€1.3 million has been approved for mobility and cancer care transport services in rural Ireland.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys announced the news today (Friday, December 11) that the funding will go towards vehicles for 26 community-based organisations under the CLÁR programme.

The vehicles will be used to provide essential transport services for people with mobility issues.

It will support voluntary organisations that provide, free of charge:
  • Transport to and from day care, or other medical therapy and respite services;
  • Transport to or from designated cancer treatment hospitals and centres under the National Cancer Control Programme.

Examples of some of the organisations awarded funding today include Ability West, Co. Galway; Castleisland Day Care, Co. Kerry; Order of Malta, Co. Laois; Irish Wheelchair Association, Co. Cavan; and St. Coleman’s Care Centre, Co. Mayo.

Announcing details of the funding, Minister Humphreys said:

“I am delighted to continue my department’s support under the CLÁR programme for voluntary organisations that provide transport services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

This funding, which I have increased by over 40% compared to last year, will provide suitable vehicles that will enable people living in designated rural areas to access vital treatment and medical services.

The organisations receiving support under the scheme provide invaluable services in their communities and I am pleased to be able to support their efforts.”

‘From broadband to broadleaf’: New initiative to see 50,000 trees planted

In other news, a new initiative by Virgin Media Ireland will see 50,000 trees planted.

The broadband, cable and television group has today announced its commitment to climate action by starting the planting of these trees, which is expected to be completed early next year.

It has partnered with forest management experts VEON to help boost the national planting of trees.

This is part of an action programme in which Virgin Media has committed to achieving the Low Carbon Pledge with Business in the Community Ireland, aiming for a further 50% reduction in its carbon footprint by 2030.

Its sustainability action programme includes a 100% switch to renewable energy, together with deploying solar energy panels across key technical hubs; more energy efficient consumer hardware; improved data centre cooling systems; and the commencement of electrification of the company’s vehicle fleet.

Other areas include gradually removing non-eco consumables from the supply chain and to continue to offer products and experiences that use less power, reduce emissions, and cut down on waste.