Volunteer

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.

Visitation Support & Befriending role

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 Support & Befriending role

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.

National Support Helpline Volunteer role

What’s involved?
On 9th March, we launched a new National Helpline, as part of our supports to older people, who have concerns or are facing difficulties in Ireland. The Helpline is open Monday to Sunday, 8am-8pm by calling 0818 222 024. By acting as the first point of contact on our support line, by being warm, friendly and professional you will provide a listening ear, information and support for older people, many of whom feel they have nowhere else to turn. Please note these calls can be very challenging at times and includes issues regarding mental health and suicide ideation.

Tasks:

  • To help answer queries from older people regarding Covid-19; this might include the provision of official information from the HSE or other official sources. This will be provided to you
  • To help access information for the older person as required
  • To log all calls into a computer logging system
  • To log support requests for ALONE’s other services such as Practical Support or Telephone Befriending
  • To report any concerns regarding an older person’s health, safety or welfare to ALONE staff
  • To act in a friendly but professional manner on the Helpline; thus ensuring it is a positive experience for the older person
  • To be mindful of the general wellbeing of the older people and provide a positive experience during the call
  • Participate in check-in calls with staff in order to discuss any issues or address any challenges you may be facing in your role
  • To complete training and follow the ALONE guidelines throughout your time with ALONE

What’s required for this position:

  • A genuine interest in the welfare of Older People
  • A competency in using different software systems. You will receive training in Salesforce, Teams, IP Telecom, but will be expected to know how to navigate Outlook Email and SharePoint. You will have to be able to use all systems during each shift
  • Safetalk / Assist training or the equivalent knowledge is desirable as calls can be challenging
  • It is essential that you have your own laptop / computer and high speed broadband. (Calls are answered through the laptop / computer so it must be compatible. Headphones can be provided, if needed)
  • The ability to follow directions and agreed guidelines/protocols and work as part of a team
  • Fluent spoken and written English
  • 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 the confidentiality of the older person and of all records that you come into contact with
  • The ability to prioritise your own wellbeing and self-care. There are trained professionals who are on shift every day for debrief and support.

What’s Involved?
It is essential that helpline volunteers commit to a minimum of two 4 hour shifts, or one 8 hour shift per week for the remainder of the year. This will be revised early 2021. The shifts are:

Monday – Sunday – Two x 4 hour shifts between either
8am – 12pm / 12pm – 4pm / 4pm – 8pm
Monday – Sunday – One x 8 hour shift between either
8am – 4pm / 12pm – 8pm

Please bear in mind, that we need volunteers to cover evenings until 8pm, and weekend shifts in particular.

Location:
Currently these calls are taking place in each individuals own home.

Screening details for this role:

  • ID Check, Garda vetting and virtual one-to-one interview
  • Sign volunteer agreement form
  • Complete an IT training module regarding how to receive and logs calls
  • Possible interview with Helpline Manger

Volunteers will receive the following supports:

  • ‘On the job’ training from staff/experienced volunteers
  • Named supervisor / staff support
  • Insurance cover
  • Access to LAYA assistance programme

Benefits you will receive as a volunteer:

  • The opportunity to make a real impact to the lives of older people
  • Initial and ongoing training
  • Insights and understanding about social inclusion issues
  • Opportunity to progress into other roles in Alone
  • Opportunity to develop your leadership skills
  • A chance to be part of the ALONE volunteer community

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. Volunteer is then placed on an application list until the next available round of recruitment. An invitation to an online Information Training module will then be sent out. This module must be completed to continue to the next round.
  2. Information Training module. This is an online module which includes information about ALONE and the role you have applied for. It concludes with a very short assessment.
  3. Interview. Once the volunteer has completed the online module and assessment the next step is a phone interview. A staff representative will gather some background information regarding the volunteer to get a better understanding of them, their hopes for the role and to ensure they are suited to the role.
  4. 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. A volunteer agreement and data processing form must also be signed.
  5. Attendance at Core Training session. This is an online face to face training session over Zoom. In this session we go more in-depth into the role including topics such as boundaries, health and safety and wellbeing.
  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.

    *The above process may slightly vary depending on which role you have applied for.

Time commitment

We would ask that all our volunteers can commit to at least 6 months to a year depending on your role. 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.