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Tameside sight loss group returns face to face

A Tameside-based group for people with sight loss will be returning in person for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The Macular Society Tameside Group will meet face-to-face on Wednesday 8 June, from 1.30pm to 3pm at Social Centre, St Ann's Church, Burlington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne. The intention is for the group to meet each month thereafter at the same time and location.

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.

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. 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.

Carl Harrison, Regional Manager for the North West of England, 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 back face-to-face in a safe environment makes such a difference. The local group is open 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.”

Often, groups invite guest speakers to talk about 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.

For more information about the Macular Society Tameside Group, to become a volunteer, or to confirm your attendance for the next group meeting, contact Carl on 07920 054 509 or email carl.harrison@macularsociety.org 

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

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