Partial-sight group is facing up to closure

Herald Series: Tom McInulty and his guide dog Brunel at the group. Picture: OX65256 Mark Hemsworth Buy this photo » Tom McInulty and his guide dog Brunel at the group. Picture: OX65256 Mark Hemsworth

A SUPPORT group for people losing their sight may have to close unless it can find volunteers.

The Macular Society Abingdon group appealed for volunteers last May and has managed to stay afloat since.

But it now says if it cannot find people to help run the group, book speakers and plan gatherings, it might have to close in a matter of months.

Leonie Sims, from Abingdon is losing her sight, and volunteers for the group.

She said: “It helps everyone that comes along. People can discuss any problems they may be facing due to sight loss and perhaps find a solution.

“The group also plays an important social role. For some of the members who live alone it gives them an opportunity to get out of the house in a way they wouldn’t otherwise.

“The members really appreciate the group and all it does to help. I would be very disappointed if we couldn’t carry on meeting.”

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK.

People with advanced macular disease cannot read, drive or recognise faces.

The Abingdon group meets on alternate months, giving sufferers information, encouragement and the chance to meet other people affected by the condition in a friendly environment.

The group has a temporary leader in place, but says the arrangement will soon come to an end.

Macular Society group support and development manager Tom McInulty said: “It would be such a shame if the group has to close. Any volunteer that did come forward would only be the main point of contact; they don’t need to be an expert on macular degeneration.

“There is a wonderful group of people in Abingdon who all benefit enormously from the chance to meet with others affected by macular degeneration. This, coupled with the group activities, help people to regain control, build their confidence and get on with living life.”

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Comments (1)

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4:56pm Thu 20 Feb 14

DKR1987 says...

i bet they didn't see that coming!
i bet they didn't see that coming! DKR1987

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