Niall Horan has saluted volunteers with the Irish charity ALONE, describing their work with older people as "invaluable".

The singer-songwriter made his comments as food company McDonnells announced it would be delivering a gift to ALONE's 1,400 volunteers around Ireland as part of its As Irish As campaign.

Horan said the volunteers "ensure that thousands of older people in Ireland can stay living in their own homes whilst feeling connected and safe". 

"These 1,400 amazing volunteers are the lifeline that makes this happen, their selfless generosity deserves to be recognised and I am so grateful to McDonnells for providing each and every one of them with a gift that signals that appreciation," he continued. 

"Campaigns like this one are a reminder of how proud it feels to be Irish."

"Volunteering is an intrinsic part to ALONE, a key principle of our vision and is embedded in our history as an organisation," explained Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE. 

"Our volunteers have always been heroes in our eyes, but working courageously as frontline staff to meet the needs of older people in their communities, who required help, is admirable. 

"Our numbers in volunteers have been growing every year to respond to the needs of older people. Our volunteers have never let us down. 

"Over the course of the last few months their numbers have swelled to meet the surge in demand of those seeking our support."

"Every day our volunteers have been giving the most precious thing they can - time," he added.

For more on the work of ALONE, visit: www.alone.ie.

Click here for more music news.