One Year On: ALONE reflects on the year milestone since first COVID-19 restrictions were put in place

ALONE’s National Support Line: a gateway to their integrated system of services

Dublin, 10th March 2021   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people is reflecting on a year supporting an increasing number of older people in need amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. One year ago, ALONE’s National Support line became the gateway to their multi-disciplinary supportive services and allowed them to reach a growing cohort of older people in need of support. Their National Support Line quickly became the leading national number for ‘Community Call’, an initiative that links local and national Government with the community and voluntary sectors to provide support to older people and those who are at risk at this time.

As a member organisation of the National Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Subgroup for Vulnerable People, ALONE has worked in collaboration with the Department of Health and the HSE to provide a coordinated national response to support older people who have concerns, may be at risk or who have contracted COVID-19. ALONE’s Strategic Plan outlines the projections of an ageing population and the supports needed in order to cater for a growing age group. Having established clear goals from the outset pre-pandemic, this was key to how ALONE were able to mobilising a rapid response in every county to make sure nobody got left behind.

Today marks one year since the implications and destructive nature of COVID-19 came into play for ALONE. Since March 9th 2020 and around 365 days later, ALONE’s National Support Line has received in excess of 43,429 calls for support. ALONE coordinated the National Support Line to be in operation from 8am – 8pm, seven days a week, ultimately increasing their capabilities as an organisation, to provide support on greater scale. Subsequent to this, ALONE staff and volunteers have placed more than 110,141 calls to older people who have been linked in with their services. The organisation has increased its weekly volume of older people seeking ongoing support as they now assist up to 2,426 older people weekly with challenges spanning across loneliness, health, finance, housing, accessing services, COVID-19 and other issues.

While 75% of callers to ALONE live ALONE, 31% of these callers between 75-90 years of age. ALONE staff have put 9,228support plans in place for those who have called with an issue so that we develop a solution to the problem. ALONE’s support plans can provide a point of contact for access to health, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and other services and activities to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Their Support Coordination services have been transformed through collaborative relationships with the Local Authorities, the Gardaí, the GAA, partners in the Statutory, Community and Voluntary Sectors. ALONE have continuously evolved their relationships with partner organisations stating, without them, they would not have been able to achieve what they have.

The organisation has seen a huge increase to the number of volunteers since the onset of the pandemic, with the total figure currently over 2,645. ALONE has trained 589volunteers to work with older people over the past year, with the first ever online volunteer training taking place on April 10th, 2020. ALONE has also implemented technology to help older people through the pandemic, installing various devices for older people across the country in order to keep them connected and help them through the pandemic. ALONE supplied and installed 356 Assistive Technology devices in 2020 and worked on a partner collaboration resulting in the delivery of 1,068 phones to older people across the Country.  

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “ALONE volunteers and staff have been working alongside older people for over forty years now. We grow in strength each and every year with the important relationships we build and services that we develop. For over a year now, our lives have been put on hold as a result of COVID-19, with older people among the worst affected by the impact of the pandemic on their lives. The support we have received from our partner organisations, ambassadors, community groups and individuals since the arrival of COVID-19 in Ireland has been nothing short of extraordinary.”

He continued, “Our National Support Line has been a lifeline for older people across the country during dark times over the past year and we will continue this work until the threat of the pandemic has passed and beyond. Our National Support Line will continue to be the gateway to accessing our services and we endeavour to keep providing and expanding these services to accommodate for those who require them. We have accomplished so much over the last year but we are still working with older people who are struggling every day to provide assistance, support and reassurance. We must continue to protect our ageing population following the sacrifices that they have made in the past year and provide the necessary supports for older people both now and when things begin to return to normality.”

Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Their National Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024. Further information can be found on

“COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery plan, ‘The Path Ahead’ does not address older people”

ALONE is urgently requesting a long-term re-emergence programme for older people and those within socially and medically vulnerable groups

Dublin, 8 March 2021   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, are disappointed at the lack of reference to older people in recent Government announcements. The organisation has emphasised the need for a plan for Older Adults to be established as Ireland navigates through the Government’s COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery Plan for 2021 – ‘The Path Ahead’, and is calling on Government to start developing a re-emergence programme for older people and socially and medically vulnerable groups immediately.

Older people over the age of 70 are the third group to be vaccinated in Ireland’s National Vaccination Programme and the organisation is stating it has never been so timely to have a long-term re-emergence programme underway now as the administration of vaccines to this group has begun just last week.

In order to devise this re-emergence programme, ALONE is urgently requesting the establishment of a stakeholder group for Older Adults in order to protect vulnerable individuals and groups in society while also recognising the growing number of older people who are now, due to COVID-19 restrictions and implications, identified as being part of this group. This group will continually work to establish a plan around a re-emergence programme for older people and those within socially and medically vulnerable groups as we navigate through the next part of our journey with COVID-19. ALONE wants to see this group inclusive of representatives from Civil Society, Healthcare, Age Organisations, supportive groups for Vulnerable Adults and relevant Government Departments while providing a space to address emerging issues.

The organisation is concerned about the physical, mental and social challenges older people will now face as they break their period of social isolation and as their day-to-day lives readjust to a new normal. ALONE wants to establish clear guidance around long and short-term care and additional supports for vulnerable groups such as older people in order to help them navigate a post-COVID world and ensure that they are equipped to return to society when things begin to return to normal. The organisation identifies community groups and activations for older people as integral to a successful re-emergence as they will offer older people vital services within their community. It is imperative that these services are encouraged to resume.

Older people have had to largely withdraw from society, with many postponing important and vital medical check-ups and appointments in order to protect themselves from the virus. ALONE have reported an increase in a wide range of mental health impacts among older people, directly resulting from prolonged periods of social restrictions and isolation. ALONE are aware of time it takes to properly implement plans to encourage change. They are seeking action now, so that older people are protected in the coming months. Older people have suffered huge loss of confidence and there must be a programme in place for their re-emergence.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “We are very disappointed that older people were not mentioned in the Government of announcement of COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 – ‘The Path Ahead’. For over a year now our lives have been put on hold as a result of COVID-19. Some older people are among the most vulnerable in our society and it is clear that the pandemic will have detrimental effects on this cohort, as they have had to change the way they live in order to shield themselves from the virus. We must continue to protect our ageing population following the sacrifices that they have made in the past year. We now must ask ourselves, how can we best ensure their safety as they re-emerge from the safety of their homes. We hope to set up a stakeholder group that will ensure that older and vulnerable people are protected throughout the vaccination process and beyond that.”

“By seeking to establish a stakeholder groups to advocate for Older Adults, we will address the issues arising as older people and more vulnerable re-emerge into society and as we navigate through ‘The Path Ahead’ together. While there will be still levels of COVID-19 within the community, we should able to mitigate the risks it will have on vulnerable groups by being prepared, listening to their worries and doubts, assessing the actions that need to be taken and strategising how to implement them as best we can in order to protect these groups. We believe that such a group is essential to provide supports for older people both now and when things begin to return to normality.”

Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Their National Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024. Further information can be found on

‘Housing Adaptation Grant falls short of meeting housing needs of older people’, says ALONE

While the charity welcomed the investment, it falls short of the estimated €84.5 million needed to help older people make their homes age-friendly

Dublin, March 5th 2021: ALONE, the charity that supports older people, has today said that the €75 million announced by the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien for the Housing Adaptation Grants falls short of the required investment needed to support older people to make their homes age-friendly. According to a survey report published in June 2018 under the Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI), a survey of people aged 55 and over (Gibney, et al., 2018), 55% of older people were experiencing housing facility problems, housing maintenance and housing condition issues.[1] Since 2018 and subsequent to the pandemic, ALONE believe this figure is only increasing.

While the grant is an increase of €2 million on 2020, it is nearly €10 million below what is needed to meet demand of an ageing population.

The fund is administered by local authorities and contains three schemes in the Housing Aid for Older People, the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability and the Mobility Aids Grant Scheme. The aim of these schemes is to support older people, those with a disability and people with mobility issues to adapt their home to make it more suitable, liveable and age-friendly to their needs.

However, research by ALONE shows that an investment of €84.5 million is needed in the form of home adaptation grants specifically to support older people to upgrade existing homes to age-friendly standards[2].

Commenting on the Housing Adaptation Grant, CEO of ALONE Seán Moynihan said; “While ALONE welcomes the €75 million in Housing Adaptation Grant announced, which will no doubt help some people to adapt their homes to suitable living standards, it falls short of the required investment needed to make a meaningful difference to older people given the expected increase in the ageing population in Ireland.

“In our report Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland we have shown that an investment of €84.5 million is needed every year over the next ten years in housing adaptation grants through the Housing Aid for Older People scheme. This is particularly important as the over 60s population in Ireland is to increase from 866,317 in 2016 to over 1.3 million by 2031.

“The Housing Adaptation is just one part of an integrated approach needed to meet the housing needs for older people in Ireland. We need to ensure that schemes to support older people to age at home are adequately resourced and that the right housing options are being developed and invested in.”

From ALONE’s Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland report, a number of housing options and investments are needed over the next ten years to meet the housing needs of the ageing population, including*;

  • 45,905 dedicated social housing units
  • 15,556 shared housing in the community units
  • 36,987 places in residential nursing homes, as part of multi-purpose complexes.

[1] Gibney, S. et al., 2018. Positive ageing in age friendly cities and counties: local indicators report, Dublin: Department of Health.

[2] Via the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme

‘HRB research highlights benefit of Housing with Supports model for older people, says ALONE Dublin,

Dublin, 25th February 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, has welcomed the publication of an evidence review by the Health Research Board (HRB) which highlights the benefit of Housing with Support model to support older people age in place. The organisation has previously called for reform of housing and care supports provided to older people, saying the COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the flaws and gaps in the current housing system for older people.

The ‘Housing with support for older people’ research shows that the Housing with Support model can result in a good quality of life, allowing older people to care for themselves with minimal support from personal care assistants. The model can also slow the decline of old age or provide better support to those with functional decline to live independently, and reduces inappropriate use of GP and hospital services. There is an increasing demand for this type of supportive housing in Ireland reflective of our ageing population.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “This evidence review highlights the voice of the older person and we need to listen; older people want to live in their own homes and not in institutions.

“One of the core principles of ALONE has always been to protect the right of older people to choose to age at home on their own terms, with access to any additional supports that they may need to ensure a good quality of life. ALONE believe that older people must be involved in decisions on where and how they age so that they can live independently and remain part of their local community”.

He continued, “We have worked with older people who have prematurely moved to nursing homes because they could not get the support they needed to live independently, and older people who are currently living at home and struggling to stay well, because those supports are not available. This research is a huge step in the right direction as it will help start a national conversation around ageing at home and will support development of a policy framework for housing for older people in Ireland.”

Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Their National Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024. Further information can be found on

ALONE, Declan O’Rourke and Bonfire team up for the launch of the charity’s ‘Love is the Way” Advertisement campaign

The organisation continues to support older people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, among other issues

Dublin, 21 February 2021:   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, have teamed up with Declan O’Rourke and Bonfire Dublin to release their ‘Love is the Way’ Advertisement campaign, calling on members of the public to consider donating to ALONE to help them continue their important work with the increased number of older people seeking their support. ALONE work with all older people, including those who are lonely, isolated, frail or ill, homeless, living in poverty, or are facing other difficulties.

The advertisement, which features Declan O’Rourke’s track ‘Love is the Way’ seeks to remind people of ALONE’s work with older people over the last year through figures representing the services and supports they’ve provided while also encouraging members of the public to donate €4 by texting ‘ALONE’ to 50300.[1] O’Rourke has provided the track free of charge in support of ALONE’s service andall production, photography and editing was donated too. Donations can also be made online at

From the beginning of the pandemic in March to December 2020, ALONE have supported 14,863 older people, made 180,675 support calls and engages 2,645 volunteers to work with older people who are experiencing challenges in their lives. The organisation is asking members of the public to consider donating to ALONE so that they can continue their work with older people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The team at ALONE are hugely grateful to Declan O’Rourke and Bonfire for their support, and to all members of the public who have donated to help older people over the past year.

ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan stated “Over the past, year ALONE has seen a huge swell in older people who need our support. Our call now if for people of all ages is to stay in touch with your older family members and neighbours, to check in with them regularly and support them any way that you can in line with the current restrictions. Older people face a range of issues on a daily basis which have only been exacerbated by the current situation, we are asking members of the public to continue supporting their older neighbours, friends and relatives as much as possible until the threat of COVID-19 has passed.”

Moynihan continued, “Older people need our support now more than ever, so we are delighted to be working with Bonfire and Declan O’Rourke to produce this advertisement. The figures that display on the screen throughout the video clip are only a token of the work conducted by staff and volunteers in the last year and being every number is a real human being who has received support from ALONE.”

Declan O’Rourke, contributor to ALONE’s Love is the Way video, “As someone who knows (through family and friend’s firsthand experience) the truly magnificent work ALONE do, I can say I’m extremely proud to be a part of this drive to raise awareness, and much needed funds to help their fantastic volunteers continue the amazing work they’re doing – in these times, and indeed in any other.”

ALONE are encouraging all older people to get in touch via their National Support Line which is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024. Further information can be found on

[1] Text costs €4. ​ALONE will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278.

Supporting Older people in the Community Together

Do you work with older persons living in Baldoyle, Donabate, Howth, Oldtown, Portrane, Malahide, Portmarnock, Sutton & Swords?

ALONE in partnership with the ICTOP (Integrated Care Team for Older Persons) invite your service to attend a virtual event for service providers on 11th March 2021 – 10am – 11:30am. By attending this event you will:

  • Network with different services and organisations providing services to support older people to age well at home.
  • Inform attendees about what supports your service or organisation is currently offering.
  • Consider how services can work together across acute, community, voluntary and statutory to support older people.

To register your place for this event, click on the following link

Please note that spaces are limited so registration by Thursday the 4th of March is required.

For more information about the event please contact Caroline Muller Wallace at [email protected] or Patrice Reilly at [email protected]

‘Benefit Payment a step towards closing pension gap for older people’, says ALONE

The charity stressed that the payment itself is below what people are entitled to, at €203

Dublin, 8th February 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports and empowers older people, has welcomed Benefit Payment for older people who are in limbo between their employment being ceased at 65 and reaching the retirement age of 66. The organisation is encouraged by the eligibility requirements that a person in receipt of this payment will not be required to be available for full-time work or genuinely seeking work and they will not be required to sign on to the Live Register.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “ALONE are feeling hopeful to see some progress for plan of this payment to older people who are between two milestones in their life. €203 provides some form of transitional payment for those who must retire at 65, but we must stress that this is below what people who have worked their entire lives are entitled to, while also being below the poverty line.”

He continued, “Currently, the Poverty rate sits at €284.46 for one adult.[1] We can see that this payment is only a step towards closing the pension gap for those who are forced to retire at 65. ALONE are hopeful to see further progress in this area to ensure this cohort of retirees are not plunged into poverty because of the low-rate.”

Older people who are in receipt of this payment will not have a break in their social insurance record and the credits they receive account for other social welfare purposes such as the contributory State Pension. Individuals can access the forms to apply via and for those who have no access to a printer you can request for the forms to be posted via email [email protected].

Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Their National Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024. Further information can be found on


ALONE & Leinster Rugby Announce Partnership

Both organisations are championing that community and inclusion are the remedies to loneliness for all ages

8th February 2021   Leinster Rugby has today announced ALONE as its latest charity affiliate as part of its charity partner programme for the 2020/21 season. The organisations are using their shared ethos to highlight the value of community and inclusion at a time when we all need it most. The key to ALONE and Leinster Rugby’s partnership is the importance of participation spanning across community, inclusion, physical activity and mental health. With ALONE operating as a national organisation that supports and empowers older people to age at home, Leinster Rugby aim for this collaboration to celebrate the work they do in the Leinster region and further afield across the Country.

As a national charity, ALONE provide an integrated system of Support Coordination, Practical Supports, Befriending, a variety of Phone Services, Social Prescribing, Housing with Support, and assistive technology. The organisation use support plans, provide a point of contact for access to health, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and other services and activities to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

In March 2020, ALONE saw the need to provide a National Support service and established their National Support Line which operates seven days a week from 8am – 8pm. Since then they have received over 41,000 calls into the line and in 2020 supported roughly 15,000 older people nationwide. Over 3,000 of those older people are being supported in Leinster.

Leinster Rugby will use its considerable digital platforms over the month of February to highlight the fantastic work that ALONE do in our communities but in particular during COVID-19 and the increasing need for support. Leinster Rugby will support ALONE activities over the month of February bringing a particular focus on their efforts to support older people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking this morning to, Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Community and partnerships is at the heart of the work that ALONE do and we are delighted to have been approached by Leinster Rugby to work alongside one another to champion community and inclusion as a remedy for loneliness across all ages. Communication is key to feeling included and expressing your feelings is important to check in with yourself. We are encouraging older people to reach out and talk when you are experiencing feelings of loneliness as people are here to listen.”

He continued to say, “Through our own channels and now Leinster Rugby’s community, we are reaching out to older people to keep participating and to be engaged in their lives. We are encouraging the message of ‘Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Moving’ to young and old in Leinster and across the Country. Participation is essential to living a healthy and balanced life and both organisations are here to remind older people to reach out and the general public to check in.”

On behalf of Leinster Rugby, Marcus Ó Buachalla, who manages the charity programme, said, “ALONE do tremendous work in our communities already but I think we have seen over the last 12 months the demand for their support structures increase hugely and we are delighted to be able to help over the next month to draw attention to those issues.

“In the last year ALONE has received over 41,000 calls for support and the COVID-19 National Support Line in particular has helped almost 15,000 older people in our communities. These are some of the most vulnerable people in our society and hopefully, with this partnership, we can help support the great work that ALONE are doing.”

Like all of the charities selected, ALONE was selected by Leinster Rugby after a consultation process involving the leadership group of the men, women’s and Academy teams and consultation with our premium sponsors and partners and the Official Leinster Supporters Club. Two premium partners of Leinster Rugby, Bank of Ireland and BearingPoint, have also pledged their support to the charities chosen. Bank of Ireland have confirmed that their Player of the Month Award donation will now be made to the monthly charity affiliate, rather than the player in question, a move that is also supported by the Leinster Rugby players. In addition, BearingPoint have also agreed to make a donation to each charity partner chosen by Leinster Rugby in lieu of support normally provided to the club pre-COVID.

If you are concerned about your own wellbeing or the wellbeing of someone you know please contact ALONE’s National Support Line on 0818 222 024 which is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm. Further information can be found on

It’s ‘Time to Talk’ with ALONE

ALONE has highlighted the increased loneliness among older people as COVID-19 pandemic continues

Dublin, 3 February 2021:    ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, is encouraging older people to reach out and strike up a conversation especially if they are feeling particularly isolated at the moment due to the extension of COVID-19 restrictions. The organisation has campaigned in this area for many years and are highlighting the concerns they have when it comes to loneliness, as its effects take hold and expand across a wider and new cohort of older people. ALONE are concerned by the increased impact loneliness is having which they can measure in their increased demand for their supports. Today, they are asking the public to continue to make time to talk and stay in touch with their older relatives, neighbours and friends.

While ALONE acknowledges that current guidelines are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable groups, ALONE have already reported an increase in a wide range of mental health impacts among older people. The organisation has relayed the message that although we may be socially distanced, we don’t want anyone to feel socially isolated. With many of these growing issues having been identified pre-pandemic, older people have now been experiencing prolonged periods of isolation and limited social contact for almost one year. ALONE would like to remind older people that their services continue to be available to any older person who needs advice or support during this time.

A new study by researchers from Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital found that almost 40% of participants reported that their mental health was worse or much worse since they began restricting their movements and that more than 57% of participants reported loneliness at least some of the time.[1] Loneliness has been linked to an increased risk of early death, with some studies highlighting that older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are twice as likely to die within six years compared to those who are not lonely[2]. Studies have linked loneliness and social isolation to higher risks of physical and mental conditions, including heart disease, anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2020, ALONE made nearly 139,000 Support and Befriending calls to older people suffering from loneliness and social isolation. Between the 9th of March and the 31st of December, ALONE supported nearly 15,000 older people. Of these callers, 31% were aged between 75-90 years and 75% were living alone. Based on 2016 Census figures, there were approximately 876,423 people aged over 60 living in Ireland, a figure which is expected to grow to 1.42 million by 2031.

For some older people, loneliness is an unfamiliar issue, which will cease to affect them with community supports; for others, unfortunately this is an ongoing state of being. ALONE are determined to ensure every older person has access to the supports that they need to combat loneliness and live a happy and fulfilled life. If someone calls or is referred to ALONE, the organisation can arrange to contact an older person several times a week or every day if this support is needed, with this service set to continue after the current crisis.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Loneliness is a serious issue among older people which has only been exacerbated by the current situation, and we believe the long-term impacts of loneliness will continue to affect older people long after the pandemic has passed. When the effects of the pandemic begin to subside, it is important that we begin implementing recommendations from the Loneliness Taskforce. Currently, there are no structures in place for the protection of older people or funding to relieve the increasing effect of loneliness begin felt across the Country.”

He continued, “We appreciate the efforts people have made to reach out and check in with older people while also recognising how brave older people have been to reach out, we encourage them to continue seeking out and making conversation. Just a few minutes out of your day, to make time to talk, could make a world of difference to an older person struggling with loneliness. We are encouraging any older person who is experiencing loneliness to get in touch with ALONE. Our volunteers provide ongoing telephone support for older people and make regular phone calls for reassurance and social support.”

Dr. Sabina Brennan, neuroscientist and psychologist, stated, “Now more than ever we need to ensure that we stay socially connected. Human connection is inextricably linked to our physical mental and brain health. Loneliness is not just an unpleasant experience it is quite literally a killer. In fact, it is as detrimental to our health as smoking and obesity. Loneliness increases our risk for high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and suicide. Loneliness is essentially a chronic stressor that weakens the immune system. So while keeping a physical distance from others can offer protection against COVID-19, isolating completely can actually make you more susceptible to infection.”

She continued to say, “Social engagement is a complex, stimulating activity that keeps our brains sharp. People who remain socially connected, live longer, have better health, are less depressed and are less likely to develop dementia. Long periods of isolation can lead to social withdrawal and all of the negative health implications associated with that. So make sure that you stay connected and do whatever you can to reach out to others who may be at risk. You will benefit too, just 10 minutes social interaction boosts brain function.”

ALONE Ambassador Vincent Browne commented, “During these trying times it is important to reach out to the older people in our lives and strike up a conversation. Many of us are struggling at the moment and a chat can really help to lift a person’s spirits. I would encourage any older person who is feeling a bit down to reach out to the people in their lives and make time to talk”

Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Their National Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024. Further information can be found on


[2] National Institute on Aging. 2019. Social Isolation, Loneliness In Older People Pose Health Risks. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 16 July 2020].

Christmas FM raises €284,000 for ALONE to enable the charity to provide over 20,000 hours of vital support to older people in Ireland

27 January 2021

Christmas FM, the popular radio station that is seen by many as the official soundtrack to the festive season, is delighted to announce that it has raised €284,107.12 for ALONE, their chosen charity for 2020.

This figure has well surpassed the original goal of €200,000, which would have enabled 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. The extra funds raised means that ALONE will be in a position to give even more help to those who need it, including practical supports such as access to all of ALONE’s services, befriending and adaptions to an older person’s home to allow them to age at home.

The 2020 fundraising figure brings to over €2.5 million the total amount the radio station has raised for a range of charities since its inception in 2008. The costs of running Christmas FM are covered by various sponsors, ensuring that all on-air fundraising and donations go directly to the charity partner. The station is run each year by a core management team, assisted by more than 100 volunteers who devote hundreds of hours of their time.

Paul Shepherd, Co-founder of Christmas FM, says: “We are delighted to have raised just over €284,000 for ALONE this year. We couldn’t have done it without our loyal listeners who tuned in and donated so generously to ALONE. We’re also thankful to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for granting us the license to broadcast and our premier FM sponsors for the year – Cadbury, Coca-Cola and An Post. We would also like to thank the Ballsbridge Hotel who have, once again, provided us with a home for our radio studio. As ever, we are so grateful to the team and the volunteers who help make Christmas FM happen by assisting with the day to day running of the station – we couldn’t do it without each and every one of you!”

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE says: “ALONE are honoured to have been selected as Christmas FM’s charity partner for 2020. We are so proud of the collaborative efforts between ALONE older people, volunteers, staff and the entire team at Christmas FM. Although donation day was the key focus of the entire partnership, I want to congratulate everyone involved for the months of hard work that went into telling the story of ALONE. There wasn’t a more appropriate year to use a tagline ‘Give the Gift of Home’ as our homes became our safe place during a worldwide pandemic. The kind donations generated through this partnership will help ALONE empower and enable older people to remain in their homes for as long as they wish. As we all know this is important now more than ever. Thank you!”

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) grants Christmas FM a 30-day temporary sound broadcasting license, which enables the station to broadcast on a range of frequencies throughout the country.

BAI Chief Executive, Michael O’Keeffe, said: “I would like to congratulate the team at Christmas FM for another fantastic fundraising result. Radio continues to be hugely popular in Ireland and its value as a medium to bring people together is once again shown by the success of Christmas FM – and the generosity of its listeners  – in raising more than €284,000 in just 30 days for ALONE.”

This year, Christmas FM was generously sponsored by the premier FM sponsors Cadbury, Coca-Cola and An Post. Christmas FM was broadcast from the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin who kindly gave the space for free.

Christmas FM is still available online at

You can follow the station on social at