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Jack & Jill charity in €300k financial hole



Carmel Doyle, CEO of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation

Carmel Doyle, CEO of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation

Carmel Doyle, CEO of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation

A charity that helps children with complex and life- limiting conditions has been fighting a different battle this year as it faces a financial hole of more than €300,000.

The Jack & Jill Children's Foundation funds and provides home nursing care to 377 children.

It started 2020 with a calendar full of events to help raise the €3.5m it needs for its services.

However, the charity was forced to cancel all of its fundraising drives to generate the 80pc of donations it relies on.

Chief executive Carmel Doyle said Covid-19 restrictions "blew a hole" in its finances.

"We had to cancel everything and move all our events and fundraisers online as we have to keep going, just like the families we support," Ms Doyle said.

"Lunches, cake bakes, roadshows - all cancelled.

"Everything that we had, we had to cancel, so we issued an SOS appeal very early on in the year."

The children's care needs are very high, with more than 20 pieces of medical equipment in the home.

Another key part of the charity's service is end-of-life support at home.

Throughout the pandemic, the charity's nurses have supp- orted more than 30 children with end-of-life care.

"Our families and supp- orters mobilised as they know what could happen if we didn't have the funding," Ms Doyle said.

"We raise €3.5m annually, and that is 80pc of what we need. If we don't do that we are in trouble.


"One of the big things about relying on fundraising is the projections and looking at what could this mean to us by the end of the year, and we knew there was a short- fall far exceeding half-a- million.

"It was a lot to take in at the time.

"We looked at every grant we could apply for and then went to our supporters."

To help plug the gaping hole in finances, the foundation issued an SOS appeal earlier this year.

It also has nine shops it relies on for funding, but the Government's coronavirus restrictions meant it had to pull the shutters down.

The charity's nurses had to adapt their services to ensure they kept to the Government's health guidelines.

"It has been a tremendously challenging year," Ms Doyle said.

"Our nurses and carers are in the frontline of the community and we kept those doors open," Ms Doyle said.

"We have finished the year and pushed out what we could do.

"Covid and its effects are not going to go away quickly, and we've had to take a three-year look at our Covid response plan."

The charity won an award for its digital shift to move fundraising online, particularly its online auction, that which included the GAA shorts worn by Normal People star Paul Mescal during the hit TV series.