£45K grant offers boost for sight loss services in Scotland

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People living the biggest cause of sight loss in Scotland will have access to vital support, thanks to RS Macdonald Charitable Trust.

The Macular Society has been granted £45,000 over the next three years from the trust. The money will allow the charity to run its key support services, including its network of support groups, which offer peer support to people living with macular disease – the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK.

From the Scottish Borders to Shetland, the Macular Society’s support groups bring people with sight loss conditions together, to fight the fear and loneliness, which can be experienced after a diagnosis. Support groups also welcome guest speakers on a variety of subjects, including macular conditions and the impact on their daily lives. The meetings are also social occasions where people can chat over a cup of tea.

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Macular Society senior regional manager for Scotland, Laura Gray, said: “Our huge thanks go to the RS Macdonald Charitable Trust for their continued support of both our vital services and the people who rely on them.

Macular Society support groups play a vital social role for people with sight lossMacular Society support groups play a vital social role for people with sight loss
Macular Society support groups play a vital social role for people with sight loss

“This latest grant helps to ensure we can continue to offer peer support, advice and information to the thousands of people affected by macular disease in the country.

“Life can be challenging for people with a sight loss condition, so funding like this really helps us to provide them with the kind of support which we know can make such a difference.”

The £45,000 funding from RS Macdonald Charitable Trust, which provides around £3million in grants to charities in Scotland every year, means it will have granted £126,000 to the Macular Society since 2017.

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RS Macdonald Charitable Trust director, Rachel Campbell, said: “RS Macdonald Charitable Trust are pleased to provide funding to the Macular Society to help people affected by macular disease in Scotland.

“One of the Trust’s key aims is to encourage a wide range of organisations to develop initiatives that better meet the needs of people with visual impairment and sight loss and promote involvement and participation in society.

“Building on our previous support the new funding will enable more people living with a diagnosis to access a whole menu of support services which we recognise give opportunities to improve their quality of life.”

Nearly 1.5 million people are living with macular disease 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.

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 54,000 people in Scotland – 700,000 across the UK.

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