About us

We at Making Connections are inspired by a simple but powerful idea: that people living within a community have a natural gift for friendship and a desire to help those around them. In order to promote this culture of connection, we arrange for volunteers to visit and get to know older member of the community who live independently. Strong, happy, stimulating friendships have been cultivated as a result. We would like to invite you to be a part of this. Experience has taught us that something as simple as a regular visitor can greatly improve a person's quality of life and help them maintain their independence. While we go to great lengths to facilitate this, we believe that the true fulfilment of our idea exists in people all over the country seizing the initiative and creating a culture of connection within their own communities. There is a magic here that we cannot pin down. Nor can we predict the full range of experiences you will gain by taking part, because the possibilities are limitless. All we can do is help you make the connection.



Making Connections was established in 2009 and awarded a two year start up grant by the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht affairs. We are a non-profit organisation working with Health Services and community groups to alleviate loneliness and isolation by fostering meaningful friendships through social connectedness. The use of smart phones and other technologies means that communications have reached a massive potential, yet we have never been less ‘connected' with one another. Research shows that loneliness is the single biggest issue facing senior members of our communities. Dun Laoghaire -Rathdown has a total population of 206,261 including almost 30,000 over the age of 65 years i.e. 14.5% in comparison to the national average of 11.2% (Ref. Census 2011). For this reason Making Connections began to work in this location, although ours is a model created for nationwide volunteering. We support a large and diverse team of engaging and energetic volunteers who each visit an older person within the community for an hour each week. All volunteers come with reference checks and Garda vetting approval. We provide them with initial and ongoing training as well as all the support they need to carry out their role effectively.


Valuing Volunteers Award 2012 We were pleased to receive the Valuing Volunteers Award 2012 recognising the high professional standard of Making Connections Volunteer Programme. The event − organised by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Volunteer centre − was held in the Stillorgan Park Hotel on Wednesday October 17th and the Award was presented by Cllr. Tom Joyce of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. Thanks to our volunteers who came along on the night: Jennifer, Joe, Fiona, Kate, Manon and also to Samantha for her lively and engaging presentation about her experience as a volunteer with Making Connections. Making Connections Award 2010 After just one year in existence, Making Connections was honoured to receive a Community Award for services to older people in the local community. The award was given by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.


Making Connections is grateful to all our supporters who have donated services, skills, time and funding. If you are interested in supporting us please check our support us page or contact Mary O'Donohue for further information on how to get involved. Call us on 01 295 1053 or email. supporters


Why volunteer

We are a people who are interested in other people. We are a people who talk. We are a people who like to share our experiences, our knowledge, our skills, our wit and the fantastic quirks of our personalities − everything that makes us who we are. When you volunteer with us you will be given the opportunity to connect with an older member of the community who has lived a full life and has many tales to tell; the opportunity to talk and to listen; the opportunity to hear stories that will broaden your horizon. Perhaps you will teach a skill, or learn a new one. Perhaps you will hear about a different Ireland, an Ireland that existed before you were born; or perhaps about parts of the world you haven't yet visited. You will help to build a community where an older person can live an independent life without the fear of isolation; where people keep each other company; where there is laughter and excitement; where friendship is a door that opens between two lives and allows each person to step through and see something completely and wonderfully new.

What volunteering entails

We ask our volunteers to commit to visiting the person we match them with for an hour a week, for a minimum of nine months. You will be accompanied on the first visit by one of the staff from Making Connections. Your commitment does not involve household tasks or personal care - rather your visits will be about keeping someone company; engaging in lively conversations, sharing common interests or swapping skills and life stories. Possibly, just possibly, there will be tea and biscuits involved. (let's face it: this nation was built on tea and biscuits). Volunteers are our most valuable asset and we will support you with training, meetings, advice, recognition and social events. We hold regular Volunteer Information Evenings where all potential volunteers are welcome to come along and to meet staff and other volunteers.

How to volunteer

To volunteer with us simply follow these steps: 1. Complete and submit the online volunteer registration form. For the references section, please provide contact details of two referees who are not relatives or friends, and remember to let them know you have done this. 2. Print and complete the Garda Vetting Form and return it to the Making Connections office. Original signature is required. We will forward this to the Garda vetting unit. It is important to give this form priority because the process can take up to 10 weeks and you must have approval before becoming an active volunteer. See guidelines here. 3. Print, sign and return the declaration of good character. Original signature required. 4. Include a copy of photo ID from passport or driving licence. 5. Attend an induction evening for potential volunteers. These are 90 minute meetings held regularly in our office in Clonskeagh.

Refer someone

We work with people over 65 years of age, although currently the majority of people who avail of a volunteer are over 75 years. In allocating volunteers, priority is given to those who are considered most vulnerable due to physical/mental health, because of a lack of social outlets or ongoing experience of loneliness or isolation.

Who can make a referral?

Although we hope to expand our programme, at the moment we welcome referrals from HSE health centres (GP's, Public Health Nurses, Community Mental Health Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Social Workers etc.) in the following locations: Balally, Ballybrack, Ballinteer, Blackrock, Booterstown, Cabinteely, Carrickmines, Churchtown, Clonskeagh, Cornelscourt, Cruagh, Dalkey, Deansgrange, Donnybrook, Dundrum, Dun Laoighaire, Foxrock, Goatstown, Glasthule,Glenageary, Glencullen, Johnstown, Kilmacud, Kilternan, Leopardstown, Loughlinstown, Monkstown, Mount Merrion, Milltown, Rathfarnham, Rathmines, Ranelagh, Sallynoggin, Sandyford, Shankhill, Stepaside, Stillorgan, Tibradden, Ticknock.

How to make a referral?

Please contact the office to have a referral form sent to you: Phone 01 295 1053 Email: info@makingconnections.ie In order to process the referral, it is a requirement that the form is completed in full and that it is signed by the older person as well as the referee. Please alert us to any relevant information not covered by questions on the referral form. We will contact you if we need additional information.

Follow up after referral

  • We will phone the person referred to us to arrange a home assessment visit and to give them information about Making Connections.
  • If it is clear that the person wants a volunteer and that they will benefit from a regular visit, we will look for a suitable volunteer.
  • Time‐frame for matching a volunteer can depend on a number of factors including - availability of volunteers for the location in question and length of time for Garda vetting approval (currently 10 weeks). We will inform you if we are unable to provide a volunteer and suggest alternative supports.

Please remember

  • The volunteer is not a substitute for home help, family or medical support. The role is one of companionship.
  • We place a lot of importance on creating a ‘best fit'. Experience has taught us that when the right ‘connection' is made, it is powerful. We value your opinion a lot in this regard.
  • Any health or other issues arising for the older person during the time they are being visited by a volunteer will be referred back to the referral agent.

Support Us

As a non‐profit organisation, we rely on the generous support of our friends to help us achieve a truly connected community. Whether you are an individual, a company, a trust, or a group of friends, any support you can offer is invaluable to us.
Donations can be made on‐line or by post. Alternatively, fundraising events are a great way to help us.
Before you go any further, we want you to know that you genuinely help to improve the communities we all live in.
For that, you have our sincerest gratitude.

As an individual

As an individual, you can help us in a number of different ways:
Donate by post
These can be in the form of a cheque, postal order or bank draft.Please send to:
Mary O’Donohue,
Making Connections,
36 Roebuck Road,
Clonskeagh, Dublin 14
Donate on-line
Please click here to support us today.
Monthly donations
Regular donations allow Making Connections to plan for the future, mapping out ways to continue the support we offer, and also to expand it. To arrange a regular donation, please print the attached standing order form and return to Making Connections. Alternatively, you can call us to discuss the details.
Everybody has their own creative ideas when it comes to fundraising. For further inspiration, check out what’s going on in your local area or check out www.mycharity.ieand go to looking for fundraising ideas.
By including a pledge to Making Connections in your will, you ensure that we will be able to continue cultivating a connected and thriving community for generations to come. If you would like to do so, please seek advice from your solicitor. Also, please let us know so that we can assist you in every way possible.
In memoriam gifts
As an alternative to flowers following the death of a loved one, you could ask people to make a donation to Making Connections.
Tax relief
If you are a PAYE worker and donate more than €250 to Making Connections in a single year, we can claim back the tax you pay on that amount. Therefore, your donation could be worth as much as 41% more to us, while you yourself incur no extra cost. This donation can be made as a once-off gift or by instalments. For example a monthly gift of €21 amounts to €252 a year, and qualifies for the tax relief scheme.
Become a Making Connections strategic partner
Our partners are companies that roll up their sleeves and get involved in the work we do. From this fruitful association, your employees and customers will gain energy, satisfaction, and the knowledge that they are an integral part of a community where everybody looks out for everybody else.
Payroll donations
By letting your employees know that there is a simple and effective way for them to make donations from their salary, you open the door to a valuable method of fundraising and encourage an awareness among your staff of Making Connections and the work we do.
Event sponsorship
Volunteer training events, or outings for older people and the volunteers who visit them are just two examples of the type of event you could sponsor.
Corporate volunteering events
We are always on the look-out for new volunteers and these events are fantastic opportunities for your employees to connect with us. If you decide to hold one, we would appreciate an opportunity to make a presentation to your staff.
Internal fundraising
By making us a beneficiary of an internal fundraising event, or allowing us to place a donations box in your canteen, you provide Making Connections with a valuable source of support.
Adopt as your local charity of the year
Thanks to the tireless work of our volunteers and the crucial support of our partners, we have achieved a lot since our establishment. Nevertheless, we are always trying to increase our exposure, and adopting us as your Charity of the Year would help spread a public awareness of our idea, and of what it has achieved so far.

Get in touch

Main Office
Making Connections
Glenard, 36 Roebuck Road, Clonskeagh, D.14
P: 01 295 1053
We’re on social networks