Volunteers in ALONE

Volunteers play a vital and active role in all of ALONE’s services and are involved in every level of the organisation.  All ALONE volunteers are trained and receive ongoing support from ALONE’s staff and experienced mentors.

Interested in volunteering?

Please click here to find our volunteering form

Volunteer Roles

Select any of the roles below to see more information, including responsibilities and tasks.  For further information, please contact us.

Support & Befriending Visitation Volunteer

Overall Role: Support & Befriending is a supported one-to-one relationship between a volunteer and an older person who has been linked in with ALONE. The ALONE Support & Befriending service provides companionship to older people who would like extra social contact through a weekly visit. Volunteers can also help with practical supports such as helping access information, filling out forms and with phone calls. The Support & Befriending  service is designed to help alleviate the negative impacts loneliness has on mental and physical health.

The Role of the Support & Befriending Volunteer is:

    • To provide companionship to an older person by visiting them at least once a week.
    • To provide basic practical support for the older person where necessary. (Volunteers are not substitutes for home-help or care assistants and should not take on these roles)
    • To record your visits and any additional support provided to the older person through ALONE’s BFriend app.
    • To be flexible around travelling to and from visits
    • To attend training, and follow the ALONE guidelines throughout your time with ALONE.
    • To attend additional training workshops and the annual volunteer social meeting.
    • To support the older person when attending ALONE social activities.
    • To support the older person to integrate in their community – such as encouraging them to join local groups and initiatives for older people.
    • To be an advocate for the older person where necessary. This might mean making a phone call on their behalf or helping them fill in a form.
    • To contact ALONE if there are concerns for the older person’s health, safety or welfare.
    • To participate in ALONE volunteer surveys and assist older people in ALONE service surveys.

Skills, Requirements & Attributes:

  • To have a genuine interest in older people
  • To be respectful and committed to the values and aims of ALONE
  • A caring, understanding and friendly attitude
  • To be patient, reliable and have good listening and communication skills
  • To be non-judgemental and respect confidentiality
  • All volunteers must be Garda vetted, reference checked and supply proof of address and identification. A minimum of a year’s commitment is required.

Full training and support is provided. We do ask for a commitment of 1 year. All Volunteers must be over 18 years of age.

Telephone Befriending & Support Volunteer

Overall Role:  ALONE’s Telephone Support and Befriending is a free, friendly, support and information telephone service for older people. It provides personal daily or weekly contact to ensure that recipients are safe and well in their home.

The service addresses many different needs of older people. It increases their social network and keeps people informed of other relevant services in their area, it offers an opportunity to share worries or concerns and helps reduce loneliness and isolation, whilst increasing a sense of community among those involved. Most importantly, the service works in tandem with ALONE’s visiting staff and volunteer services. Where additional needs arise that require a more hands on approach, a request for support can be made to ALONE’s support coordination services.

The service operates Monday – Friday and the calls are made at a pre-arranged time.

The Role of the Telephone Befriending and Support Volunteer is:

  • To commit to at least 2 hours per week, for a minimum of 1 year.
  • To provide support and information for the older person where necessary.
  • To be mindful of the general wellbeing of the older people and provide a positive experience during the call.
  • To support the older person to integrate in their community – such as encouraging them to join local groups and initiatives for older people.
  • To attend training and adhere to the training guidelines.
  • To report to the ALONE office if there are concerns for the older person’s health, safety or welfare.
  • Work as a member of a team with staff and other volunteers and participate effectively in team meetings when required.

Skills, Requirements & Attributes:

  • To have a genuine interest in older people
  • To be respectful and committed to the values and aims of ALONE
  • A caring, understanding and friendly attitude
  • To be patient, reliable and have good listening and communication skills
  • To be non-judgmental and respect the confidentiality of the older person and of all records that you come into contact with.

We offer Telephone Support and Befriending from our offices in Louth and Donegal.

Specialist Skills Volunteer

Individuals offer their specialist or professional skills in a voluntary capacity. This can be for a particular project or on an ongoing basis. These roles may include: administration support, finance, maintenance, gardening, driving, IT support, legal advice, etc. We try to embed volunteers into our service and all departments.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers participate in time-defined projects with ALONE that are organised by other bodies or agencies. These include corporate volunteering opportunities, student placements and other volunteer referral programmes. In these cases, a special agreement must be in effect with the body or agency that identifies responsibility for management and care of the volunteers.

Process for applying

  1. Volunteer makes expression of interest. You will then placed on an application list until next available round of recruitment. An invitation to an Information Training session will then be sent out. Attendance is required to continue to the next round.
  2. Attendance at Information Training session. This will include a short presentation about ALONE and the Befriending role. The session will conclude with 1 to 1 interviews held by ALONE staff.
  3. Volunteer Application Pack and invitation to Core Training session sent. The Volunteer Application form and Garda vetting form should be completed by closing date. This must be accompanied by copies of two forms of identification (one photographic, one proof of address). This is a compulsory requirement for the Garda vetting application.
  4. Attendance at Core Training session.
  5. Volunteer agreement and data processing form signed.
  6. References checked.
  7. Garda vetting application completed with Bureau. Once all paperwork is completed, you will be informed that you are ready to begin your role.
  8. Begin role.

Time commitment

We would ask that all our volunteers can commit to at least 1 year. This commitment gives the volunteer the opportunity to have a meaningful experience while ensuring continuity of service for older people.

Volunteer handbook

Our volunteer handbook has the answers to most other questions you may have about volunteering with ALONE. You can find our handbook at this link: Volunteer Handbook

Volunteer Privacy Statement

ALONE needs to keep and process information about our volunteers to help us deliver our services, for general administrative tasks and to meet certain quality standards. We also keep this information to manage the relationship with our volunteers effectively, lawfully and appropriately. It’s used during the volunteer recruitment process, while you are volunteering with us, or when you cease volunteering and up to a period of 24 months afterwards.

ALONE will always ask your permission before collecting the information about you.

As an organisation we use volunteer data to provide weekly befriending visits, daily telephone befriending calls, monthly social events and other occasional activities. However we may sometimes need to use, or share your data with others to help us meet the needs of the older people we serve. For example, during extreme weather spells we might share your first name, your number and general location to help coordinate and provide additional supports to older people, where we rely on the shared support from staff, volunteers and other groups to meet those needs.

If ALONE needs to collect any sensitive information relating to a volunteers’ racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious and philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, biometric data or sexual orientation,  we will always obtain your  permission first.

ALONE will only share sensitive information about you with others;

  • Where sharing is necessary to prevent injury or damage to the health of an individual
  • Where it is required by law
  • Where it is made available to the Gardaí in relation to a criminal investigation.

If in the future ALONE intend to use your personal data for any reason other than the reason which it was collected, we will provide you with information on that new reason and any other relevant information first. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) you have a number of rights with regard to your personal data.

You have the right to ask us for access to, correction of, or the deletion of your personal data. You have the right to limit processing, object to processing as well as in certain circumstances, the right to data portability (data portability means we provide you with your data in a format you can use elsewhere). If you have provided consent for the processing of your data, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time.

You also have the right to lodge a complaint to the Data Protection Commissioners’ Office, if you believe that we have not complied with the requirements of the GDPR with regard to your personal data.

For the purpose of the GDPR, ALONE is the controller of volunteer data. If you have any queries as to how your data is processed you can contact: Data Protection Coordinator by email at: [email protected], or you can write to the Data Protection Coordinator using the address; ALONE, Olympic House, Pleasants House, Dublin 8.