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!


RNIB Northern Ireland Community Connection Programme October 2021

Tuesdays

  • Shared friendship phone group - 2pm– between 4 and 7 people phone to chat with each other – can use landline or mobile. Facilitated by Heather Owens. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 07702 140 761.

  • Regional Read Aloud Bangor - Shared phone call - 10.55 to 11.55am - via landline or mobile. Facilitated by Karen Woods from Libraries NI. Contact: [email protected]  Mobile: 07702 140 761.  

  • HAM Radio facilitated by Lynette Elliott (monthly) - 8pm to 9.30pm, Tuesday 12 October. Via Zoom. Contact: [email protected] or M: 07702 140 761.

  • Garden Group (monthly) - Tuesday 12 October, 3.30 to 4.25pm.  A social shared phone group for a chat about gardening. Contact: [email protected]  Mobile: 07702 140 761.

  • VIP reading group Dundonald Library - Tuesday 19 October,12.15pm – 1.15pm. Facilitated by Libraries NI. Restricted numbers. Registration required. Contact: [email protected].

  • Cookery Club – cook along via Teams - Tuesday 26 October 2pm – 4pm. Restricted numbers. Registration required. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 07802 865 579.


Wednesdays

  • Shared friendship phone group - 10am to 10.55am – between 4 and 7 people phone to chat with each other – can use landline or mobile. Facilitated by Robin Manson. Contact [email protected] or phone 07702 140 761.

  • Gogglebox group (fortnightly) – Wednesday 6 and 20 October, 4pm to 4.55pm.  Facilitated by Melanie Stewart. A Teams chat about the latest TV, Movies and Box sets. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 078 0286 5579.

  • Creative Writing Group (8 week programme) – 2pm to 3.30pm - with Deirdre Cartmill and Arts Care, via zoom. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 0795174693.

  • VI Judo – 9.115 to 11am – Senshi BJJ Dojo, above Gordons Chemist, New Row Coleraine. £10 per session. Open to new interest. Booking required. Contact: [email protected], mob: 07711190440.

  • Boccia Group – 2.15pm to 3.30pm - DSNI in partnership with RNIB will be facilitating the strategic target sport of Boccia, at Coleraine West Community Centre, 40 The Ropewalk, Coleraine. Limit of 12 places, on a first come first serve basis. Registration is essential and covid19 guidance to be adhered to. Contact Jonathan Adams by phone or text on 07711 190 440 or email [email protected].

  • Newtownards Coffee meet up (third Wed in month). Wednesday 20 October, 11am to 12.15pm. Facilitated by Una Mulgrew. Contact: [email protected] or phone 07702 140 761.

  • LGBTQ+ group (third Wed each month) - Wednesday 20 October, 6.00pm via Teams. Social and networking – growing the community. Contact [email protected] or phone 07702 140 761

  • Looking Ahead social group (fortnightly). Wednesday 13 and 27 October, 2pm to 4pm at Duncairn Community Centre. Contact: [email protected] or phone 07802 865 579 to register interest.


Thursdays

  • Read Aloud shared phone group -11.30am to 12.30pm. Facilitated by Deirdre McLauglin, Libraries NI. Contact: [email protected]  Mobile: 07702 140761.

  • Shared friendship phone group – 2pm – Facilitated by Alan Owens. Between 4 and 7 people phone to chat with each other – can use landline or mobile. Contact [email protected] or phone 07702140761 for information.

  • Shared Phone group (Mid Antrim)- 2 to 2.55pm - A social shared phone group for a chat about anything and everything. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 07951 74693.

  • Shared Phone group - 3 to 4pm - A social shared phone group for a chat about anything and everything. Contact: [email protected]   Mobile: 07514 623 182.

  • VI Gaming group - 4pm to 5pm - A social group for playing games and chatting about gaming. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 07514 623 182.


Fridays

  • Weekly West Belfast Walk (organised by DSNI) - 10.30am to 12pm. Pre book with [email protected] or 07464 146 128.

  • VIP Swim Group – 9.20 to 11.30am - Valley Leisure Centre, Newtownabbey. Registration required. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 0795174693.

  • Page Turners creative writing group (monthly). Friday 8 October, 10am – 12pm. Restricted numbers. Registration required. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 07802 865 579.


Saturdays

  • VI Judo – 9.15 to 11am - Senshi BBJ Dojo, Above Gordons Chemist, New Row Coleraine. £10 per session. Open to new interest. Contact: [email protected] or phone 07711190440.


Non-regular activities for October 2021

  • Facebook Live session with Danske Bank UK - Wednesday 6 October, 12noon - Stephen Bloomfield (Head of Customer Experience and Employee Engagement) will be live talking about how to protect yourself from financial abuse and answering any questions you may have www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI. Contact: [email protected]  Mobile: 07514 623 182.


Walk the Park Run programme

Get familiar with your local ParkRun course as we continue to ‘walk the park run’ near you. Numbers restricted. Pre booking required. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 07802 865 579

  • Colin Glen - Thursday 7 October, 10am

  • Stormont Estate - Thursday 14 October, 10am

  • Hydro, Knockbracken Reservoir - Thursday 21 October, 10am

  • Falls Park - Thursday 28 October, 10am


  • Give golf a go practice sessions. Friday 8 and Saturday 9 Oct, 10am to 12pm - Warrenpoint Golf Club. Registration necessary through Northern Ireland Blind Golf Association (NIBGA) Contact: [email protected]

  • Out and About Walks - in partnership with Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. Registration required. Moat Park, 11 October at 10.30am. Wallace Park, 18 October at 10.30am. Contact: [email protected]  Mobile: 07514 623182

  • Facebook Live - Incredible opportunities for people with sight loss who want to get back into work or further education - Wednesday 20 October, 11.30am to 12.30pm on www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI with Anne and Stephanie from the Eye Work Too team. RNIB's Eye Work Too programme has had record success over the last six months in supporting those with sight loss into Employment or Further Education so now is your chance to grab the same opportunity. There’s never been a better time than now to get all the support and training that you need to get into work as full funding is available, all learning and training is remote and any technology you may need, to connect remotely with the RNIB team, will be loaned to you. With six new places on offer, between now and December, you too could be joining the countless blind and partially sighted people in Northern Ireland who have been supported into paid employment through this programme. To secure one of the limited places available, please contact Eye Work Too Programme Co-ordinator Anne on 07845 499482 or email: [email protected].

  • Halloween Facebook LIVE Quiz with Tony Barclay. Friday 22 October, 2pm to 3.30pm www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 07514 623 182   

  • Facebook Live Session - Meet the Maker - Orbit Reader Session. Wednesday 27 October, 2 to 3pm on www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI. Louise will be joined by Madleen Bluhm one of RNIB’s Technology Coordinators, who will be demonstrating the Orbit Reader and will be able to answer your questions. The Orbit Reader 20 is portable and features 20 refreshable eight-dot braille cells. It offers reading books via SD card, simple note-taking, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 07514 623182

  • Out and about programme with National Museums NI – Audio tour Belfast Blitz. Friday 29 October, 10am. Contact: [email protected] Mobile: 07802 865 579

  • Newcastle Coffee and Chat. Date/Venue TBC. Contact: [email protected] or [email protected] for more details.      


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.