The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation is urging people to climb a hill in October in solidarity with the 22 families it supports in Galway who have an uphill challenge in caring for their sick child every day.
Now in its seventh year, the Up the Hill for Jack & Jill fundraising challenge aims to raise funds for the charity’s specialist home nursing care, respite support and end-of-life care for very sick children up to the age of six.
Jack & Jill funded and delivered over 94,000 hours of home nursing care to 376 families in 2020, 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.
For Cathy Keighery, Jack & Jill Specialist Children’s Liaison Nurse for Galway, 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,” said Cathy.
“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. 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 5,200 hours of support to families in Galway. 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.”
The Up the Hill for Jack & Jill fundraising challenge couldn’t be simpler, and people can participate by following the steps below.
- 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!