This image shows a child looking at an iPad with the Angel Eyes Education Advocate looking on

Angel Eyes NI

Empathy & Understanding

Having experienced the anger, isolation and powerlessness when a child is diagnosed with a lifelong eye condition, Sara McCracken was determined to establish a support network that parents could be empowered to advocate for their child’s needs and encourage them to flourish. Sara initially started a network with other parents in a similar position, so that they could learn from one another and be reminded they are not alone, and from this Angel Eyes NI grew.

Building Knowledge

Angel Eyes NI empower families with information and skills to raise aspirations and make informed choices for their child. Angel Eyes’ Family Support Services work with six hundred families across Northern Ireland at their time and point of need. This can be helping families come to terms with a diagnosis, demystifying the role of professionals, navigating different therapeutic interventions or guidance on benefits available.

Angel Eyes NI also provide Education Advocacy through training courses, offering resources and help in how best parents can access SEN support for their children’s education.

This image shows a young girl being taught how to use the accessibility features of the iPad by our Education Advocate at an Accessibility workshop.
This image shows a young boy being supported 1 on 1 with an Angel Eyes NI Family Support worker.


Angel Eyes and their members work to identify and remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion as well as champion the rights of blind and partially sighted children.

Angel Eyes organise events where meaningful participation and enjoyment is facilitated for all. These include accessible music and arts sessions with 1:1 support allowing the most complex children to meaningfully engage as well as inclusive family ice-skating experiences.

One of the annual highlights is the pantomime. Each year Angel Eyes provides the cast of a local pantomime with training in visual impairment and encourages them to get involved with a ‘touch tour’ which will maximise the enjoyment of the pantomime for those that are blind or partially sighted. The ‘touch tour’ is an opportunity for Angel Eyes’ children and their families to attend the theatre in advance of the performance, get up on the stage to view the backdrops and scenery up close, meet the cast, touch their costumes and hold the props.

Creating Change

Angel Eyes are passionate about creating innovative solutions and collaborating with experts to overcome barriers to make a positive impact on the lives of blind and partially sighted children.

One such collaboration with specialists in Optometry & Ophthalmology, led to the development of Empatheyes, a virtual reality training device allowing users to experience a range of different eye conditions. This immersive experience can create a better understanding of the child’s eye condition and its impact in their day to day lives and lead to more effective support and advocacy.

This image shows a Virtual Reality Training session
This image shows three teenagers in a canoe taking part in the Angel Eyes residential.

Nurture & Flourish

Angel Eyes NI continues to advocate for children to prosper, grow and be their best selves.

As the organisation grows, its support to early members is also adjusting as those children become young adults. Support is not just offered to parents, but also to the children and young people with the diagnosis so that they too can become empowered and assert themselves.

Other partners who are making a difference

Identifying the right network of dedicated and ambitious partners has enabled us to deliver on our charitable purposes and activities. Here are just some of the life-changing projects that our grant partners have been involved in.

  • South Belfast Foodbank

    South Belfast Foodbank

    Responsible for providing over 270,000 meals to people in crisis and for the distribution of over 200 tonnes of food.

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  • Women’s TEC

    Women’s TEC

    Women’s TEC was established almost three decades ago with a clear vision in mind: to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes and create a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

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  • SOS Bus NI

    SOS Bus NI

    SOS Bus NI is an integral part of the multi-agency effort to deliver services that reduce pressures on blue light services and make Belfast a safer place to live, work and socialise.

    Read More