SeniorLine Wins Major Award for Community Spirit
Posted on 27th May 2021
SeniorLine, Ireland’s national telephone service for older people, is one of five major winners in the 2021 Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards. These awards help to support the development of new projects, grow services and help raise community spirit in local neighbourhoods. The programme was initiated by Dublin Bus to recognise and support the invaluable work undertaken by local groups located within its network.
SeniorLine has been recognised for its helpline service which has been open every day from morning till night since the start of the pandemic to support older people in Dublin, who have been phoning in their thousands. Dublin callers prove the adage that you can be lonely in a crowd. People have been contacting from city centre terraced homes, from the suburbs north and south, phoning SeniorLine from leafy residential avenues and from apartments throughout the capital. The common theme has been aloneness. Many callers have lived solitary lives for the past 15 months and many have felt very lonely.
SeniorLine rose to the challenge by repurposing our service to a volunteer working from home model with no break in service. This involved technical reskilling, enabling volunteers to be available to callers through our Freefone number and the creation of a work from home pack for each volunteer. The service is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm and is peer-to-peer - older volunteers are trained to support older callers – an aspect greatly appreciated by clients.
During the early weeks and months of Covid-19, SeniorLine offered callers practical information on staying safe, accessing community services and managing their shopping. As time has moved on and many callers exhibited emotional health problems due to lockdown, SeniorLine volunteers have provided mentoring on how best to stay well, stay engaged and stay in touch with others while keeping safe. SeniorLine has a directory of services to which callers can be referred, and has been recognised by the HSE as part of their Vaccine Community Network, entrusted to offer reliable information to callers about vaccination.
Damian Leneghan is Programme Manager of SeniorLine: ‘ We are delighted to receive this award from Dublin Bus. We see it as a tribute to our 180 volunteers, working in their own homes throughout Dublin, and showing a quiet dedication and commitment to improving life for others at a time when community spirit and helping each other has never been more needed ’, he said.
SeniorLine is a national helpline open every day of the year 10 am - 10 pm Freefone 1800 80 45 91
Communications Manager - Anne Dempsey 0887 7450721