'Our macular group feels like a huge family'

Posted: Thursday 04 June 2020

“It’s so amazing to hear everyone’s voices again.  I stay in all day and I’m on my own so this has been a real delight for me.”

At a time when many people are feeling more lonely and isolated than ever before, our volunteers are continuing to make a huge difference to the lives of those with macular disease.

At the beginning of March we made the difficult decision to suspend all of our face-to-face services due to the coronavirus outbreak to protect members, volunteers and people using the services as much as possible.

Since then we have continued to provide support online and over the phone to all of those who rely on vital services such as peer support groups and telephone befriending.

Thanks to our volunteers the peer support groups, which are now taking place over the phone, have prompted nothing but positive feedback from those taking part.

As this week marks Volunteers Week, we wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone helping to run the groups and share some of the positive comments from members.

One group leader said: “They are making a ‘huge difference’ to members and for many it is the highlight of their week. Several live alone and just talking makes them feel less isolated and afraid.”

Another group leader shared some feedback from the members: “Our calls have been very successful as commented by several members and one said, 'I no longer feel alone, I feel that I really belong. It is so good to be connected to others who really understand what I'm feeling and going through, not just with my sight problems, this covid-19 crisis but with everything. these are difficult times but through our call groups we are still together. Our macular group feels like a huge family'.”

“Hearing tips and advice on coping with the ‘crisis’ help a great deal,” another group member said. “also to chat about other things not just covid-19, to enjoy a good laugh about past times and life experiences, sing-alongs for birthdays and We'll meet Again is really good for morale.”

Judy Pride, Macular Society regional manager, said she dropped in to a group call and listened as one member who had moved away to live in a care home, was able to meet up with all her friends again. She said: “It was very emotional and the group leader was brilliant!”

If you'd like to join a telephone conference support group, or would like more information about them and all of our other services, please call the Advice and Information Service on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org