Community Support Grant
We are delighted to be able to report that in 2021/22 we shall once again benefit from a Community Support Grant from Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. We very much appreciate the Council’s support of our activities
Lisburn Leo Talking Newspaper
The Lisburn Leo talking Newspaper is now available every week via the TalkingNewspaper app. This can be downloaded for Apple or Android devices, and enables you to navigate through the paper flexibly. The normal postal distribution of CDs has had to be suspended due to Covid 19 restrictions, but this initiative means that the same essential service is being provided, along with access to many other local talking newspapers across the UK.
For more information contact Lisburn.Leo@hotmail.co.uk.
Pharmacies offering covid vaccines
As you may have heard, Covid vaccinations are now available from many (but not all) community pharmacies in Northern Ireland, if you fall within the eligible age group (currently 40+)
Unfortunately the web portal for making online bookings is not accessible to blind people, mainly because it involves selecting a pharmacy from a map!
However, it should also be possible to telephone the pharmacy that you would prefer to use.
The local Sensory Impairment Team has kindly provided the following information.
Pharmacies offering the vaccine include Boots and Medicare which have an online portal for making vaccination appointments that you will be directed to through the HSCNI website while it appears that Gordons Chemists and some non-chain pharmacies are offering bookings through telephone.
The HSCNI Vaccinations website provides a map of all participating pharmacies and that web address is:
Pharmacies in the Lisburn area that are offering the Covid-19 Vaccine through telephone booking in addition to most Boots, Medicare and Gordons include:
• Castle Healthcare Ltd. – Knockmore Square Lisburn
• Timoney Ltd- Moss Road, Lambeg
• Irwins Medical Hall – Dunmurry
• Pattersons Chemists- Hillsborough
• Johnstons Pharmacy – Dromore
• Newberry Pharmacy- Carryduff
• Hannawins – Ballynahinch
• Well Pharmacy – Ballynahinch
This is accurate, as far as we know, at the time of writing (9th April 2021)
Help and Support
While we await the passing of the pandemic, we offer below messages from some service providers and voluntary agencies which may be useful.
Message from the south-Eastern Health and Social Care Trust Sensory Support Team
“Hello everyone, we hope that you are all keeping well. Covid 19 has certainly changed all of our lives in many ways but some things still stay the same. The Sensory Support Team staff is still at work and are here to support you as much as we can.
“We have a list of local shops and businesses that are offering home deliveries, so whether you are in Moira, Lagmore, Annahilt or Lisburn or anywhere in between, if you are having difficulty getting shopping delivered please ring us and we will share this with you. We also have a list of local community contacts and volunteers’ agencies if you need someone to collect the shopping or your prescriptions for you if you are unable to leave the house to get these.
“One of the big impacts that we are hearing about from people with a visual impairment is the difficulty of social distancing and it would seem that social distancing is something that we are going to have to continue to practice and manage for some time. I am sure there have been a range of experiences and reactions to do with this amongst yourselves from the public, unfortunately we have heard of some more negative ones. So now is perhaps the time to consider using a symbol cane if you don’t already use a long cane or symbol cane. It is a well-recognised symbol of visual loss amongst the general public and will hopefully let others know that they need to take the initiative to socially distance themselves. We also have a limited number of Sunflower lanyards and sunflower ID cards. The sunflower scheme lets retailers and travel providers know that the wearer has a hidden disability, such as a sight or hearing loss, a learning disability or autism etc. This scheme is less well known about amongst the public but shop staff should certainly be aware of it and are supposed to check with their customers if they need any assistance. If you would like a symbol cane or a sunflower lanyard/card please contact the Team.
Also if you are having to use different shops and are unsure of the route or you are having difficulty using familiar routes because of the queuing systems outside of shops, please contact us and we will support you as best as we can.
“At present in line with the current government advice we are only doing essential home visits and limited face to face contact but please do let us know of these difficulties and we can try and work something out with you. .
In the meantime from all of us here in Sensory, stay safe and stay well.
“A reminder of our number: 028 9260 7746”
How to keep in touch during lockdown
There is a surprisingly wide range of activities which any of us can join in, whether on Zoom, Facebook Live or Microsoft Teams, or indeed just on the phone. Some are organised by RNIB Northern Ireland, some by other, independent groups. There are also some telephone chat groups which mean you don’t need to worry about any newer technology.
One good way of keeping in touch is to get yourself added to the email lists run respectively by Olive Rodgers and Una Mulgrew of RNIB Northern Ireland. Email Olive at Olive.Rodgers@rnib.org.uk or phone 028 9033 4133, or Una.email@example.com on 07702 140761.
VIP Bus is a virtual community of blind and partially sighted people, originating in and around Belfast but spreading worldwide! They have daily Zoom coffee morning chats and a range of other activities such as a weekly book group, monthly quiz and a series of WhatsApp groups covering cookery, art, technology and other topics. For more information or to sign up contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other RNIB Services
RNIB continues to offer many of its local and national services during the pandemic, although face to face contact has had to be suspended in many cases. Contact the RNIB Helpline for further information: 0303 123 9999 or Helpline@rnib.org.uk.
Community Support from Lisburn and Castlereagh Council
Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s Community Support Team is co-ordinating a wide range of local support initiatives, and has a directory of services and facilities currently available to help those particularly vulnerable during the pandemic.
The Community Services helpline is open Monday to Friday (9am – 5pm) to signpost you to the right advice and support for your personal circumstances. Call them on 028 9244 7713