People affected by sight loss in Ballymena and Antrim can now avail of free emotional support and confidence building through an EU funded project.
The ‘Need to Talk’ project was recently launched in the province by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in partnership with Fighting Blindness (Ireland).
It offers a free cross-border counselling service and confidence building program for people affected by sight loss who live in the province, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland.
Many people face sight loss without help and most do not get any emotional support to help them adjust to losing sight and only a small proportion of people receive the practical support they need, according to the My Voice, RNIB Report, 2015.
Local woman, Sharon McClure works in the RNIB Community Access team and has spent many years supporting people with sight loss to access local community services.
Welcoming the project, Sharon said: “For anyone experiencing or affected by sight loss, the impact can be devastating. They may be worried about the future and the changes they are facing. During these times, many people find it helpful to talk through their feelings with someone outside their usual circle of family and friends. ‘Need to Talk’ will support people with sight loss living in the Antrim area, who are in emotional distress, socially isolated and includes those living in rural locations.”
The ‘Need to Talk’ project will support adults of all ages, including children and young people aged 11 and over, through confidential online and telephone counselling, delivered by trained counsellors. People can access the support they need, via their laptop, tablet or phone - in their own home, in their own way.
To find out more about the counselling and confidence building services in your area phone our ‘Need to Talk’ team on 0303 123 9999 or visit rnib.org.uk/needtotalk