04 Jul 2022

Leitrim's community car scheme providing vital transport service

Leitrim's community car scheme providing vital transport service

The launch of the community car scheme

A special launch wa sheld last week for the Leitrim Community Car Scheme,
This scheme was set up by Leitrim Volunteer Centre on the 1st March 2022. Initially it was in conjunction with Drumsna Community Resources as a result of a recognised need to support isolated older people in the community to access day care services.
The scheme is currently funded by Drumsna Community Resource Centre through a small grant from the Mpower Programme. However the demand for the services has grown well beyond expectations and has the potential to grow much bigger ensuring that every part of the county is covered.

Since its first journey on March 9, the volunteers have transported clients comprised mostly of older people but also people with disabilities, families at risk and Ukrainian displaced people to hospital appointments in Mullingar, Galway, Sligo and Dublin, GP, Physiotherapy as well as other more local trips for essential services.
To date they have recruited 14 volunteer drivers who have all been Garda vetted and trained.
The drivers receive out of pocket expenses for fuel, food and parking. Referrals come mainly from public health nurses, social workers the County Council and the Local Development Company.

The Social Car scheme is aimed at involving volunteers in helping vulnerable and isolated community members within their local community, through the provision of flexible transport to and from essential appointments. Volunteer drivers provide, using their own car, essential door to door transport for passengers identified, who have difficulties accessing public or other forms of transport.

What is provided?
The service provides:
- Transport to hospital appointments when required.
- Transport for community support services that would otherwise not be possible.
- Provide a lifeline to people needing transport to the post office, shopping and banking.
- Provide a model of good practice in volunteering, including the development of policies and procedures.
- Develop in partnership with other agencies and key stakeholders an innovative project that will involve volunteers and help build social cohesion.- Promote social inclusion, corporate social responsibility and active citizenship.

The Community Care Scheme was launched as part of the Leitrim County Council's Recognition of the many people who went above an beyond the call of duty during Covid 19.

Pictured above at the launch are (l-r) Lola Gonzalez, Volunteer Board Member, Bernie Donoghue, Volunteer Board Member, Ann O'Neill, volunteer driver from Aughnasheelin, Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, Paddy O'Rourke, Josephine Stroker, Leitrim Volunteer Centre Manager, Mary Quinn, Director of Services Leitrim County Council and Johnny Gorman, Dept of Rural and Community Development
Picture: Willie Donnellan

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