Volunteers play a vital and active role in all of ALONE’s services and are involved in every level of the organisation

FAQs from our National Support Line

I’m a professional and want to refer a client/patient to ALONE services (Social Worker, hospitals, GPs, Primary Care Team, Community Services)
Please complete a referral on alone.ie or call our dedicated referral line for professionals at 01 223 3632. 8am-8pm Mon-Fri; 9am-5pm Weekends & Bank Hols
I need help with getting my shopping/medication/pension from the post office

ALONE first will ask if an older person can reach out to anyone (friend/family/neighbour), or ask them to contact their Local Authority Community Response number directly. If we do not find an option here ALONE can support directly.

I am not a tenant but have a housing issue and need a tradesman for a small job (lightbulb change, installing rails, plumbers, electricians etc.)

If you are capable of calling for the help, we provide them with local contact details for Age Action’s Care & Repair Services if operated in their area. If the person cannot/does not want to call these services/ these are not operational in their area, ALONE will assist directly.

*not for large adaptation requests

I have a housing issue and I am not a tenant and I need support with contacting services (repairs, need support with getting an appliance, housing adaptation, gardening etc.)

We will assist directly.

I need financial support (for bills, purchasing large furniture/ appliances etc.)

We will firstly refer an older person to their local Social Welfare Office to apply for an Exceptional Needs Payment; their local SVP office can assist with vouchers or bills at times; MABS also for budgeting support.

I need financial support for a large home renovation/ bathroom adaptation

There are grants available for older people through their local authority to update their homes, or adapt them for their needs. These are available for both private home owners and council home owners but are means tested. ALONE would advise older people to make contact with their local council for further information.

I want a panic/falls alarm system

The government operate a Senior Alert Scheme which is the provision of an alarm system for those over 65 which they can wear on their person and operates within their home. These are provided and installed by local approved community groups which you can find the list of here.

If the person is unable to make the call to the community group themselves and requires support with contacting and applying for this, ALONE can assist directly with this.

When can I do/go (Questions about COVID Restrictions & Phases Reopening)
I’m worried about an older person. Can you phone them/ knock into them?

We cannot call a person without their consent. Unfortunately, there are many scams at present taking advantage of those most vulnerable over the phone and we would not want to scare and cause further distress to someone vulnerable by calling and more than likely requiring to ask personal details.

We would urge you to make contact with the older persons local Garda Station and to request the community Gardai to check in with them.

If they state the older person wants us to call them and cannot make the call themselves (cost, unable to see buttons) then ALONE can make the call in this instance.

I need medical advice

We are not a medical service. Contact GP/Out of Hours GP/HSELive/ Emergency Services

I’m looking for support with transportation to a medical appointment

ALONE does not provide transportation. ALONE advise the use of public transport/taxis. If not possible, advise to contact Local Authority Community Call Teams, for local supports and/or hospital/GP for recommendations.

Order of Malta/Irish Red Cross/Civil Defense were providing transport in some areas also.

I’m struggling with loneliness

ALONE offer our Telephone Support Service to all older people. ALONE may also provide Support Coordination for Befriending Visits.

I need help with using my phone/tablet/computer

ALONE recommend Age Action’s Getting Started Kit, Covid19 Tech Service and Generation Tech Helpline. If Vodafone customer, refer to designated vulnerable customers number.

I am enquiring about the COVID Vaccine

The Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly stated on Jan 13th 2021, that those over 70 will receive their Vaccines in the next 11weeks/by the end of March 2021. Other groups will be vaccinated accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does ALONE do to ensure quality of service, transparency, and accountability?
  • Our accounts are externally and independently audited and we comply with SORP standards.
  • We publish an Annual Report which shows the work that we do, the outcomes achieved and our income and expenditure.
  • We have achieved the internationally recognised ISO quality standard for services delivery. In 2019 we attained the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Standard Award.
  • We comply with the Charities Institutes Ireland Triple Lock Standards, ensuring transparent reporting, good fundraising and governance.
  • Our services are internally and externally audited. Internal audits are carried out at least 3 times per year. Annual external audits are conducted by an ISO auditor.
  • In 2015 an external evaluation of ALONE’s Befriending service was undertaken and a report was published.
  • We have signed up to the Government’s Voluntary Code for Housing Bodies.
  • Our Board operates to good practice guidelines for governance and has signed up to our Governance Code.
  • We are a member of the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) and we participate in the HAPM (Housing Association Performance Management)
  • We are an approved Housing Body.
  • We are a registered charity –  our registered charity number is 20020057 and our CHY number is 8259.
How does ALONE ensure value for money?
  • We do not duplicate other organisations’ services but work in partnership.
  • We believe that our cost-versus-benefit ratio is second to none.
  • We provide high-value, low-cost services while still working with those most in need.
  • We have a strong ethos on how we manage money which has been donated.
  • We look for cost substitution before spending money.
  • We do not pay any third party fundraisers.
Does ALONE receive any kind of government funding?

ALONE receives some funding from the government for specific projects. We continue to rely on the generosity of the general public for the day-to-day running of our vital services.

Where do donations go?

All individual donations raised and provided to ALONE whether general or Corporate are used for the provision of services.

What percentage of donations goes directly to services for older people?

For all charitable donations raised for specific campaigns 100% goes directly to the delivery of the campaign/service.

All restricted funding received is administered as per the funding agreement to deliver services.

From all general donations, as per ALONE’s 2019 Audited Accounts which is available in online, 90% of ALONE expenditure was on Charitable activities and support.

How much are paid to ALONE’s Board Members?

€0

How many people are paid a salary of €100,000 or more?

None

What salary, pension arrangements and other benefits are paid to the CEO?

The CEO has a salary similar to an assistant principal officer in the Civil Service. There are no hidden payments and no top-ups. The CEO also operates as the General Manager and spokesperson for ALONE.

Who set the pay of the CEO in ALONE?

The Board of Trustees for ALONE approves wages and salaries. This is done through recommendations from the Human Resources subcommittee.

What does ALONE pay its other staff?

In 2019, ALONE staff annual salaries were between €24-€61k reflecting their role and related Experience/Training.

ALONE makes a 3-5% annual contribution into Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) after two years of employment. There is no long term liability for ALONE as these are a defined contribution plan.

ALONE staff costs for wages and salaries in 2019 were €1,929,281. Social security costs were €203,967 and pension costs were €37,877.

What was the cost of generating funds?

€125,746 (2019)

What was that amount generated through fundraising, donations and voluntary income?

€1,189,380 (2019)

What was the organisation’s total income and expenditure?

Income €3,591,052 (2019)
Expenditure €3,477,054 (2019)

What is the breakdown of volunteers to staff?

ALONE has over 2,100 volunteers and more than 60 staff members.

Volunteers and staff work across all the departments.

Exact number of volunteers may fluctuate throughout the year.

What do your volunteers do?

ALONE volunteers provide an invaluable service through their generous donation of time. Many of our volunteers are ‘Befrienders’ who visit or call older people on a weekly basis to provide companionship and social engagement.

Other volunteers support ALONE in areas such as communications, research, administration, services, maintenance, event management, transportation, cleaning, and gardening.

What is ALONE doing now to help older people?

We have doubled in size in the last four years because we are needed now more than ever. Demand for assistance has tripled, and our number of volunteers has also tripled in response.

Why is ALONE a Trust?

ALONE was set up as a trust nearly 40 years ago to protect its assets. The deed of trust has a scheme of incorporation.

ALONE’s status as a Trust ensures greater accountability. As a trust, ALONE has to submit to external audits; we must get permission to buy and sell property, and when doing so we are obliged to explain who we are buying from or selling to and why, and to submit details of all costs involved.

How were the houses used by ALONE acquired and paid for?

Currently, ALONE has 129 homes for older people who have had housing difficulties or are at risk of homelessness. These were acquired through a mix of charitable donations, Government grants, and loan financing.

This includes state funding for some housing units from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government funding schemes such as CAS (non-repayable mortgages) and CALF (repayable mortgages at the end of the period). Linked to CALF funding is funding through the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) and Community Finance Ireland.

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