Bassetlaw sight loss support group returns for vital face to face meetings

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A Retford-based support group for people with sight loss is calling for volunteers as it prepares to meet in person for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The Macular Society Support Group will resume meeting face-to-face on Thursday, August 4, at 10.30am at Grove Methodist Church, Grove Street,

The group will then meet at the same time and location on the first Thursday of each month between 10.30am-12pm.

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Macular Society group membersMacular Society group members
Macular Society group members

Leading sight loss charity, the Macular Society, together with local people, organises the group, which aims to offer information, encouragement and

friendship to people who are affected by macular disease and other sight loss conditions.

Volunteers are needed to help run the support group, such as assist at the group meetings, collect meeting fees or help organise outings and social


Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss 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.

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Many people described 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 is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

Paul Holden, Macular Society Regional Manager for Central Midlands, said: “Our groups have not met since the pandemic first began and we

know that has been difficult for a lot of people who rely on them for socialising and support.

“Throughout the pandemic we have continued to provide telephone services to keep people as connected as possible but to bring the groups

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back face-to-face in a safe environment makes such a difference.

“The local group is welcome to everyone, be that new or existing members, those newly diagnosed with macular disease, their family, friends and

carers. We know the peer support can be so helpful and our groups can really help people increase in confidence and become more independent.”

Each month the group invites guest speakers on a variety of subjects, including macular conditions and the impact on daily lives. The meetings are also social occasions where people can chat over a cup of tea.

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Every day, around 300 people are diagnosed with macular disease. It is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK. It can affect people of any age, even children, but not enough is known about why, and there is still no cure.

Macular disease is isolating. It steals your sight, your independence, and your ability to do the things you love.

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For more information about the Retford Support Group, to find out more about becoming a volunteer, or to confirm your attendance for the next

support group meeting, please contact Paul Holden on 07769 494 087.

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For more information on macular disease, call the Macular Society on 0300 3030 111 or email [email protected]

More information about support group volunteering can be found online at