Volunteers needed at Nailsworth-based support group

A LEADING sight loss charity is calling for volunteers to help out at a Nailsworth-based support group for people with macular disease.

The Macular Society is appealing for anyone living locally who would be willing to give up some of their time to assist at the group’s meetings, with help from the charity’s services and volunteering team.

The Stroud and District Macular Support Group meets on the third Wednesday of the month, from 10.30am-12.30pm, at Christ Church Rooms, Newmarket Road, Nailsworth GL6 0DQ.

It is one of more than 400 groups of its kind in the UK offering vital information, encouragement and friendship to people who are affected by macular disease.

The group will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, March 20.

Macular disease is the biggest cause of blindness in the UK.

Nearly 1.5 million people are currently affected and many more are at risk.

The disease can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces.

Many people affected describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement.

There is still no cure and most types of the disease are not treatable.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

Tom McInulty, Macular Society regional manager, said: “The Stroud and District Macular Support Group provides a real lifeline for people living locally with sight loss. The peer support offered by the groups is absolutely vital – it’s incredibly reassuring for people to know that there are others who truly understand their situation.

“With around 300 people in the UK being diagnosed with macular disease every day, the existence of our support groups has never been more important. No prior experience of macular disease is needed – just excellent organisational skills, lots of enthusiasm and a passion for helping to make a difference to peoples’ lives.

“Support will be available for all new volunteers as they learn their new roles, from myself and our services and volunteering team. If you have some free time and would be willing to help out, we would love to hear from you.”

For more information on the group, please contact Tom McInulty on 01264 321 963 / 07814 064 332, or email tom.m@macularsociety.org

For general information on macular disease, call the Macular Society on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org