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

The Bradford Macular Support Group meets on the third Thursday of every month, from 2-3.30pm, at the Resource Centre, 124 Morley Street, Bradford.

It is one of more than 400 groups of its kind in the UK offering vital information, encouragement and friendship to people who are affected by macular disease.

The group held its previous meeting on Thursday and will meet again next month.

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.

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: “The Bradford Macular Support Group provides a real lifeline for people living locally with sight loss.

“The peer support offered by the groups is absolutely vital – it’s incredibly reassuring for people to know that there are others who truly understand their situation.

“With around 300 people in the UK being diagnosed with macular disease every day, the existence of our support groups has never been more important.

“No prior experience of macular disease is needed – just excellent organisational skills, lots of enthusiasm and a passion for helping to make a difference to people’s lives.

“Support will be available for all new volunteers as they learn their new roles, from myself and our services and volunteering team.

“If you have some free time and would be willing to help, we would love to hear from you.”

For more information on the group, or to volunteer, please contact Joanne Reader on 07376 398 916, or email joanne.reader@macularsociety.org