Summer News 2016

Welcome to Making Connections

We held three volunteer induction meetings so far this year thanks to the amazing response from our New Year call to action. Welcome to all the new befriending volunteers who have recently joined team Making Connections. Since then, new friendships are blossoming with people sharing a range of activities and interests – here are just a few;

“We both like talking about places we have been to”

“My visits are unique in that we mostly paint, we do talk and laugh also.”

“We got out for a nice walk by the sea which was lovely for both of us”

“He’s very smart and knowledgeable about current affairs. We’ve laughed about politicians.”

Making Connections New Volunteers 2016

Volunteer Celebration

During National Volunteer Week (16-22 May) we hosted a Celebration Evening to bring together our Befriending Volunteers for a night of story sharing. Claire Carrol, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Volunteer Centre Manager, shared an inspiring presentation about “A World

Without Volunteers.” She encouraged all volunteers to truly appreciate the importance of their own time and contribution – never say “I’m just a volunteer” but stand up and proudly declare “I volunteer!” Because without Volunteers we would lose so many services, and a huge part of the fabric of what makes our community a great place to be.


Befriending Network Ireland (BNI)

Making Connections is a founding member of BNI as well as a member of the Advisory Committee which was set up with the aim of promoting the importance of befriending nationwide. At the first BNI seminar, Dr Sabina Brennan, a psychology Professor from TCD shared some striking viewpoints about problem of loneliness; “Social isolation is more than bad for your health ….it kills you.”

She encouraged volunteering and highlighted research findings about the positive effects of meaningful social relationships for those suffering from loneliness.

“She has brought brightness into my life”

“I have just had my first volunteer visit from the lovliest young woman. I am absolutely thrilled……she has brought brightness into my life. She is helping me with things that will make me more independent & feel more self confident. Thank you so much Making Connections for the great work you are doing”

Maura, Making Connections Beneficiary (April 2016)


Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Age Friendly County Strategy 2016-2020

Making Connections has been involved in the development of this important Strategy which aims to make our community a great place to grow old. As a member of the Service Providers Forum, we look forward to playing a key role in the action plan.

In this regard, each and every Befriending Volunteer is playing an important part in this Nationwide initiative.

Sign Up for the Bay 10k Today!

We invite you to join us to put your best foot forward this summer and walk, jog, run or skip the Bay 10k for Making Connections. A great way to improve your fitness and support our work with Older People in the community. This 10km fun run will take place in Dún Laoghaire on Monday 1 August 2016.




Penneys Pancakes: Many thanks to Volunteer Suzanne Scott and all her colleagues at Penneys, Dundrum. Together they did a flipping great job raising funds for Making Connections selling pancakes in February.

Behind the Scenes: Many thanks also to Sorcha Grisewood who participated in a four month Jobbridge internship at Making Connections. Sorcha was a great support behind the scenes and we wish her the best of luck as she pursues her career in the charity sector.

Appreciation: Mary O’Donohue, CEO Making Connections received a certificate of appreciation from Eilís Hession, Manager of Services for Older People, HSE. This recognised her contribution as a consortium member of Living Well with Dementia (2012-2015). This collaboration has been a valuable opportunity for shared learning around the important issue of supporting people with dementia.