In your prime

Crossroads in your prime project tackles loneliness and social isolation among older people in Northern Ireland.


Existing health conditions or impairments can lead to a curtailment of independence and can limit social roles, resulting in feelings of loneliness. Conversely, chronic feelings of loneliness can result in deterioration of health and well-being, and a shorter lifespan.

Through connecting isolated older people with volunteers, they will build their confidence, reduce isolation and as a result improve their health. In turn the volunteers will also have an opportunity to contribute their skills and experience to assist our ageing population.


  • Loneliness

    An individual’s personal, subjective sense of lacking desired affection, closeness, and social interaction with others. Although loneliness has a social aspect, it is also defined by an individual’s subjective emotional state. Loneliness is more dependent on the quality than the number of relationships.

  • Social isolation

    A lack of contact with family or friends, community involvement, or access to services.

Crossroads in your prime

We primarily provide a befriending service, where our volunteers visit isolated older people once a week. This service is invaluable and we are so grateful for our volunteers who visit.

Volunteer befrienders

Volunteers are matched with someone in their local area. All we ask of our volunteers is to visit someone for an hour, once a week. We want the older people we support to forge genuine friendships with volunteers and many do, so they meet up for longer periods or more regularly. Just tell us when you would be available and we can go through the options with you.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer befriender in your area or would like more information, please fill in our Volunteer Registration Form or call our office on: 028 91814455.

Our project also supports isolated older people through:

  • Telephone service

    Our telephone service is run by our staff team and volunteers, enabling vulnerable older people to have regular chats.

  • Events

    This involves assisting to organise events such as coffee mornings, and visits to the theatre etc.

  • Intergenerational activities

    This will involve both older and younger people interacting and learning from each other by using their skills and experience.

Ageing population

The world’s population is ageing: virtually every country in the world is experiencing growth in the number and proportion of older persons in their population. Population ageing—the increasing share of older persons in the population—is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of the twenty-first century, with implications for nearly all sectors of society, including labour and financial markets, the demand for goods and services, such as housing, transportation and social protection, as well as family structures and inter- generational ties.

Between 2015 and 2030, the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 56 per cent, from 901 million to 1.4 billion, and by 2050, the global population of older persons is projected to more than double its size in 2015, reaching nearly 2.1 billion.

The ‘maturing’ of Northern Ireland’s society is certainly a major achievement, with people today living far longer and healthier lives than previous generations. This demographic change offers opportunities to harness the experience, expertise and creativity of a historically large number of older people.

Frequently asked questions

  • Our in your prime project supports individuals from the age of 65.

  • To refer someone to our in your prime project:

  • In short, anyone. To refer:

    • Fill in our Online Form.

    • Download our referral form and either email it to: or post it to: In Your Prime Project, Crossroads Care NI, 7 Regent Street, Newtownards, BT23 4AB.

    • Call: 028 9181 4363

  • Currently our in your prime project extends to the following areas:
    Belfast, North Down & Ards, Newcastle, Castlewellan, Downpatrick, Ballynahinch, Killyleagh, Saintfield, Lisburn, Newtownabbey, Carrick, Larne, Ballymena, Magherafelt and Ballymoney.

  • Yes. Our project also provides support through a telephone service, social events (such as coffee mornings) and intergenerational activities, where older and younger people interact and learn from each other.

  • There are lots of ways you can help support our work with isolated older people. The main way to support our in your prime project is to volunteer for our befriending service, starting by filling out the volunteer form.

    Please also consider the following ways to support our work with isolated older people:

    • Fundraise – raise funds for our work through sponsored runs, bake sales etc. Click here to receive our fundraising pack and view more inspirational ideas for how to fundraise.

    • Donate – support our work financially by donating.

    • Charity of the Year – if you work for a business or organisation, please consider nominating Crossroads In Your Prime as your chosen charity. Supporting us through profiling or fundraising events.

  • If you would like more details about our in your prime project, please get in touch. Email: or Call: 028 9181 4363

  • There are a number of ways you can become a volunteer for our in your prime project:

Volunteer FAQs

  • No, that’s why volunteering for in your prime fits so well around your existing commitments. Just tell us roughly how much time you would like to give.

  • Yes! If you want to do one thing per year for us then that’s fine. We want the older people we support to forge genuine friendships – so volunteer befriending would not be an option in this instance. However, you could organise a coffee morning to raise valuable funds or help at a local social event in your area. Just tell us when you would be available and we can go through the options with you.

  • No! Your involvement is your choice. If it is only once a year that’s fine, you can help out at an event. If you can commit time on a regular basis you can get involved in our befriending services or our regular events.

  • Yes. We provide all your training so you know what to expect and can carry out your role with confidence.

  • Yes. We pay all agreed volunteer costs including travel, mileage and refreshments.

  • All of our volunteers must undergo an Enhanced Disclosure Check carried out by Access NI to ensure we protect the older people we help. There is no cost to you if we apply for an Access NI check on your behalf and usually these do not take longer than a week to process.

  • Yes of course – and many of our current volunteers do. This way you can get a flavour of everything we do and get involved in all aspects of the charity.

Contact us

If you’d like to look at specific contact details, head over to our contact page, otherwise you can send us a message below and we will get back to you.

    Sign up for our newsletter for regular updates from us