A GROUP that offers support to people with sight loss is offering a warm welcome to new members.

The Oswestry Macular Support Group will hold its next meeting at Qube from 2pm to 4pm on Friday, where members will be able to learn some painting skills and listen to a talk on the subject by group member Marlene Jones.

Amanda Read, Macular Society regional manager, said: “The Oswestry Macular Support Group is here for anybody affected by macular degeneration.

“We want to encourage people to come along. 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, and our groups can really help people increase in confidence and become more independent.”

The group, which is organised by the Macular Society in partnership with Oswestry area residents, is one of more than 400 of its kind in the UK and offers information, encouragement and friendship to people who are affected by macular disease.

Macular disease is the biggest cause of blindness in the UK, with nearly 1.5 million people currently affected and many more are at risk.

The disease can affect people of any age and 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.

Amanda added: “The group invites 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.”

Group meetings are held on the third Friday of the month.

For more information, contact Amanda Read on 01453 755803 or 07432 700478 or email amanda.read@macularsociety.org

You can also call the Macular Society’s Helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org