Volunteer to drive cancer patients to hospital treatments

Volunteer Driver

About the Volunteer Driver Service

Irish Cancer Society volunteer drivers use their own car to give a lift to treatment for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Patients often find it hard to get to hospital because of transportation costs or they might not be feeling well enough to drive themselves because of their treatment.

Volunteer drivers make this easier by providing a lift to and back from their appointment.

The service is completely free for patients, and volunteers receive money from the Irish Cancer Society to pay for their petrol costs, road tolls and food while waiting for the patient.


  • 2 drives per month for a period of 1 year;
  • Full day's commitment for every drive (weekdays only).
  • Required: A roadworthy vehicle, an active email address and a valid driver's license.

What’s involved in being a Volunteer Driver?

  • Do you have an email address?
  • Can you commit to driving at least twice a month?
  • Do you have weekday availability?
  • Have you got a roadworthy, clean car? Valid car insurance, relevant NCT and driving licence? 
  • Can you commit to being part of the programme for a minimum of 12 months?

Please note that before a volunteer is able to drive our referred patients they will need to be vetted.

All volunteers must participate in an interview and training session (boundaries, confidentiality, data protection, etc), agree to provide two non-familial references and to undergo garda vetting checking.

What's involved in a typical day for a driver?

A patient gets referred to the service

This happens a minimum of 3 days before the drive. For example, if a patient needs a driver on a Wednesday, the appointment has to be phoned in before 4.45pm on the previous Friday.

Irish Cancer Society dispatchers email out a list of drives available for the next week

At 5pm that previous Friday evening we will email out a list of drives available nationally to all drivers.   

Drivers find a shift that suits and email the dispatchers back

Over the weekend, drivers will see if they are available to commit to a drive and email us back, identifying which drive is suitable to them.

Irish Cancer Society assigns a shift to a driver

On the Monday morning, the office will then start mixing and matching drivers. One driver is never partnered to one particular patient.

The driver gets in touch with the patient

We will email the driver the relevant patient details. The driver will need to contact the patient as soon as they receive their details to introduce themselves and re-confirm details of the drive.

The driver picks up the patient

On the Wednesday (at the agreed time) the driver will pick the patient up from the door of their home and drive them to the door of the hospital.

The patient goes through their treatment that day

The driver waits as the patient undergoes chemotherapy. About 30 minutes before their treatment is finished, the patient will call the driver to collect them at the door of the hospital and return them home.

The driver brings the patient back home

The drive for the day is then complete!

To support drivers, the team hold Support & Supervision meetings twice a year.

All volunteer recruitment, interviews, training and Support & Supervision sessions are held locally.

For more information

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01 2316 678

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