This year more than ever, ALONE’s Support & Befriending service has been a lifeline for older and more vulnerable people in communities across Ireland. Throughout 2020 and all of its COVID-related challenges, 1400 trained and Garda-vetted volunteers have offered unwavering friendship and companionship, practical assistance and essential support to those who need it most – in many cases through the window or over the phone.
They have been the backbone of the ALONE service during the ongoing pandemic and their incredible work has made a world of difference to those that have experienced it first-hand.
In acknowledgment of all their work, McDonnells will be delivering a thank you gift to every one of ALONE’s 1400 volunteers around the country.
Announcing McDonnells ‘As Irish As’ Initiative to celebrate the ALONE’s team of volunteers, Barry Synnott, CEO of Boyne Valley Group commented, “For generations, Irish people have been known around the world for our generosity, warmth and spirit. It’s part of our story. It’s how we’ve grown up. It’s who we are, As Irish As. And it’s never been more important. This Christmas will be a different one for everyone, and a difficult one for lots of us. Throughout the year we’ve seen how communities have come together to take care of each other and look after our most vulnerable and isolated. Communities made up of people like ALONE’s 1400 volunteers. They have inspired us to do our bit to help make Christmas a little brighter. On behalf of everyone at McDonnells, we want to say thank you – for the work that they do, for being a friend to our most vulnerable, for being the person that brightens someone’s day or offers practical support and advice. We are thrilled to be working with ALONE to give back to those volunteers and acknowledging the work that they do this Christmas.”
Niall Horan added “The work that ALONE does is invaluable. They ensure that thousands of older people in Ireland can stay living in their own homes whilst feeling connected and safe. These 1,400 amazing volunteers are the lifeline that makes this happen, their selfless generosity deserves to be recognised and I am so grateful to McDonnells for providing each and every one of them with a gift that signals that appreciation. Campaigns like this one are a reminder of how proud it feels to be Irish.”
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Volunteering is an intrinsic part to ALONE, a key principle of our vision and is embedded in our history as an organisation. Our volunteers have always been heroes in our eyes but working courageously as front-line staff to meet the needs of older people in their communities, who required help, is admirable. Our numbers in volunteers has been growing every year to respond to the needs of older people. Our volunteers have never let us down. Over the course of the last few months their numbers have swelled to meet the surge in demand of those seeking our support. We are grateful to McDonnells for recognising our ALONE volunteers through their ‘As Irish As’ initiative. Every day our volunteers have been giving the most precious thing they can – time.”