W.I. Gift helps local support group

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A support group for people affected by macular degeneration in Carnforth has benefitted from the generosity of the Wennington and District Women’s Institute.

The Macular Society’s local support group has been able to purchase a variety of low

vision aids to loan to members thanks to the gift.

This means they can ‘try before they buy’; therefore making an informed decision about what works best for them before purchasing lighting or video magnifiers.

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

Julia Chabrel leads the Macular Society’s local support group in Carnforth.

She said: “The purchase has been made possible through the amazing generosity of Wennington and District W.I. who annually nominate a local charity to benefit from their fundraising.

“Members had a close look at the video magnifiers and lamps which had been purchased by the group at a range of prices and specifications so that they could compare their respective qualities. “The plan is for members to borrow and assess items for themselves over a period.

“The video-magnifiers and day-light lamps are pricey and it is extremely useful to be able to borrow items before settling on a personal purchase.

“The items were considered at length at our last meeting, and all were lent to members for further assessment.”

The Group will also purchase and share items which have a range of uses, demonstrated by Matt Harrison in a workshop: ‘Technology to Support Everyday Living’ at a Macular Society Residential Volunteer event held in Leeds in early September.

The next meeting of the Carnforth Macular Society will be held on Wednesday, November 27, at the Railway Heritage Centre at Carnforth Station from 11am until 1pm.

Anyone who is interested in macular degeneration is welcome to attend.

Patricia Downes will be talking about “Eccentric Viewing” and “Steady Eye Techniques.”

Using these skills can help people with macular degeneration to make good use of their remaining peripheral vision.

For information, advice or support concerning macular degeneration or the local support group, contact the Macular Society’s helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org.