RNIB – Need to Talk – Volunteer Counselling

Need to Talk


We offer Emotional support and Living with Sight Loss courses for people affected by sight loss.

Phone: 0303 123 9999
Email: needtotalk@rnib.org.uk
To find out More.


Need to Talk offers free counselling and Living with Sight Loss courses for people with sight loss living in Northern Ireland.

Our team of counsellors and Living with Sight Loss coordinators have lots of experience gained over many years of working with people affected by sight loss.

Through confidential telephone or online counselling and Living with Sight Loss courses, we support individuals through these difficult times.

We work with people of all ages, including children and young people (11 years plus), as well as people who are supporting a person with sight loss who may also need someone to talk to.

Online counselling

With online counselling you can get the support you need using your laptop, tablet or smartphone. You’ll be able to talk with your counsellor in one of the following ways:


Email gives you the opportunity to think about the important issues that you will work through, with the added flexibility of sending your email reply whenever you want, day or night. You will receive a reply from your counsellor at a set day and time each week.

Video conferencing

Video conferencing (for example with Skype) using your computer, tablet or smartphone gives you the opportunity to chat, face-to-face in real time, in complete confidence with your counsellor.

Instant messaging

With instant messaging (for example with WhatsApp) you will be able to have a real time, text-based conversation with your counsellor.

Whichever option you decide to use we usually recommend up to eight online sessions, lasting up to 50 minutes each.

Understanding Sight Loss

It’s really important that you have an understanding of sight loss. This is because our customers will expect everyone involved with RNIB to have a basic understanding of what sight loss is, the main challenges our customers can face, and what RNIB can do to help.

Our volunteering commitment

We commit to support you in your volunteering by:

  • Providing access to induction and learning opportunities to help you develop and grow in your role.
  • Being clear about the standards required to do your role and support you to achieve them, providing advice and guidance on your role and involvement with us.
  • Ensuring you have regular contact with your volunteer manager to discuss all aspects of your volunteering.
  • Communicating clearly, accessibly and directly with you in your preferred format in a timely manner and helping you access and use online communication systems.
  • Providing access tech with accessible software and IT support to fulfil your role.
  • Putting in place processes and guidance to ensure your safety and wellbeing when you volunteer with us and providing insurance cover while you are volunteering with us
  • Paying your expenses in a timely manner.
  • Ensuring all our activities are inclusive and celebrate diversity.
  • Addressing any complaints and difficulties or concerns fairly and promptly.
  • Ensuring the confidentiality and security of all your personal information.
  • Supporting you to find the right role and other roles during your time with us.

We expect you to commit to:

  • Carry out your role to the best of your ability whilst working only within the boundaries and training of your role.
  • Take part in reasonable training and follow guidance relating to your role(s).
  • Keep up to date with information related to your role through training, meetings, newsletters etc and sharing your ideas using the communication channels that are available.
  • Keep your personal data such as contact details up to date via your volunteer manager.
  • Behave in a way which reflects our organisational values whilst volunteering for us. These values are:

o Led by blind and partially sighted people;

o Collaborative;

o Creative;

o Inclusive;

o Open.

  • Abide by our policies and service promises.
  • Be committed and reliable in your volunteering role(s), being a positive ambassador for RNIB in everything you do.
  • Have regular contact with your volunteer manager to discuss your volunteering.
  • Undergo any additional checks required for your role.
  • Abide by safeguarding principles when working with vulnerable adults and children and behave responsibly regarding your own and others safety.
  • Act in a non-discriminatory and inclusive manner and understand that no form of harassment or discrimination will be tolerated.
  • Respect and understand the need for confidentiality and keep any personal or sensitive information about RNIB customers, volunteers or staff confidential and secure in line with our data protection policy and procedures.
  • Abide by decisions made by our Board of Trustees and Executives and work with others to resolve any conflicts which may arise.

 We have a Volunteer Council which you can be part of .

The Volunteer Council is a group of around 12 volunteers who meet on a quarterly basis (over Skype/conference call) with our Volunteering and Resourcing Team to share their feedback and discuss improvements they would like to make to the volunteer experience. They represent the volunteer voice in RNIB.

Membership changes after the sixth meeting (with a new group joining every 18 months).


%d bloggers like this: