The Royal National Institute of Blind People in Northern Ireland (RNIB NI) has launched its first social enterprise venture – ‘The Dark Experience’ with a little help from the West Belfast Social Enterprise Hub.


‘The Dark Experience’ is a unique workshop, designed by RNIB NI in consultation with local people who are blind or partially sighted. It gives those with sight a powerful experience of what it’s like to live without their vision. RNIB NI are inviting local companies to ‘Try it blindfolded’ and experience everyday life through the eyes of someone with sight loss whilst increasing their team working skills.


The West Belfast Social Enterprise Hub worked closely the RNIB to ensure the smooth set up of the social enterprise. Assisting with a variety of task from business planning through to legalities, marketing advice and trademarking Stephanie worked with the group every step of the way to ensure its successful launch and maximum social impact. The workshop is the first of its kind in the UK and if successful has the opportunity to be taken to cities across the UK.

“Any organisation based on teamwork – whether it’s in the public, private or voluntary sector – can benefit from The Dark Experience. Organisations working with the sight loss community will deepen their understanding of the people who use their services, and generally, this experiential workshop will help any group of people working together, especially in difficult circumstances when good communication is even more important.


The assistance Stephanie at the West Belfast Social Enterprise Hub gave us was invaluable. Her vast experience in the social enterprise sector allowed us to easily work through the set-up of this new enterprise.”

Barry Macaulay

Senior Manager, RNIB NI

Stephanie Reid, The Ortus Group Business and Social Enterprise Advisor added:

“It was a pleasure to work with Barry and the team at RNIB NI on The Dark Experience project. The workshop is an informative and interactive experience that I would fully encourage teams to try. What’s more as a social enterprise all profits will be invested back into the charity to support the visually impaired community in Northern Ireland.”

Stephanie Reid

The Ortus Group Business and Social Enterprise Advisor , Ortus

For more information on the how to get involved with the Social Enterprise Hub please contact Sheila Harper, Marketing and Communication Executive:

[email protected]

028 9031 1002