ALONE Hosts Befriending Network Ireland National Seminar

ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home,hosted the Befriending Network Ireland’s (BNI) National Seminar in the Ashling Hotel, Dublin. The seminar, which was attended by Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) members from around the country, discussed the importance of highlighting loneliness as a public health issue, as well as the running of successful befriending services.

 

Speaking at the event, CEO of ALONE Sean Moynihan said, “We are delighted that so many coordinators and volunteers from around the county attended today’s seminar. Befriending Network Ireland provides training to organisations throughout Ireland, and its overall membership has doubled within two years. This annual event offers us an opportunity to learn more about befriending and to connect with those working hard in their communities to provide befriending services.”

ALONE Hosts Befriending Network Ireland National Seminar

Colette Meleady – Befriender, Jenny O’Brien – Befriendee of Befriending Laois and Brian Lambe – Support Services Manager – ALONE.

He continued, “ALONE’s befriending service provides companionship to older people who are socially isolated through a weekly volunteer visit.Now in our 40thyear, ALONE is continually developing the service and, as part of Befriending Network Ireland, are currently in the process of drafting Ireland’s first ever befriending quality standards. These standards will provide a benchmark for the delivery of high quality befriending services across the country. Ultimately, there is no better thing you can bring into someone’s life than friendship and support.”

 

Jenny O’Brien,who is befriended by volunteer Colette Meleady from Befriending Laois, spoke at the seminar of how the service has changed her life. “I look forward to Colette coming every week. You can depend on someone being there when you need a chat. Loneliness can be a terrible thing. A lot of people don’t realise you can be in a room full of people and be lonely.”

 

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032. To make a donation and help aid ALONE’s work visit www.alone.ie. Befriending organisations can also get in touch for advice on how to join the network.

 

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

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