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Local support group needs volunteer to avoid closure
A SIGHT loss support group set up by a pair of Northwich neighbours is appealing for volunteers in an effort to avoid closure.
Cuddington next-door neighbours Denis Kidd, 85, and Peter Chivers, 89, set up the local Macular Disease Society support group 16 years ago, after both became affected by sight loss.
The group aims to provide people with encouragement, information and the chance to meet others affected by age-related macular degeneration - the most common cause of sight loss in the UK.
It also gives members a chance to share hints and tips and offer each other valuable support and friendship.
“We enjoy helping people in a similar situation to ourselves and giving them a warm welcome,” said Denis Kidd, group coordinator.
“People need to realise that there are others in the same position. New members can feel like they are the only ones when they suddenly find out they have macular disease.
“People are often told there is nothing that can be done, but we try to give out information and share ideas of how best to cope with daily life.”
The group currently meets quarterly but is in danger of closure if it doesn’t find a volunteer soon.
Denis said: “We’re looking for somebody who can help Peter and I run the group. It’s a lot of work running the meetings on our own, especially now that we have so many members – around 30 – it’s just too much for us to do on our own.”
The volunteer would need to give a small amount of time each quarter to provide secretarial support, book speakers and contribute to the planning of future gatherings.
The new volunteer won’t be on their own - As well as Denis and Peter, support and development manager Michelle Dutton will also be at hand.
She said: “I am there to support the group as much as possible and provide lots of information. We have lots of ideas to share and will put the volunteer in contact with experienced group leaders, most of who, have macular disease themselves.
“There is a wonderful group of people in Northwich who all benefit greatly from the chance to meet with others affected by macular disease. This, coupled with the group activities, help people to regain control, build their confidence and get on with living life.”
The group currently meets on the last Thursday of January, April, July and October.
Meetings run from 10am until noon at Hartford Methodist Church Hall on Beach Road, Northwich.
If you would like to volunteer for the position please contact the Macular Disease Society’s helpline on 0300 3030 111.