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16 Jan 2022

Donegal volunteers sought for National Council for the Blind Ireland's Connection Network

Volunteers play a crucial role in NCBI's

Donegal volunteers sought for National Council for the Blind Ireland's Connection Network

Donegal volunteers sought for National Council for the Blind Ireland's Connection Network

The National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) has issued a call for members of the public to become volunteers for its Connection Network befriending service.

June Tinsley who is the NCBI Head of Advocacy and Communications said: "As we face into another winter of uncertainty, companionship, feeling connected and having access to vital services have never been more important. Many people who are blind or vision impaired have experienced heightened feelings of isolation and anxiety due to Covid19 restrictions.

"One response to this was NCBI’s launching its Connection Network service, which is a volunteer led befriending service to service users. Through a weekly phone call, it gives opportunity to expand social networks, share concerns and feel connected. The service has proven to be very successful and now NCBI is seeking more volunteers to help us reach more service users on International Volunteer Day on December 5.

"All volunteers will be fully trained and supported and are guaranteed to enjoy the experience. Calls to service users are made at no cost to the volunteer as they are made through the Blueface App."

One of the NCBI's active volunteers said volunteering in the Connection Network service had given them a sense of fulfilment and friendship.

They added: "I enjoy my weekly chats with service users and feel I am part of providing a great service to vulnerable people especially during this pandemic when people are very lonely due to Covid19."

Feedback from service users included comments, such as: "Knowing that I had someone on the other end of the phone who wanted to chat has gotten me through the second lockdown".

For people who are blind or vision impaired, it is important to know that NCBI and their wider community are there to support them in the coming months and well into the future.

If you are interested in volunteering with the NCBI ‘Connection Network’, please contact: Paul.Derrig@ncbi.ie.

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