Working life: Seán Moynihan, CEO, ALONE

Our office is on Camden St in Dublin city centre and I live close by so I walk. 

I get in for just after 8am and I spend the best part of an hour clearing out emails before the bustle of the day begins.


This morning I have some preparatory work to do for our finance committee — I am scheduled to make a presentation to one of our large corporate donors. 

I am also due to meet with heads of other older age charities to look at working together to achieve what are often common objectives. 

We link in with about 40 other agencies because when you are looking for ways to tackle loneliness, ill health, poverty, and poor housing, the solution is beyond any one organisation.


I have a meeting with Cluid Housing Association which we work with to provide housing. About 40% of those we house are referred by homeless services. 

We run a support co-ordination service where our co-ordinators work with individual residents to ensure they have the practical and personal supports to live independently. 

Each ALONE home is age friendly, has its own front door, and is maintained to a high standard.


I meet over lunch with colleagues to discuss internal operational issues such as new volunteers. We currently have about 250 volunteers, trained and supported by professional staff. 

They are the backbone of our befriending service which involves weekly visits to older people who are socially isolated. Persistent loneliness can decrease life expectancy by 10 years.


As spokesperson for ALONE, I have events to attend. A lot of my time is spent talking to older people to make sure we understand what they want. 

We lobby to try and influence relevant government policies and programmes, regularly highlighting issues in the media.


With recent scandals around charities, I am very conscious of the need to make sure public confidence in our charity is maintained. 

I have a meeting this afternoon with the finance sub-committee to examine financial results for the first six months of the year. 

We conduct audits of both our finances and services. 

The challenge is how to reconcile the need for hardcore skills to deliver a professional service with the fact that we are voluntary organisations with a very human face.

* Seán Moynihan, CEO, ALONE, charity dedicated to helping older people age at home


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