Connacht Rugby Captain Jack Carty & teammates line out in support of Jack & Jill’s Up the Hill campaign

Connacht Rugby Captain Jack Carty and his teammates Gavin Thornbury and Tom Farrell, today lined out in Rinville Park, Galway, for a very special cause and met little Lilly Parackal (age 3) from Roscam, who is one of 412 children currently availing of home nursing care by Jack and Jill. Together, they kicked off the eighth annual Up the Hill campaign, proudly supported by Abbott, which asks members of the public to climb or walk a local hill in solidarity with families across the country currently in need of home nursing care or respite from Jack and Jill.

This year Jack and Jill celebrates 25 years of funding and providing specialist in-home nursing care and respite support for children with complex medical conditions, up to the age of six years. This includes children who may have a brain injury, cerebral palsy, a genetic diagnosis or other undiagnosed condition, and who, as a result, may not be able to walk or talk, may be tube-fed or oxygen-dependent. Another key part of the service is end-of-life care at home for all children up to the age of six, irrespective of diagnosis.

Every day can be an uphill challenge for Jack and Jill families across Ireland and so Up the Hill for Jack and Jill is a way for everyone to show support for the 412 families currently under the charity’s care – the highest number ever availing of its services.

Kicking Off for Jack and Jill

Jack Carty, Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation ambassador, is recovering well from recent surgery for a wrist injury and plans to undertake his own Up the Hill for Jack and Jill challenge this October. He said: “I feel incredibly fortunate that rugby has given me the opportunity to meet with families receiving vital home nursing care from Jack and Jill. I’ve heard first-hand how much this precious gift of time means to families and, in order to meet the growing demand for its services, Jack and Jill needs the public’s support. I’m planning to go Up the Hill myself this October and am calling on members of the public to do the same and join me in raising crucial funds for families in need across the country.”

Providing Much-needed Care

Lilly Parackal spent much of her first year in hospital after it was discovered she had a chromosome 2 imbalance. This causes developmental delay, heart and lung problems, and means Lilly needs to be tube-fed.

When she finally came home, age one, the family received the support of a Jack and Jill nurse to help with Lilly’s full-time care at home, and continue to receive home nursing care today. Mum Edel said: “Our Jack and Jill nurse gives us back time to spend with our other children, time where we know Lilly is in good, capable hands and we don’t have to worry. We can just switch off and relax for those hours knowing she is being cared for. My parents have passed away, and my husband’s parents are in India, so we don’t have grandparents we can call on to help, so we are very much reliant on the nurses to get a break.”

Lilly Parackal with mum Edel

A Hill Everyone Can Conquer

For Carmel Doyle, CEO, Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, 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 up that hill, thanks to a gentle push by people who donate knowing the difference their support means to local children. With Jack and Jill, charity really does begin at home, and our Up the Hill challenge is all about community and we are delighted to welcome Abbott into our community of care as a sponsor this year. 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.”

3 Simple Steps to Go Up the Hill for Jack and Jill

Step 1 – Register today for just €18 per person at, 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. From the Hill of Tara in Meath, to St Patrick’s Hill in Cork, there’s a local hill around the corner to suit your fitness level and ability. 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!

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