WATCH: Are you or a family member affected by macular degeneration?

Bridge Community Centre, Lisburn. Pic by Google
Bridge Community Centre, Lisburn. Pic by Google

A Lisburn-based support group which helps to increase the confidence and independence of people affected by eye condition macular degeneration will hold its first monthly meeting of 2018 on Monday, January 8.

The group, which is organised by leading sight loss charity the Macular Society in partnership with local people, will meet from 11am - 12.30pm at The Bridge Community Centre, Railway Street.

The group will then meet at the same time and location on the second Monday of each month, offering information, encouragement and friendship to people who are affected by macular disease.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the central vision and is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK, affecting more than 600,000 people. More people are affected as the population ages.

Karen Toogood, Macular Society regional manager, said: “The Lisburn Macular Support Group is here for anybody affected by macular degeneration – we want to encourage as many people to come along as possible. 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 often has 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 Northern Ireland, the Macular Society has been able to establish and run new sight loss support groups across the country thanks to £200,000 of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund. This vital investment has enabled the charity to more than double the number of its support groups in Northern Ireland over the past five years.

For more information about the Lisburn Macular Support Group contact Karen Toogood on 028 9146 6305, or email