Sheila Hayes, Jack & Jill Specialist Children’s Liaison Nurse for Kilkenny
The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation is urging the people of Kilkenny to go Up the Hill for Jack & Jill this October and climb a hill in solidarity with the 13 families it supports in Kilkenny who have an uphill challenge in caring for their very sick child every day.
This is the seventh year of the nationwide fundraising challenge which aims to raise funds for Jack & Jill’s specialist home nursing care, respite support and end-of-life care for very sick children up to the age of six.
Notwithstanding the pandemic, in 2020 Jack & Jill funded and delivered over 94,000 hours of home nursing care to 376 families, through a team of hundreds of nurses and carers in communities across the country. This was in addition to the 25,000 hours of hands-on, case management provided by the Jack & Jill core nursing team, which is made up of 15 specialist children’s liaison nurses.
In 2020, Jack & Jill also extended the age range of children it supports by a year and that age extension continues today, with children up to six years of age receiving the vital care that they need at home. Because, for a Jack & Jill child, there is no care like home care.
With less than 20% of Jack & Jill’s funding coming from Government, it relies hugely on the support of the public for the continued provision of this critical service for so many families. The Up the Hill fundraising challenge is one Jack & Jill’s key flagship fundraising endeavours, and the people of Kilkenny are being asked to continue their long-standing generosity and to lend their support to its work in whatever way they can this year. The campaign is part of Jack & Jill’s ‘Support Local, Donate Local’ drive, with all money raised supporting local Jack & Jill family homes.
For Sheila Hayes, Jack & Jill Specialist Children’s Liaison Nurse for Kilkenny, Up the Hill means so much to local families, who depend on the funds raised for their support.
“To say that it has been a very tough 18 months for our Jack & Jill families is an understatement. As one of the vulnerable groups during the pandemic, our families have had to take refuge in order to keep themselves and, most importantly, their children safe," she says.
"It has been really tough. Throughout this time, we have continued to provide in-home support, across the garden wall support, and over the phone support. Last year, we provided over 2,400 hours of support to families in Kilkenny. This support affords families the ‘Gift of Time’ to do things for themselves and other family members – whether it’s spending some quality time with a sibling, grabbing a quick coffee with a friend, getting some fresh air in the great outdoors, or simply taking a nap to recharge – it’s that time out which means that they can continue to spend time caring for their sick child and doing what mums and dads do best.”
For Carmel Doyle, CEO of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation, Up the Hill for Jack & Jill couldn’t come at a better time:
“The past 18 months have been an uphill struggle for everyone and our Up the Hill fundraising challenge is still a steep one. That’s why we’re depending on our circles of family, friends and work colleagues to take this challenge, which is all about community helping community, and to get together to take on their local hill for a good local cause. Jack & Jill had to keep going through COVID, just like the families we support, but we couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public and we are so proud to have extended our age range to six, a move so welcomed by family carers. Best of luck and thank you to everyone who is climbing a hill for Jack & Jill this October, and we look forward to seeing all the photos on social media!”
Five Easy Steps to Climbing that Hill
The Up the Hill for Jack & Jill fundraising challenge couldn’t be simpler, and these five easy steps will get you on the road!
Step 1. Register your challenge at www.jackandjill.ie for just €18 – the cost of one hour of specialist home nursing care – and to receive an optional eco-friendly banner. You can also purchase a Jack & Jill beanie for €10 to make sure you stand out on the day!
Step 2. Identify a location for your Up the Hill challenge – it can be in a local park, or it can be a peak on a nearby mountain – whatever hill works for your fitness level and ability. You can climb it, run it, walk it, cycle it – whatever works for you.
Step 3. Recruit your family members, friends and work colleagues to join you, but remember to stay within public health guidance.
Step 4. Decide on a date during the month of October that best suits your group and begin the countdown to let the excitement build.
Step 5. The final frontier – grab your hill and go! Once the day arrives and you’ve conquered your personal Everest, stake your claim for Jack & Jill with your Up the Hill eco-friendly banner and take a picture to proclaim your achievement to the world on social media!
Lots of inspiring steps by you. Together, one giant leap for Jack & Jill.
For more information on the work of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation, or to find out more about the Up the Hill for Jack & Jill fundraising challenge, visit www.jackandjill.ie or call Jack & Jill on 045 894538.
Keep up to date with Up the Hill for Jack & Jill 2021 on social media and follow: Instagram @jackandjillcf; Twitter @jackandjillcf; Facebook @jackandjillfoundation; and LinkedIn @Jack & Jill Children's Foundation and use #UptheHill2021
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