Saturday 20 July 2019

Donation doubles cancer support fleet

Hugh O’Keeffe, credit union CEO, Thomas Craine, Richard Hall, Sarah Cashman, Mary O’Brien from Arklow Cancer Support and Seamus O’Brien
Hugh O’Keeffe, credit union CEO, Thomas Craine, Richard Hall, Sarah Cashman, Mary O’Brien from Arklow Cancer Support and Seamus O’Brien

Deborah Coleman

Arklow Cancer Support has added a new vehicle to its fleet thanks to a substantial donation from Arklow Credit Union.

The Skoda vehicle will be put to great use as part of the Volunteer to Drive Service.

The donation was made in December and allowed the group to acquire a new Skoda vehicle from Sinnott Autos.

This car, alongside another vehicle purchased in 2014, will allow Arklow Cancer Support to meet the ever-increasing demand for its Volunteer to Drive Service.

The service was established in 2011 after Arklow Cancer Support identified difficulties its clients were having in travelling to receive treatment.

'In simple terms, our clients' need for access to their vital and life-saving treatment was not being catered for in any way in Arklow or its environs,' explained service director Mary O'Brien.

'Our service offering lifts to clients commenced with transport to St Luke's Hospital. Soon afterwards, these treatments diversified from solely St Luke's to various Centres of Excellence - St James Hospital, St Luke's Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and St Vincent's Hospital. Because of the addition of these Centres of Excellence, the demand for our volunteer drivers increased. Since 2011, our volunteers have covered 2,310 trips. That's a fantastic achievement,' said Ms O'Brien.

The service is reliant on volunteer drivers dedicating their time to transport clients for treatment.

Going through treatment is a very onerous and costly task which takes its toll on the client, their family and friends.

'Patients are already dealing with the physical and emotional strains of their diagnosis; how to get to and from appointments can only add to this strain. If you are undergoing cancer treatment, we can help ease some of the strain of travelling for both you and your loved ones,' Ms O'Brien said.

According to one client, the service has been invaluable to them as they undergo treatment.

'The service has allowed me to continue in work, I would not have been able to do that without [this] help and financially would not have been able to cope. It made my journey easier while dealing with my cancer diagnosis and lightened the stress associated with all aspects of my illness for both me and my family. You have helped me more that I can say and thank you from the bottom of my heart,' the client said.

Arklow Credit Union CEO Hugh O'Keeffe said he was 'thrilled' to be involved with Arklow Cancer Support and could 'see the invaluable service provided to the local community'.

Arklow Cancer Support is looking forward to working closely with Arklow Credit Union in the future.

For further information on this transport service or to become a volunteer, contact Arklow Cancer Support or visit

Wicklow People