Celebration marks end of Lisburn in Focus

(L-R): Claire Patience, Lisburn in Focus Project Co-ordinator, Andrew Murdock, Guide Dogs NI, Melanie Finn, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Jillian Patchett, Senior Manager RNIB NI, Gordon Moore, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust, Nicki Boyes, Sensory Support Team and Seamus McCann, BIG Lottery Fund NI. Credit: Paul McCambridge
(L-R): Claire Patience, Lisburn in Focus Project Co-ordinator, Andrew Murdock, Guide Dogs NI, Melanie Finn, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Jillian Patchett, Senior Manager RNIB NI, Gordon Moore, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust, Nicki Boyes, Sensory Support Team and Seamus McCann, BIG Lottery Fund NI. Credit: Paul McCambridge

Lisburn in Focus, a project led by the Royal National Institute of Blind People in Northern Ireland (RNIB NI), recently held a celebration event to mark its successful conclusion after six years of partnership work.

The project focused on making Lisburn a model of excellence for people with sight loss.

Project Co-ordinator Claire Patience said: “We have been very fortunate to be supported by BIG Lottery and key organisations such as the Council, Health Trust and Macular Group as well as all the local people who supported the project in many ways such as volunteering their time. I find it amazing to think that throughout the course of the project we have delivered Visual Awareness Training to so many people.

“That’s 7,500 people who now feel more confident when communicating with, and providing services to, anyone affected by sight loss.”

A key positive outcome of RNIB’s Lisburn in Focus project was the emergence of a new local social group, Lisburn Outlook, who have just achieved charitable status.

Members will continue to benefit from many aspects the project team put in place such as a popular tandem cycling club and the support of the many volunteers who registered under the project and have pledged to support Outlook in the future.

Margaret Mann, Chairperson of Lisburn Outlook who spoke at the event, added: “I know I speak for other blind or partially sighted people who live in the local area, when I say that we will miss the Lisburn in Focus team greatly and I thank Claire and all the team for their dedication and commitment.

“Our Lisburn Outlook group is going from strength to strength but I would appeal to local blind and partially sighted people to stay involved with activities on in to the future.”

Partners in this Big Lottery Safe and Well funded project included Lisburn City Council, Lisburn City Centre Management Ltd and Guide Dogs NI.