The number of people volunteering with ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, has jumped by over 1,000 in the last year.
This week is National Volunteering Week and ALONE is taking the opportunity to thank all of the people who have given their time to the organisation, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This time last year, ALONE had 1,845 volunteers engaged in its work of supporting older people nationwide. However today, there are 2,862 volunteers.
According to ALONE chief executive, Sean Moynihan, volunteering is "intrinsic to ALONE's work and is interlinked in all areas of our organisation".
"On this National Volunteer week, it is important to acknowledge all of the hard work and dedication of our wonderful volunteers. Put quite simply, ALONE would not be able to provide the services it does to the older people of Ireland without the support of our amazing network of volunteers, therefore we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to each and every individual involved with our work," he commented.
He said that one of the positives that has come out of the pandemic is the amount of people who wanted to volunteer.
"Our volunteers quietly go about their work with great humility and compassion, and change older people's lives for the better every day," Mr Moynihan said.
Due to the increasing older population in Ireland, ALONE is hoping to grow its volunteer numbers to around 9,000 in the coming years. It also intends to further utilise technology to assist volunteers to connect with older people engaged with ALONE's services.
Currently, volunteers work across a wide range of support services, including the national support helpline, befriending services, visitation and support, fundraising and administration.
Since the onset of COVID-19, ALONE has adapted its volunteer training and is currently using a blended approach to deliver training modules to volunteers nationwide. Over 1,200 volunteers have completed training online.
For information on volunteering with ALONE, email email@example.com with your full name, phone contact details and location, or visit www.alone.ie.
Older people who need advice can call ALONE on 0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. You can contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know, even if you have never used the organisation's services before.
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