28-year-old Katy talks about being a Volunteer Driver during Covid

Volunteer Driver Katy O'Meara

"For me it’s only two days a month of a commitment, but the reward you get out of it is fantastic."

Clare native Katy O’Meara saw volunteer driving as the perfect opportunity to keep herself occupied after having to move home with family due to the Covid pandemic.

Following a spell abroad, the 28-year-old had been looking forward to completing her studies in Dublin and finding work when circumstances changed unexpectedly, leaving her with spare time on her hands.

“I didn’t know what to do with myself really,” she recalled.

“I’ve always wanted to volunteer but never had much time to do it. A friend of mine was telling me that the Society was looking for Volunteer Drivers because a lot of theirs were cocooning due to the pandemic, and I thought this is the perfect opportunity for me to do volunteer work that I’ve never had the chance to do.”

A personal connection to the work involved gave Katy an insight into why volunteering for a service for cancer patients was the best use of her time.

“My own father was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. Thankfully he’s doing well now, but between testing, diagnosis, treatment, appointments and everything else it’s so stressful that even something as small as bringing someone to an appointment and bringing them home is a great help,” she said.

Katy takes great satisfaction from the crucial service she helps provide, and particularly from knowing that people are calmed and reassured by her assistance during a worrying time.

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“A lot of the patients are surprised when they see me, because they’re expecting to see someone a bit older. For me it’s only two days a month of a commitment, but the reward you get out of it is fantastic."

Katy O'Meara, Volunteer Driver
Volunteer Driver Katy O'Meara

“Their face lights up when they see you; getting to get into a car, sit down and not worry about getting home, have a chat or not, depending on how they’re feeling. That’s the most satisfying thing for me.”

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