About Us

Who we are

Welcome to Lisburn Outlook. Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, Registration Number NIC 103202.

We are an organisation set up to promote social, cultural and recreational activities amongst blind and partially sighted people in the Lisburn area.

What we do

Organise visits to places of interest and to special events within or within reach of Lisburn.  These are bespoke visits specially tailored to our members’ needs, affording adequate opportunity to touch or handle items as well as to enjoy the general experience of the visit.

Arrange visits to audio described theatre and cinema performances. Audio description conveys information not contained in the dialogue and thus helps a blind or partially sighted person enjoy the play or film more on a par with their sighted counterparts.  With this in mind, we urge local arts and entertainment providers to offer audio description more comprehensively.

Hold ”Café & Co.” get-togethers in local cafés which offer the opportunity for peer support and information exchange.  They also offer participants the opportunity to try out venues they might not have the knowledge or confidence to try on their own. A by-product of these “coffee mornings” is the spread of awareness amongst café and restaurant owners in the area.

Set up classes where a blind or partially sighted person requires individual or small group tuition.  For example, Pilates, ballroom dancing and creative writing workshops.

We also run a walking group and tandem cycling groups.  These afford an opportunity for physical exercise and a chance to get out and meet people.

We issue a monthly newsletter which aims not only to keep blind and partially sighted people in the area aware of our own activities but also of other local events and developments which may be of interest.

Fully sighted people, who are either members or occasional volunteers, act as guides, describers or tandem pilots.  Volunteers benefit from the opportunity to become more aware of sight loss and also gain new skills.

We receive no regular public funding and so are dependent on grants and donations.

Statement of Public Benefit

The Charity’s activities mitigate the isolation and lack of social contact which frequently accompany sight loss.

The charity offers peer support, information exchange and confidence building amongst its members.

By organising bespoke tours of places of interest and visits to audio described theatre and cinema performances, for example, the charity promotes social inclusion and provides a richer appreciation of culture and history amongst its members than would otherwise be available to them.

By organising recreational activities such as tandem cycling and walking, the charity offers an opportunity for physical exercise and fresh air which might otherwise not be available through mainstream activities.

By arranging bespoke classes, for example dancing classes, the charity provides learning opportunities that would not be easily available to a blind or partially sighted person in a mainstream context.

By exerting influence on the providers of social, cultural, commercial and recreational facilities, the charity also ensures in a more general way that facilities and services in the area of benefit are run in a more inclusive manner. In this way, all blind and partially sighted people in the area of benefit, and not merely the charity’s own members, are accorded a more inclusive experience when accessing these facilities.

Sighted people who are members of the charity or who volunteer with it learn guiding and describing skills and gain a greater awareness of the challenges and barriers faced by people who are blind or partially sighted.

David Mann

24th March 2015

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