Volunteer to drive cancer patients to hospital treatments
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?
Then we would like to hear from you!
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.
- (We are currently processing our applications from Winter 2020. Thank you to everyone who applied, we hope to be in contact soon)
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.
The health and safety of our volunteers, staff, customers and service users, is our top priority.
Those who are in the Very High Risk category are asked not to engage in face-to-face volunteering with the Society at this time, until Government guidelines change. Current guidelines recommend that people in the Very High Risk category cocoon.
The Irish Cancer Society deeply values the contribution that volunteers make, and look forward to welcoming applications from those currently cocooning for face-to-face volunteering opportunities when guidance and risk circumstances change.
If you would like to become a volunteer driver, fill out our online form and we will get back to you with next steps!
For more information