Our History & Culture

ALONE was founded by Dublin fireman Willie Bermingham in 1977.

Dublin Fire Man Willie Bermingham
Dublin Fire Man Willie Bermingham

During the cold winter of 1976, Willie and his colleagues found the bodies of a number of older people in tenements throughout the city. They had died alone, in appalling conditions and many had remained undiscovered for weeks. Willie was so shocked by this that he, and a small group of friends and colleagues began distributing food, fuel and blankets to those older people who were most in need. They also started a campaign to raise awareness of these ‘forgotten old’ in the media and to the government. Today ALONE continues its work providing direct services to hundreds of older people as well as campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable older people in our society.


Our Culture – Living Our Values

ALONE has a rich history and over the last 41 years many people have contributed to making ALONE unique. By combining our past experience with the best in new processes and learnings we have developed into the organisation that we are today. Everyone in ALONE has different skills, backgrounds, value systems and life experiences, but the culture of ALONE expresses what is valued and respected collectively, as a unified organisation. At every level in this organisation, with every policy and every procedure, our culture is turned from words into action.

The ALONE Culture and Ethos in Action is:

  • Effective and compassionate
  • Creative, innovative and solution-focused
  • Leaders among services for older people
  • We are all individually accountable
  • All staff and volunteers are equally valued
  • Rights Based
  • Search for sustainable solutions for people