Macular Group Christmas break

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The Ballymena Macular Support Group will be taking a break for Christmas and will not hold its monthly meeting in December.

Instead, the group will next meet on Tuesday, January 16, from 10.30am-12pm, at First Ballymena Presbyterian Church, 18-22 Meetinghouse Lane in the town and then on the third Tuesday of every month.

The Ballymena Macular Support Group is organised by leading UK sight loss charity the Macular Society, in partnership with local people.

It is one of more than 350 groups of its kind in the UK offering vital information, encouragement and friendship to people who are affected by macular conditions.

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.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the charity has more than doubled the number of its support groups in Northern Ireland over the past five years.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the central vision and is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK. Karen Toogood, Macular Society regional manager, said: “The Ballymena 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 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.”

For more information about the Ballymena Macular Support Group, contact Karen Toogood, Macular Society regional manager, on 02891 466 305, or email karen.t@macularsociety.org For more information on macular degeneration, call the Macular Society’s helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org