Like the marauding sorties of green and gold which have tormented opponents in Croke Park down the years, the roads of North and East Kerry similarly meander through the rural countryside going this way and that.
Along them, and on boreens and lanes, live a community off the beaten track. This is an ageing population in need of transport to their local towns where they can be seen by their doctor, buy some shopping and interact with friends and neighbours.
Originally set up in November 2001 to provide community accessible transport solutions to the communities of North and East Kerry, the ‘Kerry Flyer’ company has diversified over the years to meet the changing needs of its service users.
The core of its work is community transport from its base in Castleisland but with the help National Lottery funding for Good Causes (€14,000 in 2015) it was also able to help older people in the county source home protection alarms under the Senior Alert Scheme.
Nicola Lawless, CEO of Kerry Flyer, explains: “We were able to help individuals in their applications for these alarms. For many older people in rural areas, these were vital and not only provided a means to call help if they got into difficulty but provided much-needed peace of mind too.”
The alert monitoring system enabled older people to remain in their own homes.
While National Lottery good causes funding related specifically to the senior alert scheme programme, the Kerry Flyer group has undertaken many other community initiatives to great success.
The company has provided online training to over 2,500 people in Kerry who otherwise would have been removed from the IT knowledge area.
“It’s been transformative for many,” explains Nicola who adds: “There’s no way many older people in rural areas would have access to computers or the confidence to work with them. We show people, through our basic computer and internet training, how to use email and for many it offers an invaluable lifeline with family members far away.”
So much more than just a community transport services, Kerry Flyer continues to evolve and develop and in doing so will continue to serve the people of North and East Kerry.
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on games go back to National Lottery funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage.
Over €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes