Volunteers Sought To Drive Cancer Patients To Hospital Appointments

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Volunteers are wanted to drive cancer patients to appointments in University Hospital Kerry and other hospitals in Cork.

THE Irish Cancer Society is urgently looking for more drivers for its Volunteer Driver Service in Kerry, to drive cancer patients to their chemotherapy appointments in University Hospital Kerry, Cork University Hospital and The Mercy Hospital Cork.

The service is free to both the hospital and the patient with volunteers being paid a contribution towards their fuel allowance and road toll costs.

The Society recruits and trains volunteers and asks only that volunteers have free weekday availability, can commit to two weekdays a month and have access to a car.

The Volunteer Driver Service is now available from 18 hospitals nationwide with the Society’s drivers bringing 1,040 patients on 10,822 journeys in total last year.

In Kerry, 235 journeys were facilitated for patients in 2015 which was a 34% increase on the previous year, and the demand is increasing.

Gail Flinter, Irish Cancer Society said, “The Volunteer Driver Service gives cancer patients access to free transport to and from their chemotherapy treatments, removing the stress and difficulty of travelling at a challenging time. The Irish Cancer Society is looking for drivers in Kerry who would be willing to drive patients to and from their treatments and in doing so, make a direct impact on the lives of those living with cancer.

“There are a number of reasons why a cancer patient may need to use the Volunteer Driver Service: they may have been advised not to drive by their doctor due to the aggressive nature of treatment; the patient may have no family in the immediate vicinity or they may be unable to take time off work to transport them to treatment,” she said.

The Volunteer Driver Service was developed in 2008 by the Irish Cancer Society. Now in the ninth year of the national rollout of the service, demand for the service continues to grow.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer or would like further information should contact Gail at the Irish Cancer Society on (01) 231 05 66, email transport@irishcancer.ie or see www.cancer.ie

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