at home and our Up the Hill challenge is all about community.

"Every €18 raised funds one hour of in-home nursing support, allowing Jack and Jill parents to grab 40 winks, go for a walk with their other children, or get a coffee, knowing that their precious child is being well cared for at home, where they belong. That sense of community really matters, now more than ever,” she said.

There are three Simple Steps to Go Up the Hill for Jack and Jill supported by Abbott pharmaceuticals.

Step 1 – Register today for just €18 per person at JackandJill.ie, which will support one hour of specialist in-home nursing care for a local Jack and Jill family. Your pack will include a colourful, eco-friendly, Up the Hill banner

Step 2 – Choose your Hill. There’s a local hill around the corner to suit your fitness level and ability, and whether you go high or go low, it’s the taking part that keeps Jack and Jill on the go!

Step 3 – Grab some friends, family, neighbours or colleagues, pick a date that suits and make it a day out to remember. Bring a picnic to celebrate when you get to the top and remember to take a photo with your Up the Hill banner and tag Jack and Jill on social media with #UptheHill22 so everyone can see you!

Sean Langan, Site Director from Abbott, explained why the global healthcare company is proud to be supporting Jack and Jill.

“At Abbott, we are passionate about helping people in Ireland, and around the world, to realise their full potential. This idea is at the core of our business and drives our commitment to support the communities in which we work. The Jack and Jill team embodies this same principle and has inspired us through their compassionate care for children and families across the country. We are delighted to be supporting this year’s Up the Hill campaign and hope that this enables more people to live better lives,” he said.

For more information on Up the Hill for Jack and Jill 2022, visit www.jackandjill.ie or telephone Jack and Jill at 045 894538.

Follow on social media at Facebook @jackandjillfoundation; Instagram @jackandjillcf; Twitter @jackandjillcf; Tik Tok @jackandjillcf; and LinkedIn @Jack and Jill Children's Foundation and use #UpTheHill22

The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation is an Irish children’s charity that funds and delivers specialist home nursing and end-of-life care for children from birth to six years of age who have highly complex and life-limiting medical conditions. Its mission is to empower parents to care for their child at home, in communities across Ireland.

Jack and Jill was set up by two pioneering parents – Mary Ann O’Brien and Jonathan Irwin – 25 years ago in 1997. They had been caring for their son Jack at home in Kildare with the help of local nurses, until he passed away at the age of 22 months. Mary Ann and Jonathan vowed that no parent should have to walk this difficult care journey alone, and Jack’s home nursing care plan became the blueprint for over 2,700 children who have been supported by Jack and Jill since then. 

Today 412 children and their families are supported with up to 80 hours of home nursing care per month at a cost of €1,440 per month, or €17,280 per year. The support is often described as ‘a gift of time’, giving parent carers a break from their 24/7 care regime, safe in the knowledge that their Jack and Jill child is well cared for at home.

For more information, visit www.jackandjill.ie

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