Cancer Society appeals for volunteer drivers in Louth

The Irish Cancer Society is looking for volunteer drivers across Louth to collect cancer patients and drive them to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital for their chemotherapy as part of the Society’s Volunteer Driver Service. This free transport service is available to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

Gail Flinter, Patient Travel and Financial Support Manager with the Irish Cancer Society said, “The Volunteer Driver Service allows cancer patients to access free transport to and from their chemotherapy treatments, removing the worry, difficulty and financial burden of travelling at an already stressful time. This is a door to door service with local drivers driving local patients to and from their treatments.

Charles Sweeney, a Volunteer Driver from Dundalk, has completed almost 50 drives to date. He said, “I started driving for the programme in November 2015 because I know first-hand how important the service is. My wife used it when she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment and all of the clients who I have driven to their chemotherapy appointments really appreciate the service. After I retired I saw an ad in my local paper looking for drivers so I decided to sign up.”

Gail Flinter concluded, “We have a fantastic network of volunteer drivers around the country who are provided with ongoing training and support but in order to run the service for chemotherapy patients travelling to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, we really need more drivers. I would appeal to anyone in the area who has a couple of free days a month to get in touch with us. They will become part of a remarkable team of volunteers, without whom this valuable service simply would not function.”

The service is completely free to the patient and volunteer drivers are paid a contribution towards their fuel, all road toll costs and some refreshments during the day. Volunteer drivers are usually booked for one or two drives per month so the time commitment required is not too great.

Patients undergoing chemotherapy who would like to avail of the service or who would like further information can contact their healthcare professional in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital to refer them to the service. Alternatively they can call the Volunteer Driver Service team on 01 231 0522, email transport@irishcancer.ie or visit www.cancer.ie.

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