Sussex Macular Society support groups get together to raise money for two-year research project

Sussex support groups for people with macular disease joined forces to raise money towards research for a cure.

The get-together at The Dome in Worthing for five Macular Society support groups was held to support a two-year project which aims to gain a better understanding of the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Macular Society regional manager Stella Black, left, accepts the cheque from Pat Clemow and Nick Le Mare

Macular Society regional manager Stella Black, left, accepts the cheque from Pat Clemow and Nick Le Mare

Pat Clemow, leader of the Worthing Area group, and Nick Le Mare, leader of the Shoreham group, organised the event to help to fund the study being conducted by the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Pat Clemow won the 2019 Chairman’s Award for Volunteering from the Macular Society

Joining members from their groups were others from the Arundel, Chichester and Brighton and Hove support groups, and £400 was raised.

Guest speakers included eyecare professionals and there was a talk giving a brief history of the Grade II listed buidling, one of the oldest working cinemas in England.

Stella Black, Macular Society regional manager, said: “Events like these are an excellent way for our groups to meet, socialise and share ideas.

“Not only was it great for all of the groups to get together, it’s also enabled them to raise vital funds to help beat macular disease.

“Projects such as the one being undertaken by the teams from UCL and Moorfields are crucial in helping to find a cure for macular disease so it can be eradicated in future.”

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. AMD is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

Arundel Macular Society Support Group meets on the first Tuesday of each month, 11am to 12.30pm, at the Swan Hotel, High Street, Arundel.

Brighton and Hove Macular Society Support Group meets on the second Tuesday of the month, 11am to 12.30pm, at Cornerstone Community Centre, Church Road, Hove.

Chichester Macular Society Support Group meets on the first Wednesday of the month, 1.30pm to 3.30pm, at Pilgrim Court, Tozer Way, Chichester.

Shoreham Macular Society Support Group meets on the second Tuesday of each month, 10am to 12pm, at 4Sight Vision Support, the Shoreham Centre, Pond Road, Shoreham.

Worthing Area Macular Society Support Group meets on the first Friday of the month, 10am to 11.45am, at Sight Support Worthing, Rowlands Road, Worthing, and on the third Friday of the month, 10am to 11.45am at Rustington Manor Hotel, Broadmark Lane, Rustington.