Volunteering with ALONE: The nitty-gritty details to getting involved

volunteering in Ireland, ALONE info session

We’ve all been there—wanting to volunteer but not really sure how. Where to begin and where to concentrate your efforts when there are so many places that could use volunteers in Ireland.

If you’re looking to provide companionship to an older person in your area, joining the Befriending service with ALONE is the place to start. We hold an Investing in Volunteers award and are the only place in Ireland to hold a Quality in Befriending award.

So, what’s involved when you volunteer with ALONE?

First, take a look at our website—see if you like what you see and if it’s something you’d be interesting in doing.

If it is, fill out a form to express your interest. You’ll be contacted and informed of our next volunteer information and recruitment session. This is a chance for you to get to know us and for us to have a short, one-to-one interview with you to gauge your interests and personality. Right now we’re looking at having the next information session in the autumn, so now is a great time to sign up

After that, successful applicants will be contacted to come in and do two hours of training where we go through details of how volunteering with us works.

We’ll then run a Garda vetting and check your provided references (of which we’ll need two).

All going well, we will then pair you up with an older person. Keep in mind that depending on the location you’re able to visit as well as the need in the community, the matching process may take a couple of months.

We ask that you commit to visiting the older person at least once a week for one year.

The two presenters were very good and opened up a discussion in a natural way. I feel ready to move onto the next stage and meet my befriended.

You’re truly part of the team when you decide to volunteer with ALONE—you have direct access to us and we provide support every step of the way. We’ll accompany you to your first visit and follow-up regularly to make sure you and the person you’ve been paired with are happy.

Daniel Egan is a brand new volunteer with ALONE who just joined the team. “The information session and training were both great, interactive sessions. It was nice to see a good balance of ages and sexes,” he says. “The two presenters were very good and opened up a discussion in a natural way. I feel ready to move onto the next stage and meet my befriended.”

The population of people over 65 in Ireland is 13.2%, representing 642,000 people. One in ten older people suffer with chronic loneliness, which can be as damaging to health as obesity and smoking.

ALONE is here to help the older population live their lives the way they want—you can be a part of changing an older person’s life and helping them age at home.