Details of funding towards mobility and cancer care transport measures have been announced by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Deputy Michael Ring.
This new €1.5 million measure will support the purchase of vehicles by voluntary organisations in CLÁR areas, in which specified rural areas of Westmeath are included, that provide transport services to people for cancer treatment and for persons with significant mobility issues in order to enable them to access support. Minister Ring has allocated €1.5 for this measure for 2018.
CLÁR provides funding for small scale capital projects in specified rural areas that have experienced significant levels of depopulation.
The fund aims to support voluntary organisations that provide transport to and from designated cancer treatment hospitals and centres under the National Cancer Care Programme or transport for people with significant mobility issues to day care or other medical, therapeutic or respite services including, requiring specialised wheelchair accessible vehicles.
The measure will support applications of up to €50,000 for a wheelchair accessible vehicle and €100,000 for a bus.
Speaking following the announcement, Deputy Ring said, “I am delighted to announce, the CLÁR programme will now support voluntary organisations that provide transport services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. A modest investment under the CLÁR scheme, such as the provision of a bus or a wheelchair accessible vehicle, can have a significant impact on individuals and their families in a rural community.
“It is only right that we should support the voluntary groups which provide transport to our sick and vulnerable citizens in order to enable them to access treatment and support. The provision of this funding is a recognition by the Government of the wonderful work being done at community level in order to allow these people to access treatment.
“Having access to a wheelchair accessible vehicle in your area can mean the difference between being able to avail of day care, respite and other services or being confined to home. It’s as simple as that. This funding will also help people receiving treatment for cancer to get to their appointments and will make a huge difference to affected families in rural areas,” Deputy Ring commented.
Qualifying voluntary organisations should apply before the August 31 deadline. The scheme will provide up to 85 percent of the total cost of a vehicle fit out. Matching funding of at least 15 percent will be required. Full details of the new CLÁR Measure are available on the Department’s website at www.drcd.gov.ie