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 September 2021

Tuesdays

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

  • Regional Read Aloud Bangor - Shared phone call via landline or mobile. Facilitated by Karen Woods from Libraries NI - 10.55 to 11.55. Contact: [email protected]  Mobile: 07702 140761 . 

  • HAM Radio facilitated by Lynette Elliott (every second Tuesday evening – online/phone). Tuesday 14 Sept from 8pm to approx. 9.30. Contact: [email protected] or M: 07702 140761.

  • Garden Group hosted by Julie Hale (every 4 weeks)  - Tuesday 14 Sept from 3.30 to 4.25pm.  A social shared phone group for a chat about gardening. Contact: [email protected]  Mobile: 07702 140761.


Wednesdays

  • Shared friendship phone group - 10am – between 4 and 7 people phone to chat with each other – can use landline or mobile. Contact [email protected] or phone 07702140761

  • Gogglebox group (fortnightly via teams). A Teams chat about the latest TV, Movies and Box sets. Wednesday 8 and 22 Sept, 4pm to 4.55pm. Contact: [email protected] or 02890 334105 

  • Newtownards Coffee meet up (third Wed in month). Meet in the Regency coffee café at 11am to 12.15pm. Contact: [email protected] or phone 07702140761

  • LGBTQ+ group (third Wed each month at 6.30pm via Teams). Social and networking – growing the community. Contact [email protected] or phone 07702140761 for information


Thursdays

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

  • VI Gaming group, 4pm to 5pm. Contact: [email protected] or 028 90334105.

  • Read Aloud shared phone group (fortnightly)  - Thursday 2 Sept, 16 and 30 Sept from 11.30am to 12.30pm. Contact: [email protected]  Mobile: 07702 140761. Facilitated by Deirdre McLauglin, Libraries NI.


Fridays

Weekly West Belfast Walk (organised by DSNI). Every Friday 10.30am – 12pm in the Falls Park. Pre book with [email protected] or 07464146128. Sometimes we travel further afield, so always check venue.


Saturdays

  • VI Judo – return the mats - Sat 11 Sept 9.15 to 11am. Senshi BBJ Dojo, Above Gordons Chemist, New Row Coleraine. £5 per session. Open to new interest. Contact: [email protected] or phone 07711190440.


Non-regular activities for Sept 2021

Connect Olympics – Local sports for our local Community

  • Facebook Live sessions www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI. During the Paralympics (24 Aug - 5 Sept) the Community Connection team are hosting a variety of Facebook Live sessions in the RNIB Connect Northern Ireland Facebook Group! Local blind and partially sighted people and friends will be chatting about the various sports they are involved in. Coming up:

  • Wednesday 1 September, 12pm - Blind Bowling with Chris Mullholland from the Irish Bowling Federation in conversation with Una Mulgrew.

  • Thursday 2 Sept, 12pm-  Gareth Davies will be live discussing rugby and updating us on plans for rugby in Northern Ireland www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI. 


Walk the Park Run programme

Get familiar with your local ParkRun course as we ‘walk the park run’ near you. 

  • Walk the Park run session 3 – Orangefield Park, 5km walk. Thursday 2 September, 10am. Numbers restricted. Pre booking required. Contact: [email protected]

  • Walk the Park run session 4 Falls Park. Thursday 9 September 10am. Restricted numbers. Registration required. Contact: [email protected]

  • Walk the park run session 6, Victoria Park Thursday 30 September 10am. Restricted numbers. Registration required. Contact: [email protected]


  • Safe Social Club Launch, Wednesday 1 September, 2pm - via zoom, facilitated by Mid and East Antrim Agewell partnership(MEAAP) - Chatting, singalong, information. NHSCT residents only. Registration necessary. Contact: Sharon [email protected]   M:0795146093

  • Out and About program – Amblers group walk, Helens Bay, Crawfordsburn -  Friday 3 September, 10am – 1.30pm. H. Restricted numbers. Registration required. Contact: [email protected].

  • Drop in coffee and chat. Monday 6 September 2.30pm, West Belfast. Numbers restricted. Registration required. Contact: [email protected]

  • Monthly Tech Tips – A Facebook Live with Joanne Wilson from the RNIB Technology Team - Tuesday 7 Sept at noon www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI . Contact: Fiona Joyce [email protected]  

  • Safe social club - Wednesday 8 September at 2pm - NHSCT area only:  Facilitated by MEAAP. Chatting; quizzes; information session –Register with [email protected] or 07951746093

  • Wednesday 15 and 22 of September at 11am - Music-making music and singing via zoom.In partnership with Arts Care and Elaine Agnew. Registration necessary as places limited. Contact – [email protected] M: 07951746093 

  • Omagh talking newspapers 40 year celebration and audio book launch of community short stories - Tuesday 21 Sept from 11.00 to 12pm, Strule Arts Centre. Booking essential. Contact: [email protected] or phone 07889301730

  • VIP reading group Dundonald Library - Tuesday 21 September 12.15pm – 1.15pm. Restricted number. Registration required. Facilitated by Libraries NI. Contact: [email protected]

  • Wednesday 22 Sept, 12pm - Eye health week Facebook live with Angela O’Kane, Eye Care Support Service Manager NI www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI. Contact: Fiona Joyce [email protected]  

  • Wednesday 22 September 12pm - Meet the Maker session - Humanware edition. Live on Facebook  Louise will be joined by Lucy Begley form Humanware. HumanWare offers a wide range of innovative products, including the BrailleNote® Apex and Brailliant, the leading productivity devices for the blind in education, business and for personal use; Victor Reader®, the world's leading family of digital audiobook players, Trekker® Breeze, the all-in-one handheld talking GPS, and many other empowering solutions. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/RNIBConnectNI to join.

  • Wednesday 22 and 29 Sept at 2pm - Safe Social Club facilitated via zoom by MEAAP. Social chat, singalong, quiz, information. Registration necessary -NHSCT residents only. Contact- [email protected]  M: 07951746093 

  • Cookery Club - Tuesday 28 September, 2pm – 4pm. Restricted numbers. Registration required. (via Teams) Contact: [email protected].

  • Looking Ahead social group – Duncairn community centre. Wednesday 29 September, 2pm – 4pm.Restricted numbers. Registration required. Contact: [email protected]

  • Newcastle Coffee and Chat - Thursday 30 Sept 11am. Venue TBC. Contact: [email protected] or [email protected] 


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.