€1.5 million funding unveiled for rural medical service transport

Details of the Mobility and Cancer Care Transport Measure, which is part of the CLAR programme, have been announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring.

This new €1.5 million measure will support the purchase of vehicles by voluntary organisations in CLAR areas that provide transport services to people for cancer treatment and for persons with significant mobility issues in order to enable them to access support.

CLAR (Ceantair Laga Ard-Riachtanais) 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/from designated cancer treatment hospitals/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, 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.

Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to announce, the CLAR 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 CLAR 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.

“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.”

Qualifying voluntary organisations should apply by the August 31 deadline.

The scheme will provide up to 85% of the total cost of a vehicle/fit out; matching funding of at least 15% will be required.

Full details of the new CLAR measure are available on the Department of Rural and Community Development website.