A NEW support group has been established for people in South Tyneside suffering sight loss.
The Macular Group at South Tyneside Sight Service in Gordon Street, South Shields, was opened by new town MP Emma Lewell-Buck.
Macular degeneration is the largest cause of blindness in the UK and affects central vision.
For those people who suffer from the condition, it becomes very difficult to read, recognise faces or watch television.
The group has been re-launched after changes made by the national charity, which changed its name earlier this year to the Macular Society.
The group is to be chaired by Peter Bennetts, a resident of South Shields, a trustee of Sight Service and a well-known campaigner in the town for the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind).
Mr Bennetts said: “Emma has a tremendous knowledge of social care issues, and her attendance at this launch clearly demonstrates her commitment to those living in the borough with sight loss.
“Later this year, the Government will introduce a new Social Care Bill.
“I am convinced that on this Bill and many other issues, Emma will make a fine Member of Parliament for South Shields.”
The South Tyneside Macular Group will meet on the last Thursday of each month, and hopes to have an interesting speaker for every meeting.
The first guest speaker will be Lucy Dixon, regional campaigns officer for the RNIB, on Thursday, May 30, from 2pm.
Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “I was very pleased to be asked to launch this new group.
“It will offer real support for local residents facing the loss or reduction in their sight. I wish them all the best for the future.”
For more information, contact the sight service on 456 0546.