A CHARITY is urging people to acknowledge the "uphill" battle of Cork families caring for seriously ill children with a unique challenge raising funds for specialist care.
The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation is asking the public to "climb Up the Hill for Jack & Jill" this October in solidarity with the 48 families it supports in Cork.
Now, in its seventh year, the fundraising initiative invites individuals to run, walk or cycle for the Up the Hill Challenge which can take place anywhere from the peak of a mountain to the local park during October. Participants can also purchase a Jack and Jill beanie for €10 to ensure they stand out on the day.
The Jack & Jill Foundation provided 94,000 hours of home nursing care to 376 families during the pandemic in 2020. This was achieved through a team of nurses and carers across communities in Ireland.
An additional 25,000 hours of case management was provided by the charity's core nursing team - made up of 15 specialist children’s liaison nurses. The organisation provides supports for children up to the age of six years old.
Jack & Jill Specialist Children’s Liaison Nurse for Cork, Eilín Ní Mhurchú, described how much the initiative means for the families they support.
"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 9,000 hours of support to families in Cork.
"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.
The charity's CEO Carmel Doyle, said that Up the Hill for Jack & Jill challenge 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," she said.
To find out more about the charity and how to sign up for the challenge visit www.jackandjill.ie/ or call Jack & Jill on 045 894538.