Co Kildare volunteers are needed urgently to drive cancer patients to Mater Hospital and St James’s Hospital

Louise McCarthy

Reporter:

Louise McCarthy

Email:

content@kildarenow.com

Co Kildare volunteers are needed to drive cancer patients to Mater  Hospital and St James’s Hospital

The Irish Cancer Society is putting an urgent call out for volunteers in Co  Kildare for its Volunteer Driver Service, in order to cope with increasing demand on the free transport service.

The Society has seen a nationwide increase of almost one third in the first few months of this year, with an increase of 37% in patient bookings across the county.

Gail Flinter, Patient Travel and Financial Support Manager with the Irish Cancer Society said: “We have seen a huge increase in patient referrals across the country, as well in the Kildare area. To cope with this demand, it is essential that we recruit more volunteers to transport the patients to their chemotherapy appointments.”

She said: “We have a fantastic network of volunteer drivers around the country who receive ongoing training and support. I would appeal to anyone in the Kildare area who has a couple of week days free a month to get in touch. You will become part of a remarkable team of volunteers, without whom this valuable service simply could not function.”

Declan Dockery, Volunteer Driver from Kildare, said:“When I saw the ad for volunteers for the Irish Cancer Society’s Volunteer Driver Service, I just thought, what a great idea. I wanted to give something back in a practical way and volunteering for the driver service a couple of days a month was a great way to do that. It is an invaluable service for people who might not have someone to take them to appointments, or who may not be able to afford a taxi. It really is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I have ever done.”

The Volunteer Driver Service is available to cancer patients in Co Kildare who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment in any of the public hospitals in Dublin, Kildare, Offaly and Louth. However, it is currently only seeking volunteers that can transport patients to the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St James’s Hospital.

If you would like to become a volunteer, or if you are a patient who would like more information, please contact Gail or Laura on the Volunteer Driver Service team on 01 2310 566 (Gail) or 01 2310 594 (Laura), email transport@irishcancer.ie or visit www.cancer.ie