Grant will provide vital support to those losing their sight

Posted: Thursday 14 February 2019

People with macular disease will be able to access the Society's emotional support services, thanks to a grant from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons.

The grant of £99,070, aims to make real the pledge of “Making Sure No One Faces Sight loss Alone” for tens of thousands of callers every year.

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. More than 600,000 people have late-stage macular degeneration, heading towards severe, irreversible, vision loss.

The grant will support the extension of free support services provided by the Society over the next three years, providing emotional support to people losing their sight. The project includes a helpline for advice and information, confidential telephone counselling, telephone befriending, and buddy schemes. The bundle of services work together, with beneficiaries moving between them as their needs dictate.

The grant from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Emma Malcolm, director of fundraising and marketing at the Macular Society, said: “We’re so grateful to Hampshire and Isle of Wight freemasons for their generous grant. Macular disease is cruel and isolating; it steals your sight, your confidence and the ability to do the things you love. But this funding will help us provide the practical and emotional support they need to continue living their lives independently.”

Mike Wilks, Provincial Grand Master of Hampshire and Isle of Wight freemasons, said: “I’m very pleased we’re able to help the Macular Society with their work to support thousands of people with this terrible condition. Having someone to talk to, who really understands, is absolutely essential for people trying to cope with losing their sight.”

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country. Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the MCF awards millions of pounds each year to local and national charities that help vulnerable people, advance medical research and provide opportunities for young people.

The MCF also helps to fund vital services such as hospices and air ambulances and regularly contributes to worldwide appeals for disaster relief. For more information visit: