Scale new heights for the Jack & Jill Foundation
This October there will be a very special event taking place. On Saturday 7th at 11am all over the country you can climb a hill in aid of the Jack & Jill Foundation. There are 13 official walks, all of which are listed on www.inspireme.ie. Or check www.jackandjill.ie for more information. There are also other walks happening on a smaller scale so be sure to check the hill closest to you ….
The Jack & Jill Foundation
For the last 20 years the Jack & Jill Foundation have been giving families with very ill children the gift of time. They provide direct funding to families of children with brain damage up to the age of 4, to allow them to be cared for at home. They also provide end-of-life care to all children under 4 who require intensive home nursing care. This enables parents to have their precious child in their own home surrounded by love and the best of care.
Up the Hill for Jack and Jill is one of their most important fundraisers. And the organisers in each area have put so much work into these walks. So pull on the hiking boots, power up the mobile phone, pack a few snacks and get climbing. It costs just €16 for registration and for the first 12,000 people to register, Bank of Ireland will add €4 to bring the total to €20. Some of the walks are tailored for families, so drag them away from the screens and out into the fresh air. Here are some of our favourites.
In Portmarnock, Co Dublin the walk is cleverly split into two section. The first half is suitable for everyone young and old. Dogs on leads are welcome too. The second section of the hill is a bit steeper. Anyone who is tired can turn around and head to the fabulously named Mutleys Empawrium for refreshments while waiting for the more energetic walkers and dogs to head down to the beach. When everyone returns to base at Mutleys there will be a raffle and face painting to finish off this fantastic morning.
For those with older children (over 7) the walk in Recess, Co. Galway will prove a bit more of a challenge. Described as a rough stony trail through the bog (which does not do justice to this spectacular countryside!), this is for those with a reasonable level of fitness. Waterproof clothing and walking boots are essential. Just imagine the sense of achievement on completing this 4k climb. You will definitely have earned your lunch with this one.
Donadea Forest Park in Co Kildare is opening its doors (or carpark!) between 10 and 11.30 to allow free parking to all who want to participate in this walk. While a little longer in distance (5.7k) the Aylmer Walk is an easy walk all around the park. And even better, as it’s an official Slí na Slainte trail, you will be looking after your own health and cardiac fitness, while raising vital funds for those who need it most.
In Tipperary the summit of Slievenamon will be where you can celebrate success as you take in the spectacular views of Munster. This is a 5k climb and can be taken at your own pace. More suitable for older children, the Fairy Cairn at the top will provide the perfect Instagram moment.
Carrickbyrne Hill in New Ross Co Wexford is a historic 5k forest trail with lots of places to stop and take photos, or admire the scenery. This is another child friendly walk and on return there will be refreshments and face-painting for the little ones.
For more serious climbers why not head to Glendalough where the Spinc route will lead you into mountainous terrain. The walk will head past the Poulanass Waterfall before entering the Lugduff Valley. There is a steep climb and you will be challenged on this one. But just think of the bragging rights!
These are just a small sample of the amazing walks taking place all over the country. Please get out and climb a hill in support of the Jack & Jill Foundation. But remember – no tumbling or breaking of crowns required!