Meet or connect with others who are blind or partially sighted to share interests, experiences and support for each other.  

Our friendly, helpful and knowledgeable team can link you up with opportunities to suit you both within RNIB and the wider world.  

Our community-led groups can provide a safe environment for you to talk openly. In line with current Covid guidance we are re-starting some outdoor activities. We also have a variety of ways to connect you with others by phone and online - see the list of local groups below that are currently running in your area.  

Our Community Access team provide person-centred practical and emotional support to blind and partially sighted people within their local community to build confidence and independence. Enabling those with sight loss to live a full and independent life.  

RNIB's Facebook groups are a welcoming and supportive space for people affected by sight loss. Become part a community united by shared experiences by joining your local group today at facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI

Get in touch to find out more!


NI Community Connection Programme – June 2022 

Mondays

  • VI tennis – facilitated by Windsor tennis club, south Belfast - 11am to 1pm. Contact: [email protected] M: 078 0286 5579

  • VI tennis – facilitated by CIYMS tennis club, east Belfast - 11.30am to 1pm. Contact: [email protected] or M; 078 0286 5579

Tuesdays

  • VI Reading group – Dundonald Library, east Belfast (monthly) - Tuesday 7 June,12.15pm to 1.15pm - Facilitated by Libraries NI. Open to new interest Contact: olive.rodgers[email protected] 

  • Private Eye Group, Lurgan – 10am to 12.30pm, Lurgan Park Cricket Pavillion - Social group and walk. New Members Welcome. Contact: Mil Jamieson on 07753357695 or 028 3834 4998

  • VI Judo Causeway -1pm – Kyoujin BJJ Club, Ballymoney. £3 per session. Open to new interest. Contact: [email protected], mob: 07711190440

  • VI bowls – facilitated by Irish Bowls Federation - 11am to 1.30pm, Knock Bowling Club, east Belfast. Contact: [email protected] or M: 078 0286 5579

  • Cane and Able’ Group - Portadown Town Hall, 10.30am to 12.30pm - New members Welcome. Contact: Arnold Carville, Group Secretary 07857654613

  • HAM Radio group(monthly) - Tuesday 14 June from 8pm to approx. 9.30  - A Teams session for a chat about HAM Radio, facilitated by Lynette Elliott. Contact: [email protected] or M: 07702 140761

  • Cookery Club (monthly) - Tuesday 28 June 3.30pm to 4.30pm - Cook along or just come along for the craic. Pre registration required. Via Teams. Contact: [email protected] or M; 07802865579

Wednesdays

  • Read aloud - Newtownards library - Wed 1 June,11am (monthly - first Wed of the month). Contact: [email protected] or 07702 140761

  • Causeway Boccia Group - 2.30 to 3.30pm at Coleraine West Community Centre, 40 The Ropewalk, Coleraine - DSNI in partnership with RNIB will be facilitating the strategic target sport of Boccia. Limit of 12 places on a first come first serve basis.  Registration is essential and covid19 guidance to be adhered to. - Please contact Jonathan Adams by phone or text on 07711190440 or email [email protected]

  • Gogglebox group (fortnightly) - Wednesday 1, 15 and 29 June, 4pm to 4.55pm - A Teams chat about the latest TV, Movies and Box sets. Contact: [email protected] 02890 334105

  • Banbridge VIP Group – first and third Wednesday of month, 7pm-9pm, Banbridge Health and Social Care Centre. New Members Welcome. Contact: Doreen McFarlane 07734723575

  • Ards brunch (monthly) - Wednesday 15 June, 11am to 12.15pm, Regency Café, Newtownards. Everyone orders and pay for their brunch. Facilitated by Una Mulgrew. All welcome but let Una know in advance. Contact: [email protected] or M: 07702 140761

  • LGBTQ+ Teams talk (UK wide) Every third Wed monthly- Wednesday 15 June from 6.30pm.  A social shared phone group for a chat about anything and everything. Contact: [email protected] or M: 07702 140761

  • Banbridge ‘Tandem and Walking’ Group (TWG) - Tandeming - Walk for all abilities and tandem cycling. Parks across Portadown, Lurgan and Banbridge areas. Frequency: Fourth Wednesday every month. New Members Welcome. Contact: Doreen McFarlane 07734723575

Thursdays 

  • VI Gaming - 4pm - A social group for a chat about gaming. Via Teams. Contact: [email protected]  

  • Read aloud – Derry Central Library (fortnightly) - Thursday 9 and 23 June, 11.30am to 12.30pm. With tea and biscuits. Contact: [email protected]

  • Cookstown Library Group Thursday 16 June (Third Thursday of each month) 10.30-11.30am at Cookstown Library. Contact: [email protected] or call 07734980687

  • Newcastle out and about (monthly) - Thursday 30 June - We're back in Newcastle from 11am-1pm! If you live in the Newcastle area or accessible to it easily and would like to meet and connect with others who are blind or partially sighted and their friends then join the RNIB Community Connection team for a walk and tea/coffee and a chat. Contact: [email protected] Mobile 07514 623182

Fridays 

  • Swim Group - Valley Leisure Centre, Newtownabbey, 9.15am-11.30am- Contact: [email protected] or 07951746093

  • West Belfast Walk (organised by Disability sports NI) - 10.30am to 12pm (usually followed by coffee in local café). Please let us know if you intend to come along. Contact: [email protected] or 07464146128

  • VI Judo Causeway - 10am – Kyoujin BJJ Club, Ballymoney. £3 per session. Open to new interest. Contact: [email protected], mob: 07711190440

  • Craft workshop – Friday 10 and 17 June, 10am to 12.30pm. Divis community centre. Two week paper craft workshop facilitated by Julieanne Crothers. Small cost to cover materials. Limited numbers. Registration required. Contact: [email protected] or 07802 865579

  • Rise and Shine Ladies Coffee and Chat - Last Friday of the month, 11am at The Forum Café, Coleraine. Open to new interest. Contact: [email protected], mob: 07711190440  


Special events 

  • Fermanagh Macular Group invite you to a ‘Products for everyday living’ presentation by Louise Kenny, Product Co-ordinator on Wed 1 June at 11am, Fermanagh House; Broadmeadow place, Enniskillen, BT74 7HR . All welcome – please arrive for 10.45am. Contact [email protected] or 07889301730

  • Soccer Sight football matches - Opportunity to try out the audio description. Free tickets for NI match for you and a companion. Fully booked and waiting list in operation for future games. Only available for those who have not obtained free tickets from us before. New customers welcome. Registration required.

Thursday 2 June – International football match Northern Ireland v Greece

Sunday 12 June - International football match Northern Ireland v Cyprus

Contact: [email protected] or M; 07802 865579

  • 4 Corners program Belfast - Confidence building program using public transport to explore Belfast. Limited numbers. Pre registration required. Contact: [email protected] or mobile: 07802 865579

Week 3 – Wednesday 8 June, 10am to 1.30pm - Metro bus route 7 – Ormeau Park and visit to Chinese supermarket

Week 4 – Thursday 16 June, 10am to 2pm - Metro bus route 8 – Stranmillis. 6km walk via Lagan tow path to lockkeepers cottage and home via Lagan Gateway bridge

Week 5 - Monday 20 June, 10am – 2pm

Week 6 - Monday 27 June ,10am – 2pm

  • Facebook Live with Michael Farragher and Mark Rogerson from the RNIB Tax Advice service - Monday 6 June at 11am - Join us to find out about the tax allowances that could reduce your or your partner’s tax bill and how RNIB helps blind and partially sighted people with their tax. - www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI Contact: [email protected] or Mobile 07514 623182

  • PRONI – Musical Tales digital and filmmaking 4 week project –  Join us from 31 May-30 June and leave your tales and memories of music for future generations! The Musical Tales project will use the UTV audiovisual archives to explore the history of music in Northern Ireland and create short videos about people's memories and tales about it. 

During the project, you will go behind the scenes in PRONI to learn how we look after the UTV archives, digitise old tapes and make them accessible to the public. You will also take part in online and in-person filmmaking workshops where you will learn filming and interviewing techniques and create short videos about music. 

After the project is over, you will be offered the opportunity to volunteer with PRONI in a transcription project that will help us enhance access to our Youtube videos. Registration required. Contact: [email protected] or M; 07802 865579

Session 2 - Tuesday 7 June, 10am to 11am, via Zoom

Session 3 - Thursday 9 June 10am – 11am via Zoom

Session 4 – Tuesday 14 June, 10am to 11am, via Zoom

Session 5 - Thursday 23 June, 10am to 3pm – filming at PRONI

Session 6 - Thursday 30 June, 10am to 11am via Zoom

  • Community Connection session - Friday 10 June at 11am, St Marks Parish Hall, Newtownards - Featuring RNIB Products for everyday living demonstration by Louise Kenny, Product Co-ordinator. All welcome – please arrive for 10.45am. Contact  [email protected] or 07702 140761

  • Coffee drop in Café Nero Belfast city centre - Monday 13 June 10am to 11.30am. We will be joined by Laura Ferrai – mature film maker from QUB. Limited numbers. Contact: [email protected] or M:07802 865579

  • Boccia at Down Leisure Centre, Downpatrick, Down Leisure Centre – Wednesday 15 June, 1 to 3pm - Would you like to join a taster session and learn how to play Boccia Contact: [email protected] Mobile 07514 623182

  • Derry walk - Thursday 16 June - Walk for 1 hour approx. followed by lunch. Details to be confirmed but if interested contact [email protected] or M: 07702 140761

  • National Museums NI Ulster Museum Belfast – handling session and talk ‘Georgian Costume’ - Wednesday 21 June, 2pm to 3pm. Limited numbers. Pre registration required. Contact: [email protected] or M; 07802 865579

  • RNIB Campaigns update with Colm Delaney - Tuesday 28 June, 10am to 11am via Zoom. Pre registration required. Contact: [email protected] or M: 07802 865579

  • Hillsborough walk - Wednesday 29 June, 10.30am - Join us for a walk in Hillsborough grounds, meeting at Hillsborough Gates. If travelling from Belfast we will be leaving Belfast on 9.45am 238 Ulsterbus. Maximum 15 per group. Registration essential – Contact: [email protected] 02890 334105

  • Technology for Life session - Thursday 30 June at 12pm to 1.30pm at Holywell Trust, Derry City - Stephen Campbell will talk about relevant, appropriate and new apps to make life easier for blind and partially sighted people

  • Tech Tips with Stephen Campbell RNIB Tech for Life Coordinator– Facebook Live - Date TBC – Join us in our Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI Contact: [email protected] or Mobile 07514 623182

  • Glenmore Parkland Trail walk - Friday 8 July at 11.30am - Starting from the Glenmore Activity Centre. A five minute walk from the Hilden Train Station. For those travelling by train from Lisburn and Belfast we will meet at the train station. The walk will be followed by Tea/Coffee or Lunch at The Stables at Hilden Brewery. Registration essential - Contact: [email protected] or Mobile 07514 623182

RNIB Talk and Support phone groups

RNIB Talk and Support runs free befriending social groups for adults with sight loss across the UK. They provide opportunities for you to socialise in small groups by phone to build friendships and get peer support with other people in a similar situation. We match individuals together for conversations based on age and group preferences. 

For more information visit:  https://www.rnib.org.uk/sight-loss-advice/talk-and-support 


To join or find out more about any of the above groups contact our RNIB Northern Ireland Community Connection Team: 

Name: Una Mulgrew

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 07702 140761

 

Name: Fiona Joyce

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 028 90334105 Mobile 07514 623182

 

Name: Olive Rodgers 

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 078 0286 5579

 

Name: Jonathan Adams

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 07711190440

 

Name: Sharon McLure

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 07951746093

 

Name: Kate McMackin

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: 0788 930 1730


Other useful links

Contact us

To find out more about opportunities available now in your community, get in touch and a local member of our team will be happy to help.