Charity urging more people to volunteer

The local support group is calling for volunteers.
The local support group is calling for volunteers.

A leading sight loss charity is calling for volunteers to help run a Newtownabbey-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 help organise and run the group’s monthly meetings, with help from the charity’s services and volunteering team.

The group is also looking for people to assist with general tasks such as booking guest speakers each month.

The Newtownabbey Macular Support Group meets on the second Wednesday of each month, from 2pm to 3:30pm, at Glengormley Presbyterian Church. The group’s next meeting will be held on December 13.

As the population ages, increasing numbers of people are being affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common type of macular disease. AMD is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK, currently affecting more than 600,000 people.

Karen Toogood, Macular Society regional manager, said: “The Newtownabbey Macular Support Group provides a lifeline for people living with sight loss. The peer support offered by the group is absolutely vital – it’s incredibly reassuring for people to know there are others who truly understand their situation.

“With more than 200 people in the UK being diagnosed with macular disease every day, the existence of our support groups has never been more important. If you have some free time and would be willing to help out once a month, either by helping to organise the meetings or assisting in some other way, we’d love to hear from you.

“We will also be available to support our volunteers as they learn their new roles and provide any guidance they need.”

For more details about the local group, contact Karen on 02891 466 305, or email