Helping our kids towards a bright future

Laura McCauley, Family Support Officer RNIB NI
Laura McCauley, Family Support Officer RNIB NI

The Royal National Institute of Blind People Northern Ireland (RNIB NI) is expanding is Children and Families service in the Coleraine area.

The RNIB is introducing a new ‘Drop In’ service at is Coleraine office at 37 Abbey Street.

Family Support Officers, Laura McCauley, will be available to meet with families of children and young people with sight loss every Wednesday, on a one to one or group basis.

Parents and carers of babies and toddlers with sight loss, aged 0 to 4 years, will also have the opportunity to meet with other families through a monthly Parent and Tots group held in Cheeky Chimps, Coleraine.

Here they can share personal experiences, support and advice with those in a similar situation. The next group will take place on Tuesday, February 24 from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

In the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area, the RNIB’s Children and Families Service provides support for young people with sight loss up to the age of 19 and their families, and is funded by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and Northern Outcomes Group.

The service includes emotional support and referral to other statutory and voluntary agencies, parents and toddlers groups, family outings, family support weekends, one to one lessons in swimming and access to music therapy for children with sight loss and complex needs.

Laura McCauley, RNIB NI Family Support Officer said: “It’s fantastic that we have another parents and toddler group starting up. They’re a great way for parents to meet, find out more information about sight loss and learn what other support services are out there to help. Our ‘Drop In’ service is a good opportunity to come in and just talk to us about an issue or problem you might be facing with your child’s sight loss. Sometimes families feel uneasy about asking for help, I would say give it a go, we’re here if you need us, who knows, you might find out something that could really make a difference to you or your child’s quality of life.”

For further information or for a copy of the publication ‘Looking ahead: a parent’s guide’, contact Laura McCauley, Family Support Officer at RNIB NI, on 028 9032 9373.