Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, officially launched a minibus service for CUMAS this week. The local Fine Gael T.D. made funding available for the purchase of the bus through her Department’s allocation of national lottery funding.
“I am delighted to be here on this sunny spring day to officially open a new service for CUMAS. This mini-bus means that more families will be able to access the services provided by this project. I have always been supportive of CUMAS and the work that you do in our community and am pleased to have been able to help you secure the funding to purchase this minibus. I know it will make a huge difference to the families you work so closely with. It’s great to be joined here today by members of the local school choir who have added a real sense of occasion to the event,” said Minister Fitzgerald at the official launch of the bus.
The CUMAS project, which empowers families from the Clondalkin area and aims to reduce the risks of drug misuse in young people throughout the area, will be using the minibus to facilitate children and families who wish to access their service. Staff and clients were joined by Minister Fitzgerald and members of St. Peter of the Apostle’s School Orchestra to celebrate the occasion.
“I am very familiar with the work carried out by CUMAS who I know provide invaluable support to many families in our local area. In the past I have worked closely with grandparents from this group who are full-time care givers to their children and have met several of the young people who benefit from the programmes they run,” continued Fitzgerald.
“One of the main problems CUMAS faces is being able to reach out to those who need their service the most. Quite often this means providing transport to and from the centre to facilitate accessibility to their programmes. Meeting this need has meant the allocation of the projects resources to transportation. I am pleased that now CUMAS will be able to provide a dedicated transport system for their clients and that resources, which had been taken up by bringing children and families to and from the centre, can be re-directed into the service,” said Fitzgerald.
“I am delighted that Minister Fitzgerald sanctioned funding to cover the cost of the purchase of minibus for our project and so pleased she could join us to celebrate the occasion. The bus will be a real benefit to the families we work with,” said Margaret Dalton, Project Co-ordinator at CUMAS in Clondalkin.
“It will be invaluable to us both financially and time-wise and will allow us to collect children from both North and South West Clondalkin to come to their individual and group work. It will also be used by parents, grandparents and other groups in the local area to maximise its use. Up until now CUMAS has had to dedicate an enormous amount of time and money to transporting people so they can access our service; this bus will be of huge benefit both to the project and to the families it will facilitate,” said Margaret Dalton.
Minister Fitzgerald sanctioned funding towards the purchase of a mini-bus as part of the Department of Children & Youth Affairs 2011 Lottery Funding Allocation. She did so on the condition that the minibus be made available to other Local Drugs Task Force and Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund projects in the Cloindalkin area in order to maximise its benefits to the community.
“I have always been supportive of local community groups and look forward to continuing to work with and support the groups throughout Clondalkin,” concluded Fitzgerald.