Irish comedy star Brendan O’Carroll has appealed to end loneliness among the elderly.
It comes as it was revealed that one in ten elderly people in Ireland suffer from chronic loneliness.
O’Carroll and his wife Jenny Gibney are encouraging people to donate money to the funds for ALONE, a charity for the elderly.
ALONE are running a campaign called ‘Have a laugh for loneliness, which encourages people to arrange fundraising events among friends, family and neighbours.
Mrs Browns’ Boys star O’Carroll said: “It’s fantastic to be a part of ALONE’s ‘Have a Laugh for Loneliness’ campaign.
“It’s awful to think that as many as one in 10 older people experience chronic loneliness.”
One way that ALONE tackles the problem is by implementing a special befriending service. This sees trained volunteers paired up with older people who are experiencing loneliness.
The volunteers can help with day to day tasks or simply offer friendship.
O’Carroll said: “ALONE’s work to combat this is extremely valuable and the difference it makes in the lives of older people is powerful.
“We’re hoping that by having a laugh for loneliness, the public will not only raise funds for ALONE but help to combat loneliness in their community.”
The number of elderly people reaching out to ALONE rose by 100% from 2016 to 2017. However, donations have only risen by 15%.
Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said: “Our volunteers are invaluable to ALONE’s Befriending work and we’re constantly looking to recruit and train more people in order to keep up with the calls we receive.
“Through the ‘Have a Laugh with Loneliness’ campaign, we hope to raise vital funds for the service which saw our 1,000th volunteer trained this year.
“With the support of the public, we are working so that no older person is left lonely, without friendship and support.”
To find out more about ALONE or to make a donation visit the ALONE website
Take a look at the video below.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling
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