The Royal National Institute of Blind people (RNIB) has praised Musgrave, the leading food retailer, for the measures it is taking to support blind and partially sighted people during the coronavirus pandemic.
Musgrave runs well-known local brands, such as Centra, SuperValu and Mace.
Having already provided support to people with sight loss with the introduction of a new home delivery service in April, Musgrave now provides training materials containing important information on improving the shopping experience of blind and partially sighted people to all staff in its stores across Northern Ireland.
Dr Jackie Witherow, RNIB Northern Ireland director, commented: “Our helpline has received more than 100 calls a day from blind and partially sighted people who are worried about how to get hold of essential items they need. Current social distancing rules make going to the supermarket incredibly difficult for many.
"Limitations on access to online shopping has meant that people with sight loss have been excluded from priority slots – putting thousands of people in an impossible situation. That is why we are so pleased that Musgrave has chosen to go the extra mile for the 56,500 people in Northern Ireland living with sight loss.”
Michael McCormack, managing director, Musgrave NI, said: “We’re proud to partner with RNIB to ensure our stores provide the best service to blind and partially sighted customers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We have shared the RNIB’s best practice guidelines and very useful simulations with all of our SuperValu, Centra and MACE retailers to better understand the particular challenges that blind and partially sighted shoppers face.
“In the current climate, we appreciate that the necessary social distancing measures stores have had to implement will be particularly challenging for blind or partially sighted people. We are working hard to ensure that all less able people in local communities have access to reliable and fast home deliveries.
"SuperValu, Centra and MACE stores across Northern Ireland are offering home deliveries, with every county and most major towns and cities covered. We have provided RNIB advisers with a list of contacts for participating stores to help match people that require home deliveries as quickly as possible.”
Support and information on shopping, and many other issues, is available from RNIB on our helpline which can be reached by telephone: 0303 123 9999, or email [email protected].
Media enquiries can be directed to Robert Shilliday on 07710 657347, or by emailing: robert[email protected]