Children’s charity needs €1.3m to save state €15m

A CHARITY supporting children with brain damage needs just €1.35 million in funding to save the state €15m in long-term hospital care costs.

The Jack and Jill Foundation, which helps families care for sick children in their own homes, is facing a shortfall of €450,000 this year and, while it has some spare cash to cover the deficit, its reserve fund will be completely depleted by January.

The charity is facing the prospects of having to make severe cuts in its services next year and has warned that if 100 of their 320 babies end up in hospital, the annual cost to the state will be €14.73m.

Chief executive and founder of the charity Jonathan Irwin will make his case for an immediate injection of €1.35m from the Health Service Executive when he appears before the Joint committee on Health and Children later today .

Jack and Jill currently receives annual funding of €560,000 from the health authority but a 25% fall in donations over the last two years and a 40% increase in the home service payments has upset its current financial situation.

Last year, the charity managed to cover a shortfall of €300,000 from its reserves and, up to then, had always ended the year with a small surplus.

Jack and Jill was established in 1997 and since then has supported more than 1,200 families and raised €30m in the process, compared to a total payment of €4m from the HSE.

A spokesperson for Jack and Jill said the charity was also providing support for 81 children over the age of four at a cost of €250,000 in 2010.


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