WORK­ING LIFE

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Health - Carmel Doyle, in­terim CEO, Jack and Jill Foun­da­tion

6.30am The first of two alarms sound. I switch on the im­mer­sion and sneak back to bed for a 10-minute snooze. At the next alarm, I check emails, Twit­ter, FB, and LinkedIn and then shower and change into the clothes I’ve left hang­ing out, be­cause min­utes mat­ter in the morn­ing. For Gerry, my hus­band, it’s rise and shine from 6.50am. The boys’ alarm (Jack 16 and Tony 14) goes off at 7am. 7am Break­fast is Weetabix, ba­nana, or berries. I make my own lunch and my daugh­ter Rose’s (12) as Mammy guilt kicks in for not be­ing there when she wakes up at 8am. Jack and Tony speed-eat break­fast. I drop them to the bus and head to the of­fice in John­stown Manor, which sounds posh, but is ba­si­cally two rooms above Cen­tra. 9am I check the agenda for the weekly staff meet­ing. We need to plan the week ahead and the key ar­eas where peo­ple need help and in­put. Nurse man­agers Sinead and Saun­dra also at­tend, which is re­ally im­por­tant to keep our 13 li­ai­son nurses up to speed and vice versa, so that we are aware of the is­sues com­ing up in the homes of fam­i­lies they visit, to pro­vide sup­port and ad­vice. 10am Key items on the agenda this week are plans for our Jack and Jill Week, Oc­to­ber 7 to 14, which in­cludes mak­ing a video with our founder Jonathan Ir­win. The Jack and Jill Foun­da­tion pro­vides nurs­ing care and sup­port for chil­dren with se­vere neu­ro­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment is­sues, as well as of­fer­ing some respite to the par­ents and fam­i­lies. 11am We have a meet­ing of charity shop man­agers. There’s lots of growth and changes in these shops in New­bridge, Naas, Athy, Port­laoise, Ark­low, Wick­low, and Gorey. 1pm Af­ter lunch, I usu­ally do a quick cir­cuit from the of­fice to John­stown Gar­den Cen­tre and back. On my re­turn, I’m handed a let­ter from a mother who wants to thank our li­ai­son nurse, Eilín Ní Mhurchú, for her ter­rific sup­port. 2pm I read a draft of the an­nual re­port which shows where the money goes in Jack and Jill and also show­cases our ser­vice. 6.15pm I’m late head­ing home so I won’t be able to help at a re­cep­tion at the taek­wondo class my hus­band runs on Tues­days and Thurs­days. In­stead I plan the menu for to­mor­row’s din­ners.

Jack and Jill Aware­ness Week runs to Oc­to­ber 14. See www.jackand­jill.ie

“It sounds posh but is two rooms above Cen­tra”

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