A SIGHT loss charity is urging for volunteers to come forward to help out at a support group for people living with macular disease.

The Macular Society in Reading is wanting residents to give up some time every other month to provide support and information at the support group.

Tom McInulty, macular society regional manager, said: "The Reading Macular Support Group provides a real lifeline for people living locally with sight loss.

"The peer support offered by the groups is absolutely vital - with around 300 people in the UK being diagnosed with macular disease every day, the existence of our support groups has never been more important."

Macular disease is the largest cause of blindness in the UK and nearly 1.5 million people are affected or at risk.

The disease can have devastating effects on peoples lives, leaving them unable to perform day-to-day activities such as seeing faces, or even driving.

Many people describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement and there is still no cure.

The Reading support group is one of the 400 in the UK offering crucial information, encouragement and friendship to people affected by macular disease.

Tom added: "It is very important for people to know there is help and support out there for them if they have macular disease.

"Meeting with others in a similar situation is a big part of that and having understanding of a common problem.

"The Reading group organises quite a few trips, things that you wouldn't necessarily do or find difficult to do on your own."

The support group meets from 2-4pm on the last Wednesday of every other month at the United Reformed Church in Reading.

Their next meeting is on February 27 near Palmer Park Avenue.

For more information on macular degeneration, call the Macular Society's Helpline on 03003030111 or email help@macularsociety.org.