Helping people with sight loss by buying and donating clothes

Located in the Liberties area are two retail shops in aid of the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI). They draw a steady stream of local customers with a varied range of second-hand clothes and other donated items that support people with sight loss.  

The NCBI charity shop on Thomas Street offers a variety of clothing items such as women and men’s clothing and accessories in a bid to raise much needed funds for different services.

“We provide a service to people that may not have enough money to go into other shops,” says Graham Mulvaney, a sales assistant who works with six or seven student volunteers. “Around 400-500 people from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) come up to the store during the day to look clothes and other random things.

“The store’s biggest seller is ladies clothes such as jewellery, coats, shirts, and pants,” he adds.

Turn down onto Francis Street and you can see NCBI Home, which has been there since December 2014, and mainly sells an array of homeware, furniture, and bric-a-brac.

Maurice Grimmins, the manager of NCBI Home, says:“We have reasonable and high standard homeware and items such as sofas, tables and chairs at a very good price. Everything in the shop is donated by the public.”  

In addition to over 104 shops located around Ireland which sell a great quality of second hand clothes and furniture, NCBI provides a variety of services to over 7,500 people who are living with sight loss every year.

According to research carried out by NCBI, “There are currently 224,000 people with impaired vision in Ireland and this will rise to 276,000 by 2020.”

To help people with sight loss to live independently, NCBI provides practical and emotional support by giving advice and information on a range of issues relating to sight loss, employment issues, and low vision aids.

The charity also offers not only training where required to assist people in developing skills in mobility, reading, recognising faces and street signs, but also a library with a large collection of audio, large print and Braille books.

NCBI has professionally trained staff for children that help to develop compensatory skills such as independent living, social skills, mobility, visual and sensory efficiency, self-determination, independent travel and assistive technology.

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