Senator Aisling Dolan cuts the ribbon at the new Vision Ireland store in Ballinasloe.

New Vision Ireland charity shop opens in Ballinasloe

Vision Ireland, the new name for NCBI, has launched a brand new shop in Ballinasloe.

The store was launched, today, Monday, on the day NCBI changed its name to Vision Ireland.

It's the second new store under the Vision Ireland brand to open in the country. Existing NCBI stores will all be rebranded over the coming months.

The new Ballinasloe store is located on St Micheal's Square. Local singer Ciara Lawless serenaded supporters with a medley of incredible songs as dozens of supporters attended the opening. Special guests on the day also included local service users and Senator Aisling Dolan.

Vision Ireland said its new store would "boast the most modern look of any store in the charity or mainstream retail industries in Ireland".

Meanwhile, Vision Ireland said the organisation's name change was necessary to help members of the public and medical professionals to understand that the organisation provides services and supports for people who live with all manner of vision impairment.

The organisation said it would continue to support service users who are blind or vision impaired in the same ways it always has, but the Vision Ireland name will allow it to reach more people than ever before.

Head of Vision Ireland Retail, Beverley Scallan said: “What a day we’ve had in Ballinasloe, where we had brilliant support from our very special guests and the local community as a whole. Our vision for this store is in line with our sustainable chain of stores around Ireland which will all change over from NCBI to Vision Ireland in the coming months. We arrive into Ballinasloe with a promise to support this community as a whole, with a special focus on the people who are blind or vision impaired within it. Our stores are the lifeblood of our fundraising efforts to support Vision Ireland services, so any help we can get from members of the public is more than appreciated.”

Carmel McDonnell, Area Manager for Vision Ireland Ballinasloe, added: “Vision Ireland Retail has been innovating for a while now and with the help of the wonderful Ciara Lawless we have been able to have our first ever in-store concert to celebrate our arrival into Ballinasloe."

She reminded people to drop in to shop, or to donate or to register to volunteer.

"We want Vision Ireland Ballinasloe to be a real community space."

Vision Ireland operates the second largest chain of shops in Ireland and these stores plays an integral part in the charity’s overall fundraising efforts, allowing the national sight loss agency to provide vital, life-changing services to over 8,000 people each year.