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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
A helping hand

Over 1,200 dinners to be delivered to older people living alone on Christmas Day

The Order of the Knights of St Columbanus, Irish Rural Link and Alone are teaming up to provide the service.

A NUMBER OF charity organisations have teamed up to provide over 1,200 dinners to older people across the country who will be alone on Christmas Day. 

The Order of the Knights of St Columbanus, Irish Rural Link (IRL), the national network representing the interest of rural communities and Alone, the national organisation that supports older people to age at home, are working together to provide the meals. 

On Christmas Day, not everyone has family or friends to celebrate with or have family or friends come to share dinner with.

Following the Covid-19 restrictions over Christmas 2020, there was an increase in the number of older people who spent Christmas Day on their own.

With Covid-19 numbers increasing once again and older people still nervous about mixing with others, IRL and Alone are collaborating once again to ensure no older person goes without a dinner.

Through its support & befriending service, Alone has identified over 700 people who will be on their own during the Christmas season and will require meals at this time.

Through its national network of Meals on Wheels providers, IRL will match up a Meals on Wheels service to over 320 older people who will not just get a meal but have someone call to them on the day, too. 

In Dublin, Alone volunteers will be picking up Christmas dinners from the Knights of Columbanus in the RDS and delivering them to over 450 older people.

Over the last 96 years, the Knights of St Columbanus have provided Christmas Day dinner to over 3,400 people every year through sit down meals at the RDS and a home delivery service for the homeless and those in need in the community. 

Seán Moynihan, CEO of Alone, said, “Nobody should be alone at Christmas and this thoughtful delivery of a dinner for Christmas Day coupled with a call from our support & befriending volunteers and staff hopes to combat these feelings of isolation and loneliness as best we can.

“We are happy to be able to reach those who are having a difficult winter – with the costs of fuel and food increasing drastically and the continued uncertainty Covid-19 brings. The demand has increased again this year as we reach out and expand across the country.”

If you or someone you know will be on their own this Christmas, you can contact Alone on 0818 222 024 from 8am to 8pm, any day.

If you want to avail of Meals on Wheels, you can check out the map on the IRL website or contact Irish Rural Link on 0906 482 744.

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