LOCAL TaxiWatch charity has been given a lift by car makers Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
The company has just announced a new partnership with TaxiWatch, a simple idea but a very affective project that deals with depression and suicide prevention.
As a gesture of goodwill and support Volkswagen has presented TaxiWatch Kilkenny with a new Volkswagen Caddy Life which, the charity said, will help local volunteers to save lives.
Aim of TaxiWatch, founded by Derek Devoy, a son of Dublin living here, is to help save lives.
Launched in 2014, the service was born after Derek saved three people from taking their own lives in Kilkenny City.
Since then, over 200 people have been helped by the programme in Kilkenny alone.
The project is working towards getting as many taxi drivers as possible enrolled and trained at what is called a SafeTalk suicide awareness course.
The course gives drivers the skills to recognize people who may be in distress and in need of help.
Volunteers are also taught what to say and how to keep people safe until professional help arrives.
TaxiWatch also visits schools, colleges and workplaces where founder Derek tells his story of personal depression, including suicide attempts and how he overcame his own crisis.
On the partnership, Derek said the generosity of Volkswagen will help to save lives as it will be an additional resource to travel the length and breadth of Ireland and the UK raising awareness of TaxiWatch, recruiting new members and helping to deliver talks to thousands of students.
Councillor Andrew McGuinness, an ardent supporter of TaxiWatch, told The Reporter he was delighted to see the great work of Derek Devoy and all of the taxi drivers at TaxiWatch being supported and encouraged.
“The work of those drivers who go above and beyond the call of duty, is truly special and we are very lucky to have them in our community, keeping a kind and watchful eye over those who are most vulnerable,” said Andrew.