A NEW sight loss support group is being launched in Cardigan to help increase the confidence and independence of people affected by macular degeneration.

The group, which has been organised by the Macular Society, in partnership with local people, will meet for the first time on Thursday, November 8, from 10.30am-12.30pm, at Teifi Leisure Centre in Cardigan and then on the second Thursday of every month.

The ongoing aim of the group will be to offer information, encouragement and friendship to people who are affected by the condition.

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.

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.

Adele Francis, Macular Society regional manager, said: “This new group is here for anybody affected by macular degeneration and we want to encourage people to come along. Friends and family are also very welcome.

“It’s good to be able to learn from each other’s experiences and get tips. The peer support can be so helpful. Our groups can really help people increase in confidence and become more independent.

“The group will invite guest speakers on a variety of subjects, including macular conditions and their impact on our daily lives. The meetings are also social occasions where we can chat over a cup of tea.”

In Wales, the Macular Society has been able to establish and run new sight loss support groups and recruit volunteers across the country thanks to more than £340,000 of funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

For more information about the Cardigan Macular Support Group, contact Adele Francis on 01639 843236/07494 468007, or email adele.francis@macularsociety.org

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