‘Give a Helping Hand’ with ALONE this Christmas

Kathryn Thomas is asking the public to reach out and give a helping hand to older people who may be struggling during the festive season

Dublin, 27 November 2020   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has launched their Christmas campaign today, which encourages members of the public to give a helping hand to older friends, neighbours and relatives who may be struggling this Christmas. For many older people, Christmas can be a particularly difficult time of year, made more challenging this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TV Presenter Kathryn Thomas was present at this year’s launch, alongside an older person who uses ALONE’s services, Don Johnson, for some socially distant festive fun!

Since March, ALONE have received over 37,000 calls from older people to their National Support Line. Consequently, ALONE will continue to provide callers with tailored support plans, assisting older people across a range of issues such as health, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and other services and activities to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. ALONE is for all older people, including those who are lonely, isolated, frail or ill, homeless, living in poverty or are facing other difficulties.

Kathryn Thomas launched the organisation’s Christmas Campaign today, to encourage members of the public to give a helping hand to older people in their lives who may be finding the festive season difficult this year, and to consider donating to ALONE this Christmas to ensure that the organisation can continue its work with older people who are struggling during the wintertime.

She stated, “I’m delighted to be helping ALONE launch their Christmas Campaign this year, to spread awareness of such important issues. I admire the work that they do with older people and I’m so happy to be a part of such a positive message. ALONE needs public support to continue providing its valuable services to older people in need all over the country.”

The organisation has noted a remarkable increase in the numbers of people that require their services who previously didn’t in the past year. ALONE has been preparing to support Ireland’s growing ageing population for many years now, and had an actionable agenda to implement long before the arrival of the pandemic. ALONE were prepared to implement these strategies in a matter of months to provide urgent practical supports to older people across the country.

It is imperative that ALONE’s fundraising efforts are allowed to continue in order to cater for the increased numbers of older people who have reached out for support. Although the organisation has reached fundraising targets set for 2020, (based on figures in 2019 and estimated growth for 2020) they now need to surpass this figure to account and accommodate for the additional older people they now support.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “This year we have seen huge growth and connection to thousands of additional older people who may not have previously required our services.

Last year ALONE were supporting just over 5,000 older people; that figure has since grown exponentially to 15,000, a remarkable 300% increase in just 12 months. We want to celebrate all we have accomplished to support older people to date with the support of the public’s support, we look forward to continue towards achieving our strategic goals, so that every older person has the opportunity to age at home, happily and securely with the care and support they need.”

He continued, “We are delighted to be able to help so many older people when they need it most, which would not be possible without the support we receive from the public. We are asking that this support continues, so that we can sustain delivery of important services nationwide. Many older people are often embarrassed to reach out, and think that by asking for help and support they are bothering people. ALONE want them to know that they deserve the support they require and should not be afraid to ask for help if needed.”

Work with ALONE to Give a Helping Hand this Christmas!

To #GiveAHelpingHand with ALONE this Christmas try a selection of the following:

·       Check in with older neighbours, friends and relatives to ensure they are warm and have enough supplies to keep the house at a comfortable temperature

·       Ensure on very cold, Winter days that older people in your life have enough supplies in the home to deter them from going out in dangerous conditions

·       As the evenings are getting dark so early, give an older person a little check in call to make sure they’re okay

·       Consider checking in to the older person near Christmas Day to ensure they have everything they need and if they don’t, link them in with ALONE

Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.

Christmas FM is back on the airwaves this Saturday meaning it’s officially Christmas!

  • Christmas FM switches on Christmas in Ireland at midday on Saturday 28th November 2020
  • Christmas FM wants to “Give the Gift of Home” this year by raising over €200,000 which will go directly to ALONE, a fitting charity partner considering it’s been such a difficult year for our older population

25th November 2020

Well, to be frank – it has been a difficult year for everyone and some cheer and good news is badly needed……. which is why you will be delighted to hear that Christmas FM is returning to the airwaves this weekend! The hugely popular Christmas themed radio station will switch on Christmas in Ireland with its annual FM broadcast starting Middaythis Saturday, 28th November 2020 to help lift the spirits of the entire nation.

Turn on Christmas FM to hear all of your festive music favourites, played by a host of familiar voices! The presenters, who are volunteering their time to bring a smile to everyone’s faces, will be broadcasting around the clock to keep the population smiling. So, whether it’s Mariah Carey you want to belt out or Shakin’ Stevens you’re dancing to, Christmas FM will bring the magic of Christmas to your home for you and your loved ones!

Christmas FM wants to “Give the Gift of Home” this year by raising over €200,000 which will go directly to ALONE, the Christmas FM charity partner for 2020. This year Christmas FM aims to raise funds to enable ALONE to provide over 20,000 hours of vital support to older people in Ireland enabling them to live happily and independently in their own homes and communities, as there is no place like home – especially at Christmas time.

Christmas FM will be celebrating its 13th year on air this year and, since it began broadcasting, has raised almost €2.5 million for a range of charities. The costs of running Christmas FM are covered by various sponsors, ensuring that all on-air fundraising and listener donations will go directly to ALONE. Cadbury, Coca Cola and An Post are premier FM sponsors for 2020 and the radio station will broadcast from the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin, who have kindly given the studio space for free.

The station will be broadcasting live on FM, on smart speakers, the Christmas FM app and online at www.christmasfm.com

Christmas FM also has a number of sister stations which are available globally, helping to sprinkle Christmas cheer right across the globe!

  • Christmas FM Classical plays ‘Classical and Carols’. The station brings you the best in Classical Christmas music mixed with a wide range of festive carols
  • Christmas FM Classics plays ‘Classics and Crooners’. It’s a mix of classic, pre-1970s Christmas songs from Bing to Frank and Nat to Eartha

Garvan Rigby, co-founder of Christmas FM, says:

“We are delighted to bring Christmas FM back on-air for our thirteenth year. We are beyond delighted to have reached this mark and want to thank each and every one of our listeners who have supported us and in turn, supported each of our chosen charities. We would like to thank Cadbury, Coca Cola and An Post who have come on board as premier FM sponsors for 2020. We’re excited to switch on Christmas in Ireland and begin our fundraising for our charity partner Alone, so we can reach our aim of providing over 20,000 hours of vital support to older people in Ireland.”

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE says:

“Christmas FM has been such an incredible journey for our organisation so far as we have finally arrived at launch day. We’ve reflected on our work through storytelling and conversation with our older people, volunteers and staff. As we work alongside Christmas FM to ‘Give the Gift of Home’ this Christmas, we encourage the Country to listen in as we come together to make this the most meaningful Christmas yet.”

The main radio frequencies for Christmas FM are Dublin City and County 105.2FM, Cork City, part County 106.7FM, Cavan 99.4FM, Galway City, part County 87.7FM, Kildare 88.1FM, Kilkenny City 104.3, Letterkenny 105.7, Limerick City 105.5FM, Midlands North 101.6FM, Sligo 95FM, South East 103.8FM, Tralee / Killarney 105FM, Waterford City 105.9FM, Wicklow North 99.5FM, Wicklow South 106.6FM, and Ennis/Clare 105.2FM.

Christmas FM will also broadcast on Virgin Media Channel 900. Find out all the ways to listen at https://christmasfm.com/listenin/

Christmas FM is also available online at

www.christmasfm.com

You can follow the station on social at

@christmasfm

Christmas FM – Bringing You The Magic Of Christmas

The Snug Project

‘The Snug Project’ – charity calendar and limited edition prints pay homage to the Irish pub snug. ‘The Snug Project’ is a charity calendar and limited edition prints sale featuring photographer Finn Richards’ ‘Snugs of Ireland’
series. Proceeds from sales will go to ALONE. ALONE is a national organisation that strives to enable older people to age at home,
safely and securely, for as long as they wish.


Partnering with graphic designer Paul Guinan, the thoughtfully designed calendar features 12 images from the ‘Snugs of Ireland’ series and includes the location of each snug. Limited edition certified A3 prints of the 12 images will also be available for sale. Project creative director, Ciana March says: “On March 15th 2020, with the full force of a global pandemic upon us, the pubs of Ireland were forced to close. Their absence has been felt by many, but none more so than those who rely on pubs for social interaction.

Through ‘The Snug Project’, we want to pay homage to the snug while also highlighting its social and cultural value within the community. We chose the charity ALONE as we know social isolation has affected older people in particular this year.”


THE CHARITY
‘The Snug Project’ is collaborating with a charity who are playing an integral role in helping older people during the pandemic. ALONE CEO Sean Moynihan says: “We are delighted to be selected by Stills & Motion as
charity partner for ‘The Snug Project’. The Irish snug is reflective of the sense of community embrace, conversation and sharing of stories we all long for at the moment. As we approach a winter where we are spending more time alone, we must remember to check in on those around us who may be finding this loneliness all too familiar. This project is a visual reminder of the unique elements of storytelling and shared experiences the Irish culture embodies. We must not forget to continue to share those elements this Christmas.”


THE BACKGROUND
Finn Richards says: “The experience of photographing these snugs was a great opportunity made possible by a commercial commission that took place a decade ago. I’ve long been a fan of a good snug, and being able to spend time slowly documenting them was such an interesting experience, and led to meaningful conversations about peoples’ favourite snugs.
All of the snugs were photographed empty, which feels poignant right now as they’re all closed up. This feels like the perfect time to dust them off.”
The ‘Snugs of Ireland’ series is a photographic project by photographer Finn Richards which documents Ireland’s favourite drinking spot – the snug.
The journey took Finn to almost every county in Ireland and the result is an extensive documentation featuring over 100 snugs. Originally commissioned over 10 years ago, this is the first time the images are available to buy.


Now, ‘The Snug Project’ is led by Stills & Motion, a network of image makers and thinkers telling powerful stories through stills and motion. Stills & Motion was founded in 2019 by photographers and filmmakers Finn Richards and Simon Walsh. Together with creative consultant, Ciana March they have built a new kind of studio, one that’s centred on collaboration and creativity.


LOCATIONS
Michael Fawl, Ennis, Co. Clare (January and cover)
Kehoe’s, South Anne St, Dublin (February)
Garavan’s, William St, Galway (March)
Mulligan’s, Poolbeg St, Dublin (April)
Dick Mack’s, Dingle, Co. Kerry (May)
J. Coffey, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary (June)
Tigh Neachtain, Cross St, Galway (July)
O’Flaherty’s, Dingle, Co. Kerry (August)
Thomas Connolly, Sligo, Co. Sligo (September)
O’Connor’s Bar and Lounge, Ballisodare, Co. Sligo (October)
The Palace Bar, Fleet St, Dublin (November)
The Greyhound, Kinsale, Co. Cork (December)
WHERE TO BUY
Prints and calendars will be sold online at https://thesnugproject.com/ from Friday 20th
November until Christmas.

‘The Snug Project’ is partnering with Hen’s Teeth on the printing of the limited edition prints
and with Plus Print on the printing of the calendars.

ALONE encourages older people to stay positive as halfway mark of Level 5 restrictions is reached

The organisation is reminding members of the public to maintain contact with older people in the community

Dublin, 12 November 2019 ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has called on members of the public to continue supporting their older friends, neighbours and relatives who may be finding things difficult as we reach the halfway mark of Level 5 restrictions.

While ALONE understands the necessity of the current restrictions to safeguard older and vulnerable individuals, the organisation has expressed concern regarding the long-term impacts of cocooning and social distancing on older people’s mental and physical health. Many older people have had to deal with loneliness, social isolation and anxiety as they withdrew from society to protect themselves from the virus. The organisation is urging older people to try and stay positive as the country faces into a further three weeks of Level 5 restrictions ahead of the Christmas season.

ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan stated, “The level of support we have seen from members of the public so far under Level 5 restrictions has been amazing, and we hope to keep this momentum up into the next stages of the Plan for Living with COVID-19. Since March, the situation with COVID-19 has been difficult for all of us, but unfortunately older people are among the groups most affected by the onset of the pandemic. As of this week, we are currently halfway through six weeks of Level 5 restrictions; we are reminding older people that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that if we all continue to follow the guidelines to keep each other safe, we will get through the next three weeks together.”

ALONE is encouraging older people to keep to a routine, stay active and exercise outside during daylight hours where possible, however the organisation has also urged them to be careful while out walking. Long periods of physical inactivity may result in deconditioning and loss of muscle mass, resulting in an increased fall risk among older people. Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls, mostly at home, and falls are the leading cause of injury, disability and admission to nursing homes for this group.

Moynihan commented, “While we advise older people to get out and about during the day, we would like to remind them to take extra care when out walking to reduce the risk of a trip or a fall. Since March, we have been receiving calls from people telling us they are apprehensive to go outside their homes for fear of falling. We would advise older people take things slowly while exercising, take rest breaks if needed and to take their walks on well lit, even paths.”

ALONE is encouraging older people who need advice or support to call their support line, 0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. The support line, which is running in collaboration with the Department of Health and the HSE, is available to all older people including those who have not used ALONE’s services previously. The support line is designed to complement the clinical advice and information being provided by the HSE through its website and helpline.

Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.

ALONE launches Gratitude Campaign thanking older people, staff and supporters

The campaign celebrates the organisation’s work to improve the quality of life for older people across the country

Dublin, 4 November 2020           ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, have teamed up with Bonfire Dublin and JC Decaux to launch their Gratitude Campaign, thanking older people, volunteers, supporters and staff for their assistance and support since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland. The Gratitude Campaign aims to show people that ALONE is an organisation which facilitates a variety of outcomes for older people, including an improved quality of life, community activation and implementation of national strategies.

The Gratitude Campaign features images of older people who have all been supported through an array of different services from ALONE alongside images of volunteers, staff and donors. All participants in the campaign have a genuine connection to ALONE; some are tenants, some have received practical supports and others have benefitted from social connections through ALONE’s Befriending services. The Gratitude Campaign has also been supported by Bonfire Advertising and JCDecaux, who designed the multi-media campaign and provided advertising space free of charge.

ALONE CEO, Seán Moynihan, stated, “Our organisation has been working consistently to provide support and assistance to vulnerable older people since the beginning of the crisis. The arrival of COVID-19 has encouraged our identification as a National organisation that can provide all services on a community level across the nation, and we would like to extend our sincere thanks to each and every one of our older people, staff members, volunteers and donors and for making this a possibility.  We are so grateful to Bonfire and JC Decaux for their support on the Gratitude Campaign and for helping us raise awareness, so that we can continue our work with older people in need amid the COVID-19 crisis.”

He continued, “We want to express our gratitude to volunteers, staff and donors who have given so much time and support to ALONE in order to enable us to respond to the needs of older people through this difficult time, and whose commitment and energy will allow us to continue this support over the winter months. We want to extend thanks and recognition to all of our partner organisations who have helped us at this time while also expressing gratitude and thanks to all frontline and medical responders.”

ALONE is encouraging older people who need advice to call ALONE on, 0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. The helpline, which is running in collaboration with the Department of Health, the HSE and Local Authorities, is available to all older people including those who have not used ALONE’s services previously.

ALONE seek to protect the Dignity of older people on Global Dignity Day 2020

The organisation endeavours to empower older people in retaining their dignity as they age.

Dublin, 21 October 2020   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people is encouraging members of the public to protect dignity by being mindful of older people in our society on Global Dignity Day, Wednesday 21st October. The organisation works with many older people who have experienced a loss of dignity and assists them in finding the necessary supports through their support coordination service. However, the limitations of the pandemic have introduced a new cohort of older people to the organisation who are in receipt of support for the very first time.

Dignity is “the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake, and to be treated ethically.”[1] ALONE reminds us to maintain the respect while understanding the value of older people as they are net contributors to society. Dignity is a human right and must be reflected in our treatment towards older people now and into the future of uncertainty.

Since March, ALONE’s National Support Line has received in excess of 35,428 calls for support. ALONE staff and volunteers have made more than 201,446 calls to older people who needed support, and provided more than 4,992 units of practical support, delivered from the support line, staff and volunteers. ALONE is providing ongoing support to more than 15,464 older people who require support for difficulties with loneliness, health, finance, housing, accessing services, COVID-19 and other challenges.

Global Dignity Day was established in 2005 by Prince Haakon of Norway, and focuses on empowering individuals with the concept that every human being has the universal right to lead a dignified life. ALONE believe that in the midst of the pandemic, we must respect an older person’s decision about how they live with COVID-19 in our society as they too have the right to choose how they live their lives.

ALONE assists older people to maintain their dignity through their support coordination service, which assesses the needs of the individual and creates a support plan tailored to their needs. The organisation has consistently advocated for improved, user-led home care services for older people, so that they access the supports they need to age at home as they wish, for as long as they wish. While ALONE had previously seen requests for support from older people who are medically and socially vulnerable, they are reporting an increase in those who are recently finding themselves at a loss of independence due to the pandemic.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, stated; “On this Global Dignity Day, we would like to remind any older person who may be struggling to reach out to ALONE for support, assistance and advice; you are not alone. Our support coordination service is in place to ensure that older people receive the support they need to live their best life. We have identified new types of older people coming to us for support subsequent to the constraints of the pandemic – we are here for you too!”

He continued, “It is important for people to remember that we will all age eventually, and we will all need supports someday. On this Global Dignity Day, we are encouraging members of the public to reach out to older people in their lives and to check on them regularly. Often older people can feel embarrassed when asking for help, but a brief phone call to check in on them could encourage them to get in touch with a support organisation for assistance. The Level 5 restrictions set to be imposed from midnight tonight will see many people being stripped of their independence once more, but we must remember that for those who are medically vulnerable this is a feeling they are already acquainted with.”

ALONE is encouraging older people who need advice to call ALONE on, 0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. The helpline, which is running in collaboration with the Department of Health, the HSE and Local Authorities, is available to all older people including those who have not used ALONE’s services previously.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dignity

ALONE responds to measures in Budget 2021 for older people

The organisation has highlighted failings for older people in Budget 2021.

Dublin, 13th October 2020   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, has responded to today’s Budget, by welcoming the increased investment in health care for older people but has additionally highlighted some failings of Budget 2021.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented; “ALONE are delighted to see the increased investment in healthcare such as the home care support hours and the increased capacity, this is something that we, at ALONE, and other organisations have been advocating for in the past number of years. This additional funding will provide much needed extra support and supplementary staff to help older people age at home for as long as possible.”

However, Mr. Moynihan expressed concern at Budget 2021. “We are disappointed to see that older people were not mentioned enough in this budget and the measures did not adequately reflect the pre-existing and exasperated challenges faced by older people in today’s world. We are also disheartened to see the Government has failed to set the State Pension at the average weekly wage agreed in their own Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018 – 2023.

While the organisation welcomed the increase in the Living Alone Allowance and Fuel Allowance, there is concern whether the increase in energy usage and provider prices, will be offset by the €3.50 fuel allowance increase. Commenting on this Seán Moynihan continued, “We are looking forward to seeing more detail of the fuel allowance increase and how or if it will offset the increase in utility bills being experienced by older people this year.”

ALONE call on members of the public celebrate the contribution of older people on National Grandparents Day 2020

The organisation is encouraging members of the public to reach out and celebrate older people in their lives who would enjoy some company.

Dublin, 5 October 2020:    ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, is asking members of the public to reach out to any older people in their lives this year on National Grandparents Day, 6th October 2020. The purpose of the day is to honour grandparents, to show bond between grandparents and children, and to help children and the public to celebrate and be aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.

The organisation wants to encourage conversation, community and celebration between all older people on this day, and younger as not all older people have grandchildren especially in these uncertain times.

ALONE has also been in touch with primary and secondary schools across the country to encourage pupils and staff to get in touch with an older person in their lives who may be feeling lonely, who are social isolating or cocooning, by suggesting a number of ways for pupils and staff to safely interact with older people in their lives. The organisation has suggested that individuals reach out to older people via phone calls or video calls.

ALONE has also suggested that young people use common interests to reach out to older people in their lives, such as learning a new hobby or watching a new series together. The organisation believes that solidarity between young people and older people is more important than ever amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “National Grandparents Day is celebrated each year to honour the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren. However, as some older people do not have grandchildren, ALONE are encouraging members of the public to reach out and safely interact with older people in their lives through phone calls, socially distant visits or learning a new hobby together. People often underestimate the value of their time when it comes to older people. Spending just an hour or two a week with an older person can provide wonderful support and can greatly improve mental and physical wellbeing. In addition, older people have so knowledge and wisdom to share and have ability to guide shape and inspire us all”

He continued, “Loneliness is a serious issue among older people which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19, and we believe the long-term mental health impacts of loneliness will continue to affect older people long after the pandemic has passed.  Younger people have also lost the contacts they have with the older people in their lives and this impact is not to be under estimated. We are asking members of the public to get in touch with any older people in their lives who may be finding things difficult at the moment. It is important to maintain regular contact with older people, in a way that is safe and in line with the current health guidelines. We are also encouraging any older person who is experiencing loneliness to get in touch with us. Our volunteers are continuing to provide telephone support for older people and are making regular phone calls for reassurance and social support.”

ALONE is encouraging older people who need advice to call ALONE on 0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.

Irish Gerontological Society & ALONE Willie Bermingham Lecture to take place virtually on UN International Day for Older Persons

ALONE and The Irish Gerontological Society proudly welcome key speaker Executive Director at the World Health Organisation Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Michael Ryan.

Dublin, 1 October 2020:    ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society (IGS) are delighted to present this year’s IGS ALONE Willie Bermingham Lecture, “Changing Horizons in Gerontology – United in Solidarity with Older People”, taking place this Thursday on UN International Day for Older Persons, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year. For the first time, the lecture will be presented as an online event from 2pm-3.30pm, in line with current COVID-19 guidelines.

The IGS ALONE Willie Bermingham Lectureis the keynote address at the Annual & Scientific Meeting of the Irish Gerontological Society. Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director at the World Health Organisation Health Emergencies Programme, will be a key speaker at this year’s event, delivering a lecture on ‘Lessons from COVID 19 and how we can improve care and support for older people in our community’. ALONE and the IGS have assembled an esteemed panel for the lecture, which includes medical experts in older people’s health and advocates for older people’s rights.

Dr. Diarmuid O’Shea, President of the Irish Gerontological Society and consultant physician in geriatric medicine at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, will act as Chairperson of the lecture. Dr O’Shea will give an opening address ahead of the lecture where panellists will be introduced and invited to participate to provide their insights towards the theme of this year’s lecture – ‘United in Solidarity with Older People’.

Dr. Diarmuid O’Shea, President of the Irish Gerontological Society stated, “I am delighted Dr Mike Ryan is addressing the Irish Gerontological Society on United Nations International Day of Older Persons.  By honouring us with his contribution we also acknowledge the wonderful work he has done around the world in shaping the response to managing this and other pandemics.  We look forward to hearing Dr Ryan’s insights into how, we as a country, can learn lessons from our collective experiences of battling COVID 19 and other pandemics to improve how we deliver support and care to all of us as we age in Ireland.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “The emergence of COVID-19 has caused an upheaval across the globe, with older people among the most affected groups. We are very pleased to have Dr. Ryan on board for this year’s ALONE IGS Willie Bermingham lecture to address the new and challenging issues faced by older people in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and discuss the steps that can be taken to support older people in communities across the country. We cannot forget about our older people amid this crisis; on this year’s UN International Day of Older Persons, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, it is important that we acknowledge the impact of the pandemic on our older people, and work with and for them to assist them through this difficult time.”

ALONE is encouraging older people who need advice to call ALONE on 0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie

‘Together celebrating and connecting older people in our communities with ALONE’

ALONE announce month-long partnership with Guinness across the airwaves

Dublin, 29th September 2020:  ALONE, the organisation which supports older people launched their month-long partnership with Media Central’s network of radio and digital brands this week. The partnership is driven primarily through Today FM’s Fergal D’Arcy show, weekdays from 2 – 4.30 pm. and aims to ‘celebrate and connect older people in our communities’ throughout the month and will share conversations from older people who use ALONE’s services alongside volunteers who are intrinsic to ALONE’s mission and work as they are interlinked in all areas of the organisation. ALONE are encouraging those who wish to make a donation throughout the month to visit alone.ie/donate/.  

The vision of ALONE is a society where older people are included as valued and empowered members of the community. Brands within the Media Central portfolio including Today FM, Newstalk & Off The Ball will encourage positive news stories, conversation and collaboration of support throughout the month. In addition to this, there will be time dedicated across the radio group’s regional network of stations – iRadio, SPINSouthwest, SPIN1038, 98FM, Classic Hits and Beat where you will hear uplifting stories from people around the Country talking about their personal experiences whether it was seeking help, advocacy and working with or for ALONE.

The partnership is supported by Guinness, a long-standing partner of ALONE. In March this year, Guinness announced the establishment of a €1.5 million fund providing support to communities affected by COVID-19 in Ireland. A portion of that fund was provided to ALONE to support older, vulnerable people in our communities. The fund helps to maintain ALONE’s capabilities to support and recognise communities in Ireland who continue to face into unprecedented challenges from the impact of COVID-19 and is helping ALONE to sustain providing vital services to older people who require additional supports at this time. ALONE enable older people to access relevant services to live happily in the community and to support them to age at home through support coordination, Befriending, Housing with Support and Campaigning.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “ALONE’s partnership with Guinness playing across the national and regional airwaves is such an important project for us where we aim to raise awareness of the organisation while reminding people of the services we provide for older people all across the Nation. Our National Support Line has become a key identifier of our services throughout COVID-19, however, we want people all across Ireland to know that we provide an integrated system of Support Coordination, Practical Supports, Befriending, a variety of Phone Services, Social Prescribing, Housing with Support, and assistive technology, nationally.”

He continued, “It couldn’t be a more fitting week to celebrate this partnership as it coincides with the International Day of the Older Person. We want to use our partnership as a vehicle to celebrate, champion and connect the older people in our communities to the existing community that is readily available around them. Older people have demonstrated their resilience when faced with a challenge and we want to continue to support them where necessary. Now more than ever, it is even more critical that we engage with and support our older people as we age positively in Ireland.”

Oliver Loomes, Managing Director of Diageo Ireland, said: “It is more important than ever to support vulnerable groups in our communities as we face unprecedented challenges from the impact of COVID-19. Guinness is proud to work with ALONE and Media Central to celebrate and connect older people in our communities, and to promote the much-needed services ALONE provides nationwide”.

Katharine Wolinska, Partnership and Solutions Manager in Media Central said, ‘This partnership is one of the most important and rewarding campaigns that our stations and our presenters have had the privilege to work on, in what has been a very strange few months for our audiences.

Using all the brands within the network allows us to raise awareness of ALONE’s services across all of our audiences, speaking to each in a relevant way to encourage donations to what is a hugely worthy organisation.  It’s an honour for ourselves and all of our stations to partner with Guinness and ALONE and we’re really excited for the next month of content.’

Today FM’s Fergal D’arcy said: ‘Everyone here at Today FM are excited and proud to be part of this Guinness-supported campaign for ALONE celebrating and connecting older people and communities all across the community.  It’s a real privilege to be able to talk to people on a daily basis and in particular bringing companionship to the elderly and lonely.  We’re proud to work with ALONE and Guinness on this project to help raise much needed funds.’

ALONE is encouraging older people who need advice to call ALONE on 0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.