Leinster Rugby has today announced ALONE as its latest charity affiliate as part of its charity partner programme for the 2020/21 season.

The organisations are using their shared ethos to highlight the value of community and inclusion at a time when we all need it most.

The key to ALONE and Leinster Rugby’s partnership is the importance of participation spanning across community, inclusion, physical activity and mental health. With ALONE operating as a national organisation that supports and empowers older people to age at home, Leinster Rugby aim for this collaboration to celebrate the work they do in the Leinster region and further afield across the country.

As a national charity, ALONE provide an integrated system of Support Coordination, Practical Supports, Befriending, a variety of Phone Services, Social Prescribing, Housing with Support, and assistive technology.

The organisation uses support plans, provides a point of contact for access to health, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and other services and activities to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

In March 2020, ALONE saw the need to provide a National Support service and established their National Support Line which operates seven days a week from 8am – 8pm. Since then they have received over 41,000 calls into the line and in 2020 supported roughly 15,000 older people nationwide. Over 3,000 of those older people are being supported in Leinster.

Leinster Rugby will use its considerable digital platforms over the month of February to highlight the fantastic work that ALONE do in our communities but in particular during COVID-19 and the increasing need for support. Leinster Rugby will support ALONE activities over the month of February bringing a particular focus on their efforts to support older people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking this morning to leinsterrugby.ie, Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said:

“Community and partnerships is at the heart of the work that ALONE do and we are delighted to have been approached by Leinster Rugby to work alongside one another to champion community and inclusion as a remedy for loneliness across all ages. Communication is key to feeling included and expressing your feelings is important to check in with yourself. We are encouraging older people to reach out and talk when you are experiencing feelings of loneliness as people are here to listen.”

He continued to say: “Through our own channels and now Leinster Rugby’s community, we are reaching out to older people to keep participating and to be engaged in their lives. We are encouraging the message of ‘Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Moving’ to young and old in Leinster and across the country. Participation is essential to living a healthy and balanced life and both organisations are here to remind older people to reach out and the general public to check in.”

On behalf of Leinster Rugby, Marcus Ó Buachalla, who manages the charity programme, said, “ALONE do tremendous work in our communities already but I think we have seen over the last 12 months the demand for their support structures increase hugely and we are delighted to be able to help over the next month to draw attention to those issues.

“In the last year ALONE has received over 41,000 calls for support and the COVID-19 National Support Line in particular has helped almost 15,000 older people in our communities. These are some of the most vulnerable people in our society and hopefully, with this partnership, we can help support the great work that ALONE are doing.”

Like all of the charities selected, ALONE was selected by Leinster Rugby after a consultation process involving the leadership group of the men, women’s and Academy teams and consultation with our premium sponsors and partners and the Official Leinster Supporters Club.

Two premium partners of Leinster Rugby, Bank of Ireland and BearingPoint, have also pledged their support to the charities chosen.

Bank of Ireland have confirmed that their Player of the Month Award donation will now be made to the monthly charity affiliate, rather than the player in question, a move that is also supported by the Leinster Rugby players.

In addition, BearingPoint have also agreed to make a donation to each charity partner chosen by Leinster Rugby in lieu of support normally provided to the club pre-COVID.

If you are concerned about your own wellbeing or the wellbeing of someone you know please contact ALONE’s National Support Line on 0818 222 024 which is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm.

Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.

Further information about ALONE and the Leinster Rugby Charity Affiliate Programme:

  • Social isolation increases the risk of developing dementia
  • 45% of people 75 and over are lonely often or some of the time
  • 1 in 3 older people live on their own
  • Frailty is a common condition affecting 12.7% of adults aged 50 years and over and 21.5% of people aged 65 and over in Ireland
  • ALONE is the third charity affiliate announced by Leinster Rugby and will be supported by Leinster Rugby for the month of February
  • Another charity will be announced for March
  • Women’s Aid (November), Debra Ireland (December) and local causes supported by Bank of Ireland (January) received Leinster Rugby support so far
  • The selection process for all 12 charities includes the Leinster Rugby players, Leinster Rugby sponsors and partners and also the Official Leinster Supporters Club (OLSC)