New support group for anyone affected by sight loss launches in Richmond

A new support group is being launched to help increase the confidence and independence of people affected by sight loss in Richmond.

The Richmond Macular Society Support Group, which has been organised by leading sight loss charity the Macular Society, in partnership with local people, will meet for the first time on Monday 2 September, from 10.45am to 12.45pm, at Richmond Town Hall, and then on the first Monday of each month.

The ongoing aim of the group will be to offer information, encouragement and friendship to people who are affected by macular disease and other forms of sight loss.

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.

Joanne Reader, Macular Society regional manager, said: “This new group is here for anybody affected by sight loss and we want to encourage people to come along. Friends and family are also very welcome. It will be a very effective way for anyone with low vision to have ongoing support, to be able to live well, and to talk to others who are going through the same life challenges.

“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 sight loss and its impact on our daily lives. The meetings are also social occasions where we can chat over a cup of tea.”

For more information about the Richmond Macular Society Support Group, please contact Joanne Reader on 07376 398 916, or email

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