Mattie collecting used crutches to aid children’s charity

Before TDs and Senators broke up for holidays, South Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath was hard at work rallying the troops to donate their crutches for recycling to the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation.

Before TDs and Senators broke up for holidays, South Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath was hard at work rallying the troops to donate their crutches for recycling to the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation.

Deputy McGrath has already collected hundreds of crutches in his local constituency office and Senator Mary Ann O’Brien, who is the co founder of Jack & Jill, is well aware of the cash that can be raised through recycling used crutches which are deemed by the HSE to be “single use only” and can’t therefore be returned via the hospital system.

Between now and September 2012, the Jack & Jill Foundation is aiming to liberate the one million crutches that are lying idle in Irish homes and is asking people to deposit their old crutches at any one of the 70 Applegreen service stations nationwide which are now collection points for crutches. The crutches are then sold on as scrap and the aluminium is melted down into its raw form and reused, with the cash generated used to support the families of children with severe developmental delay as a result of brain damage with home nursing care from Jack & Jill.

The campaign is supported by Applegreen and Nightline and people can get more details via www.jackandjill.ie or through the 70 Applegreen service stations nationwide.

According to Jonathan Irwin, CEO and Founder of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation, “We know the country is drowning in crutches and, with less than 20% of our funding coming from the State, we rely more than ever on the public to donate cash, mobile phones and now crutches to keep Jack & Jill going. I want to thank Mary Ann and Mattie for helping us to promote this campaign and to urge people to donate those old crutches via their local Applegreen station.”

The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation was set up in 1997 by Jonathan Irwin and his wife Senator Mary Ann O’Brien to provide home nursing care to young children in Ireland (from birth to 4 years old) who have developmental delay as a result of brain damage. They decided to set up Jack & Jill based on their own experience with their son Jack from which evolved the Jack & Jill model of home nursing and respite care that supports up to 300 families in Ireland today and has helped almost 1,600 families since 1997. The service includes funding for up to 64 hours of home nursing care per family per month at a cost of €1024, home visits, advice, information, lobbying and bereavement support. Jack & Jill requires €2.7 million per annum to operate this service and, with less than 20% coming from the State, the Foundation raises the money it needs through mobile phone recycling, cash donations and now crutch recycling.