ALONE is calling for members of the public to volunteer their friendship
Dublin, April 2022 ALONE, the organisation which supports older people to age at home, is recruiting volunteers in Mayo. The organisation is encouraging members of the public to get involved in their local community by volunteering to participate in their various volunteer Support & Befriending programmes. Older people are waiting to be matched with someone like you.
ALONE is looking for volunteers on Achill Island, Ballina, Bellmullet and in Mulranney in North/West Mayo; in Ballinrobe in South Mayo; and in Ballyhaunis, Carracastle, Charelestown, Foxford, Swinford in North East Mayo.
Volunteers play a vital and active role in all of ALONE’s services and are involved in every level of the organisation. ALONE’s Support and Befriending service is designed to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, provide assistance to solve everyday problems and enable older people to feel secure at home.
ALONE’s Visitation Support & Befriending service matches older people who would like extra social contact with volunteers in their area, who provide companionship through a weekly visit. ALONE asks that all volunteers commit to at least one year, as this commitment gives the volunteer the opportunity to have a meaningful experience while ensuring continuity of service for older people. Volunteers must be over 18 years of age, and be able to provide support and companionship to an older person by visiting them at least once a week.
ALONE’s Telephone Support & Befriending service 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. Volunteers provide companionship and support such as appointment reminders, medication prompts, and information on local activities and relevant initiatives. ALONE asks that interested Telephone Support & Befriending volunteers to commit to one set shift of 2 hours per week between the hours of 9am and 4pm, Monday – Friday, for a minimum of 6 months.
Another remote volunteer offering ALONE has is the National Support & Referral Line volunteer. By acting as the first point of contact on our National Support and Referral 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. It is essential that National Support & Referral Line volunteers commit to one set shift of 4 hours per week for a minimum of 6 months. The shifts are: Monday to Sunday from 8am-12pm, 12pm-4pm or 4pm-8pm.
A long-standing volunteer with ALONE recently reflected on her own Support & Befriending journey, “My older friends invited me into their lives, I shared their hopes and dreams and they shared mine, I saw their heartbreak and they saw mine. They gave me a sense of the long view – a view of the world from people who were a little bit ahead of me on the path. I am a better person for having them in my life. When I think and talk of my older friends, I will smile and be filled with gratitude for all we shared.
She continued, “Befriending truly does change lives. They most definitely made a difference to me… so if you haven’t tried it yet – here’s to finding an older friend – and here’s to my friendships that spanned generations.”
ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan said, “Our volunteers support older people by offering social interaction, a regular friend to chat to and providing access to various supports. Often, they go on to make a friend for life. We provide training to volunteers before they are paired with an older person and we are always on hand to support both the older person and the volunteer. We are asking anyone who may be interested to extend a helping hand and help us to support and empower more older people to live happily and securely at home.”
ALONE is also encouraging older people who may need support to get in touch.
Moynihan continued, “We can offer support with problems large and small. Many older people may feel like they are putting someone out by asking for help, but we want them to know that help is what we’re here for – all they need to do is lift the phone,” continued Moynihan.
If you have concerns about your own wellbeing or you are an older person who would like to receive ALONE’s Support & Befriending services, contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 from 8am – 8pm, seven days a week.
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