ALONE and Dublin City Council urge communities to reach out to older people this winter

Lord Mayor launches ALONE and Dublin City Council Cold Weather Initiative

Dublin, 2nd December 2019  Lord Mayor of Dublin, Paul Mc Auliffe, launched Dublin City Council and ALONE’s cold weather campaign outside Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street today. Dublin City Council’s Community Development Section, in association with ALONE, the Gardaí, Dublin Fire Brigade, and StayWell Pharmacies is urging members of the public to check in on older people in their community this winter.

Lord Mayor Paul Mc Auliffe said, “The colder winter months can be a difficult time for many people who are vulnerable and may be feeling isolated. We are appealing to all Dubliners and indeed people across the country to be mindful of older people in our communities who may live alone or be at risk of struggling with loneliness, health difficulties or fuel poverty.

This campaign represents the community and the whole city working together to make a difference in the lives of older people, many of whom face worries about warmth, shelter and essentials such as food and medication at this time of year. I am confident that Dubliners will respond with our usual sense of kindness, compassion and goodness.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Colder temperatures can have a serious impact on the health and safety of older people, and Ireland has among the highest levels of excess winter mortality in Europe. We regularly work with older people who don’t have central heating, live in challenging housing conditions, and even people who have used their free travel and stayed on buses and trains during the day to keep warm. It’s really important that we reach out to people who may be finding things difficult due to ill health, financial worries, or housing difficulties. We hope that by spreading this message and by reaching out, more people will stay safe and well this winter.”

Moynihan continued, “According to reports by TILDA, around 1 in 10 older people have problems heating their home, and nearly half have experienced problems with damp, mould or mildew. We encourage anyone who may be concerned about their own wellbeing or someone else’s to reach out for assistance from ALONE if needed. We want people to know that ALONE is here to help with any problems they may have this winter, from housing conditions to loneliness.”

ALONE have also partnered with StayWell pharmacies this winter. Anyone interested in supporting older people to stay warm in winter can donate new hot water bottles, blankets, gloves, slippers and more through donation boxes in nine StayWell pharmacies nationwide, which ALONE will distribute to older people who need them. Donations can be made directly to ALONE on www.alone/donate

ALONE is encouraging older people to prioritise their spending on heating during the winter months. ALONE have staff ready to act on requests for assistance and can advise on issues relating to food, heat, utilities or medication.

Further information, including advice and tips for older people in cold weather conditions, can be found on

Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community. For more information visit  

The campaign is part of Dublin City Council’s commitment to an Age-Friendly City.

Make Your Minutes Count with ALONE this Christmas

“Older people have the most amazing stories to tell”: Marian Keyes joins ALONE in asking the public to reach out and spend some time with older people spending Christmas alone

Dublin, 15th November 2019 ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has today launched their Christmas campaign, which encourages members of the public to make their minutes count by working together to tackle loneliness and isolation.

Author Marian Keyes launched the organisation’s Christmas campaign, to encourage members of the public to take a few minutes out of their day to interact with their older neighbours and relatives who may be experiencing feelings of loneliness as the festive season approaches.

ALONE is also asking for support from new volunteers and donors to help to support them to combat loneliness and other challenges faced by older people. One in ten people over 75 are lonely a lot of the time and demand for ALONE’s services has increased five-fold in recent years. One in 4 older people live alone, and this increases in rural areas.

Marian commented, “I’m delighted to be helping ALONE launch their Christmas campaign this year, to spread awareness of such an important issue. I admire the work that they do with older people and I’m so happy to be a part of such a positive message. Loneliness and isolation can be serious problems for older people and dropping in for a chat or helping a neighbour with their shopping could make all the difference to their mental health. We’ve all felt alone at certain times in our lives, sometimes all it takes is a cup of tea and a bit of a laugh to really lift an older person’s spirits.  A few minutes may not mean much to you, but to a lonely older person it could be the highlight of their day.”

She continued, “As we age, it can be more difficult to reach out to people for companionship; a lot of older people might be embarrassed or too proud to admit that they are lonely. What might only seem like a quick chat to you can make an older person feel loved, appreciated, and that they are part of the community. Older people have the most amazing stories to tell and it’s really important that we take the time to listen. Christmas provides people with the perfect opportunity to drop in on older neighbours and relatives for a few mince pies and a chat.”

ALONE depends on the generosity of the public for support through volunteering and donations. As part of a range of services, ALONE provides a Support and Befriending service, which is designed to alleviate the negative impacts loneliness has on mental and physical health. Volunteers are trained and supported by experienced staff, and provide older people with companionship and practical support.

“It takes us ten minutes to introduce an older person to their new volunteer, but it can lead to years of companionship and friendship and it can change someone’s life. In the run up to Christmas none of us ever seem to have enough time to do all the things we need to do. We know that not everyone has the time to volunteer with ALONE – but it only takes a minute to donate and to help us to continue to do the work we do. Demand for our services has increased five-fold in recent years and we are reliant on the support of the public to keep delivering our services. €10 can pay for an hour of support from ALONE,” said ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan.

Moynihan continued, “Loneliness is a crisis experienced by thousands of older people and it’s important to remember that there are many older people who will spend the festive period alone. Loneliness is a year-round issue but it can be particularly difficult during the festive and winter periods. 45% of the older people we work with are over 80. We are asking members of the public to support ALONE by giving a little bit of their time to older people who are alone, by making a donation to support our services or by referring an older person who might use our services.”

ALONE also launched its national phone line at their Christmas launch. The phone line is open Monday-Friday from 9-5 for older people across the country, on 0818 222 024.

“We are encouraging any older person who needs support this winter to reach out and give us a call,” said Moynihan. “There are tens of thousands of older people who are experiencing loneliness, isolation, housing and financial difficulties, and other challenges this winter, and we want them to know that support is available. 1 in 4 people who use ALONE’s services picked up the phone themselves for support.”

ALONE say that there are a number of ways that the public can reach out and spend their time helping an older person this Christmas, for example; dropping in to an older person’s house for a cup of tea and a chat, ensuring they have enough food, medication and heat, bringing them to a social event and giving them a hand with their shopping.

Contact ALONE 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community. For more information visit  

Disappointment with lack of support for older people in Budget 2020, as older people are denied pension increase

ALONE responds to Budget 2020

Dublin, 8th October 2019   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has expressed its disappointment today that there has not been further support for older people in Budget 2020.

The charity is frustrated that there has not been further support in the areas of pensions and home supports, while welcoming initiatives such as the increase to the Living Alone Allowance.  

Although the Budget addressed issues such as Brexit and climate change, ALONE believe that it did not adequately respond to challenges including those posed by Ireland’s ageing population and the housing crisis.

“The decision to deny older people any increase to their pension is hugely frustrating,” said ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan. “Many people assume that older people have their financial needs met by their state pension. Financial hardship is often a hidden issue among older people, yet it is the third most frequent reason older people contact ALONE. In 2017, more than 63,000 people over 65 were experiencing enforced deprivation. In order to deliver financial security to older people the pension needs to be benchmarked against 35% of average earnings, which would require an increase of at least €7-€9 to the state pension this year and in the coming years.”

For many older people, the State pension does not enable them to cope with costs such as increasing rents in private rental accommodation, transport, achieving and maintaining housing up to basic standards, or keeping ‘rainy day’ funds. In these cases, older people must seek financial assistance from organisations like ALONE.

ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan also expressed concern that the carbon tax, which will be increased by €6 per tonne this year and in the coming years, will impact some of the most vulnerable older people in Irish society. The increase is likely to impact older people who have a low income or live in older and poorly insulated homes, and those in rural areas. While ALONE welcomes the modest increase to the fuel allowance, the charity had hoped to see the fuel allowance period restored to 32 weeks to ensure that older people are supported when they need it.

“While we welcome the increase to the fuel allowance and recognise the need to tackle carbon usage, we are concerned that the carbon tax will impact vulnerable older people who already struggle to pay their heating costs. Some older people ALONE work with already cut essentials to ensure their budgets balance – for example, by waiting until their home gets too cold to manage before putting on the heating, or staying in bed to save on fuel costs,” said Moynihan. “While we welcome the increase in the Fuel Allowance and accompanying measures to help to mitigate the impact of this cost increase, this is a cause for significant concern.”

The organisation also expressed reservations regarding the increase to home support hours. “While we welcome the announcement that prescription charges will be reduced by 50c and that 1 million extra home care hours will be provided as part of the Home Supports Services, these measures do not go far enough. The HSE will provide 17.9 million home support hours to 53,000 people in 2019. An additional 1 million hours will not be sufficient to meet the needs of now more than 7,000 older people and people with disabilities on the waiting list for the Home Supports Service. The Home Supports Service requires a far greater increase in hours and a plan for the coming years to meet the demand,” concluded Moynihan.

However, ALONE welcomed the increase to the Living Alone allowance, which ALONE and other ageing NGOs have been requesting for several years. This is a long-awaited and greatly welcomed increase for older people living alone who are most vulnerable.  They also expressed relief that the Christmas bonus will be maintained in Budget 2020.


ALONE granted funding from Sláintecare Integration Fund

The charity has been granted funding to develop and expand their technology and community supports and services

Dublin, 16th September 2019: ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, is delighted to announce they have been granted funding from the Sláintecare Integration Fund. ALONE is one of 122 successful projects from 477 applicants across the country which have received funding from the Sláintecare fund.

ALONE received funding for their project, ‘ALONE BConnect: linking healthcare, social care and community care together using technology and services’.

The project aims to provide technology and services to support older people to manage their own health and wellbeing, and to improve the community’s capacity to meet the needs of older people. The project will enable ALONE to better support older people across the country, starting in the North of Dublin, including by supporting discharge from hospital, reducing hospital admissions, enabling better quality of care for older people, and building the capacity of the community to support the older people in their area.

The project will provide support to people over 60 who have dementia, need additional support returning home from hospital, or have chronic conditions such as COPD, diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The funding will enable ALONE to achieve outcomes including creating an online directory of supports and services for older people, improving and adapting ALONE BConnect technology, supporting other organisations to implement best practices and create common models, and delivering technology enabled care to an additional 150 people. ALONE will also produce a set of Universal Design guidelines for technology enabled care with the support of the Centre of Universal Design, to support the procurement of technology within the HSE and other health services.

“ALONE is delighted to have the support of the Sláintecare Integration Fund to continue the development and roll out of our technology and services. We look forward to working with all those organisations who have been granted funding, particularly those with a focus on older people,” said ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan.

“ALONE are aligned to Sláintecare’s vision and we are creating an infrastructure and a staff cohort to enable us to support older people to age happily and securely at home. In 2017 ALONE won the HSE Excellence Award for Innovative Support Coordination for older people. This project layers technology on top of that as we roll our services out nationally.”

ALONE’s range of technology includes an app for the older person to enable them to self-monitor their health, sensors in the home, a blood pressure cuff, a glucose monitor, wearable technology (including a smart watch) and emergency response devices. ALONE technology offers peace of mind and security to older people to live independently at home for as long as they wish to.ALONE is already delivering technology for older people in areas across the country, including in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon through the Dormant Accounts Fund, and providing support for community organisations nationwide.

“We know that no one organisation can meet the needs of Ireland’s ageing population alone,” continued Moynihan. “With the support of the Sláintecare Integration Fund, we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with community organisations and NGOs and to create a network so that together we can provide the support older people need to age at home. We look forward to working with organisations including Northside Homecare, who we will work with on this project, so that ALONE BConnect technology and community supports can provide the best support possible to older people and the organisations that support them.”


ALONE expand supports for older people to Donegal

Daniel O’Donnell joined the charity as they launched their Donegal services

Donegal, 8th July 2019 ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, was joined by Donegal native, Daniel O’Donnell, as they launched support services for older people in the region today. ALONE has merged with existing service provider Good Morning Donegal.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said at the launch, “We are delighted to be expanding our services to older people in Donegal with the help of our fantastic staff and to bring the Good Morning Donegal team on board. We look forward to seeing this develop throughout Donegal, building on the great work and community spirit already in place locally.”

Loneliness and social isolation in particular can have a major impact on a person’s life and wellbeing, but with the help of ALONE, more individuals can reach out and receive the help they need.

Donegal native Daniel O’Donnell said, “My mother availed of the good morning service in her final years. She always enjoyed those calls from their representatives. Even though there was a lot of us around, those calls kept her in touch with the community in a special way. I hope this service will get the support it needs to continue. It is a wonderful service this organisation provides.”

Working at the frontline of community supports, ALONE reports a universal story of needs and access for older people across urban and rural settings.

Moynihan continued, “There are more than 15,800 people over 65 living in Donegal. More than 6,500 of those live alone. As a country, we are facing an ageing demographic and ALONE, and other agencies, are providing essential supports. We need to ensure that there is consistency of services across both urban and rural areas. Many more older people will be experiencing issues such as loneliness, transport difficulties and housing challenges in the coming years and we hope that expanding our ground-level supports will help to make a positive impact on the lives in Donegal and throughout the country.”

As demand for ALONE services increases, ALONE is looking for volunteers throughout the county to help to provide their Befriending & Support service for older people.

“Our volunteers help to support older people by offering a visit or a telephone call, having a chat and providing access to support. Often, they go on to make a friend for life,” continued Moynihan. “We provide training to volunteers before they are matched with an older person and we’re always on hand to support both the older person and the volunteer. We are asking anyone who may be interested to extend a helping hand and help us to support and empower more older people to live happily and securely at home.”

ALONE is also encouraging older people who may need support to get in touch.

“We can offer support with problems large and small. Many older people may feel like they are putting someone out by asking for help, but we want them to know that help is what we’re here for – all they need to do is lift the phone.”

Founded in Dublin in 1977, ALONE is now a merger of four organisations offering support to older people to age at home throughout Ireland. ALONE helps those facing loneliness, social isolation, poverty, housing difficulties, homelessness and health difficulties, by providing Befriending & Support, Support Coordination, Housing, and BConnect assistive technology.

To find out more information about getting support from or volunteering for ALONE, visit or call (074) 932 1598



ALONE announce 50 housing units in Jamestown Court, Inchicore

The units were acquired following a stock transfer from Dublin City Council

Dublin, 3rd July 2019  ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, has acquired Jamestown Court in Inchicore from Dublin City Council. ALONE will provide homes for older people and undertake a phased redevelopment of the site.

ALONE will lead a redevelopment and refurbishment project of the current site, parts of which are currently steeled up, to create age-friendly one-bedroom homes for older people on the housing waiting list. This project will encompass refurbishment of the existing three blocks and the building of a fourth block.

Construction work on Block A began in June and is estimated to take 12 months to complete.

The full redevelopment project will be completed by 2022.

The acquirement of Jamestown Court was made possible with funding from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government through Dublin City Council (DCC), combined with loan finance advanced by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA).

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Paul McAuliffe, said of the development, “Today highlights the important partnership of Dublin City Council, the Department of Housing and approved housing organisations, such as ALONE, which come together to provide needed accommodation with specific supports required by our older population.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We are excited to be moving forward with the Jamestown Court project and are grateful for the assistance of Dublin City Council, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to make this housing solution a reality. Looking ahead to 2022, there will be 50 age-specific homes available to provide secure and supported housing for older people. This is an important step in the right direction for older people’s housing.”

Tenants will be provided with support from ALONE’s housing officers and support workers and will also be offered the organisation’s pioneering BConnect assistive technology to support them to age at home.

Moynihan continued, “There is huge demand for housing for older people and developments such as Jamestown Court are urgently required. It is vital that supports are offered as part of housing provision for older people. The modification of units and the decision to create specific age-friendly homes is also essential when looking to cater to Ireland’s ageing population. There are more than 200 older people with housing difficulties on our waiting list. ”

Brendan Kenny, Deputy Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with ALONE and facilitate the redevelopment of Jamestown Court to provide homes equipped to support older people on our housing waiting list. This collaborative approach from DCC and organisations such as ALONE are imperative for the continued delivery of homes for those facing housing need.”



ALONE calls for demand-led funding for Home Care scheme

The charity which supports older people urging Government to hold home care as ‘key priority’

Dublin, 13th June 2019 ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, is calling for increased funding and improvements in the provision of Home Care services across Ireland. The charity is advocating for funding for this vital service to be linked to demand to ensure that any older person in need of home care can access the support they need.

ALONE believe that the current state of home care provision is contributing to increased vulnerability and challenges for older people, their families and home care workers. The charity is asking for a funding review ahead of Budget 2020 in order to best support older people as they age, as well as the overstretched staff who deliver these supports.

ALONE is concerned that much of the demand for home help is invisible on paper as some regions without the resources required do not keep waiting lists, and their need goes unrecognised. In many cases throughout Ireland, older people must already be in acute hospital in order to receive home care. As well as this, staff delivering home care are under significant time pressure and underpaid.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “The CHO waiting lists for the end of September 2018 indicated that 6,423 people were waiting for home support funding, and it is likely that many more people were not recorded. We are urging Government to take levels of demand into consideration in Budget 2020. While it is not news to us that new packages are not being made available at the moment, the Government, along with the public, must understand that these issues are hugely affecting older people on an individual level. Currently even those people who are receiving home care are experiencing gaps in service provision as currently the service only covers personal and medical care,” said Moynihan.

“Reports from our staff and volunteers indicate that the provision of additional home care packages can support quicker discharge from hospital and reduce the pressure on A&E departments. Recently we worked with a woman who remained in hospital for three weeks longer than necessary because of the difficulty of getting home care in place.”

Moynihan also emphasised the need for Government to consider the ways home care provision is of benefit to the health system. “This vital service is strategically important to enable people to live at home, and without sufficient funding for it, the aims of Sláintecare will not be achieved,” he said.

“In our work with other agencies and Government departments, we have been told that the funding for home care isn’t there due to a lack of evidence supporting the cost benefit of home care. The benefit of home care to the health system is not to save money in hospitals, but to ease the pressure on overstretched A&E departments by enabling speedier discharge and keeping people well at home for longer. Without funding for community care, we will increase dependency on hospitals and nursing homes, where staff and resources are already under huge pressure.”

He concluded, “We were concerned by reports made last week suggesting a reduction in home care packages made available to older people in need. Under Sláintecare, a statutory home care scheme is due to be introduced by 2021. While we are hopeful that the statutory scheme will resolve some of the issues with home care provision, we are still several years away from its implementation and we need to work to improve services for people who are in need of home care today – not in two years’ time. We urgently need to improve our system to ensure that those who need home care support receive the hours they require, not just the hours that there is budget for.”

Home support hours are a lifeline for older people to age independently at home. In 2018, ALONE in partnership with other organisations in the Home Care Coalition, called for an additional €100m in funding for the home care scheme in order to address the lack of available home care packages.





Funding one of the biggest challenges for community organisations according to Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) seminar

ALONE hosts BNI ‘Developing a Sustainable Community Sector’ seminar


Dublin, 30th May 2019 ALONE, which supports older people to age at home, held the annual Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) seminar in the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin earlier today. Exploring the theme of ‘Developing a Sustainable Community Sector’, the seminar was attended by more than 20 organisations from across the country.

Speakers at the event discussed topics such as loneliness, meeting the needs of Ireland’s ageing demographic, providing support to service users, funding and sustainability, and the future of the age sector.

Speaking at the seminar, ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan highlighted the need for further support for organisations working within communities. He also highlighted the need to build the capacity of the sector to meet the needs of our ageing demographic.

Moynihan commented, “Policies aren’t matching up with our practices in supporting older people in Ireland. We have seen great work such as the National Positive Ageing Strategy and research from TILDA and HaPAI which have highlighted the needs of older people and where improvements need to be made. Community organisations like ALONE and the members of Befriending Network Ireland are stepping up to help to fill in the gaps where statutory organisations can struggle.”

He continued, “Our sector needs to work together and overcome challenges like up-skilling and training to ensure we can meet levels of demand going forward. For years the community has seen cuts, but now more than ever we need to support and encourage community organisations. We see that our population is ageing and that already we cannot meet all of their needs in areas such as support, housing, home care, health care and social integration. If we don’t invest in our communities now, when will we?”

BNI members have cited the need for funding as a major issue that impacts their services.

“The rural environment of the communities we work in creates one of the most significant challenges for us,” says Salena Grace of Befriending Laois. “Adequate funding and resources would enable us to put more people on the ground in the community, and provide more support for clients. We provide an immeasurable service to the people who reach out to us for help. It’s a lifeline.”

Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) is a national support network for befriending and support services across Ireland led by ALONE. BNI provides resources and training to new and well established services. Established by a number of organisations across Ireland in 2015, Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) has grown to a national network of more than 60 organisations.

In addition to ALONE representatives, speakers and panellists included Sarah Van Putten, CEO of Befriending Networks; Pádraig Vallely, Business Development Manager of Social Innovation Fund Ireland; Niall O’Sullivan, Fund  Development Advisor at Community Foundation for Ireland; Paddy McGinn, Beneficiary Operations Manager of Pobal; Jenny O’Reilly of Wicklow Dementia Support; and Colette O’Regan of LGBT Ireland.





Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.



ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.


For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications,, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications,, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033


ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society lead discussion on ageing in Ireland

Friend of ALONE, Vincent Browne, acted as moderator for today’s symposium

Dublin, 17th May 2019  ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society have partnered to lead a discussion on ageing in Ireland. The symposium titled ‘Living Well in Our Community – Opportunities and Challenges’ was moderated by friend of ALONE and broadcaster Vincent Browne in St Vincent’s Hospital’s Education Centre today.

Focusing on responses to issues facing older people and solutions to these challenges, the seminar discussed housing options, loneliness and social isolation, community supports and delayed hospital discharges, among others. With over 1.2 million people to be aged over 60 in Ireland by 2032, ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society believe that the time to discuss and plan how Ireland will support our ageing population is now.

Today’s seminar welcomed experts in the care for older people, including representatives of Social Justice Ireland, the Department of Health, St Vincent’s Hospital, Connolly Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and St James’ Hospital in addition to ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society.

Speaking to the importance of linking health and community services to support older people, Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “Ageing with appropriate supports is an issue for everyone in Ireland. For the best results in terms of quality of care, independent living and sustainability, we must engage in joint-up actions to effectively tackle the challenges facing older people. ALONE is delighted to have partnered with the Irish Gerontological Society on today’s event and we hope the dialogue continues and innovative solutions can be developed.”

Dr Diarmuid O’Shea, Irish Gerontological Society President, said, “Today’s symposium in partnership with ALONE and with the invaluable input from all aspects pertaining to older people is essential is solving the issues currently affecting the lives of our older people, but also anticipated challenges and opportunities.”

“The IGS is particularly concerned with the persistent issue of delayed hospital discharges and today we have launched a position paper to address this challenge. Significant for the health and wellbeing of an older person, as well as the efficiency of hospitals, innovative solutions must be implemented to tackle delayed discharges.”



ALONE celebrates National Volunteering Week


ALONE celebrates National Volunteering Week
ALONE volunteers make more than 35,000 visits to older people and give countless hours of practical and emotional support each year

Dublin, 13th May 2019 ALONE, the charity that supports older people, is celebrating all those who dedicate their time to helping older people during National Volunteering Week starting on Monday 13th May.

Organised by Volunteer Ireland in partnership with the Network of Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services, this week is dedicated to highlighting volunteer work across Ireland.

Established by 30 volunteers 42 years ago, more than 1,500 ALONE volunteers now provide visits and telephone calls to older people who might be lonely or need extra social contact and support. Volunteer numbers are expected to hit 9,000 in the coming years in order to meet increasing demand for befriending and support.

Volunteering is an invaluable service to the community and can keep volunteers active, build stronger communities and change lives.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “On National Volunteering Week, we want to thank each and every one of our volunteers for everything they do week in, week out for older people. We can’t put a price on the support and benefit that volunteers bring. They change the lives for people when they need it most.”

“We hope that more people are encouraged by National Volunteering Week to get involved in something bigger than themselves. As our population ages, volunteers will be more vital than ever to help to combat loneliness and the issues we face as we get older. What is so special about volunteering is the benefits it brings to both involved, particularly the relationship between the volunteer and older person,” he said.

Josephine Lennon, ALONE volunteer, said: “I volunteer for ALONE because I believe that building a friendship with an older person is an invaluable gift not only for the older person but also for the volunteer. Spending time on a regular and ongoing basis with a person is a simple act. Listening and chatting, in an atmosphere of respect and kindness, is at the heart of each visit and such a pleasurable and rewarding activity. In fact it is a privilege to get the opportunity to make a small difference in another person’s life.

“Volunteering for ALONE has, for me, meant using my time to sit quietly and enjoy the company of an older person. It brings peace and a sense of joy. It is reminder of how precious life is and how interesting and unique each person’s life journey is.”

ALONE volunteers make more than 72,000 visits to older people and give countless hours of practical and emotional support, both in person and over the phone, every year.

ALONE is always looking for more volunteers to expand their services and reach more people in need of assistance across Ireland. For more information and to learn how to offer your time to ALONE, please visit


Note to the Editor
Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person some daily some weekly. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

For more information contact:
Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications,, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications,, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033