A NEW support group helping to fight loneliness and isolation among people living with sight loss has been launched in Frinton.

The support group, run by sight loss charity the Macular Society, meets on the last Tuesday of every month at the Frinton Community Association, in Soken House.

The first group meeting, which is a chance to meet local people with sight loss, takes place on Tuesday, July 30, between 10am and 12noon.

The Macular Society organises the group, which aims to offer information, encouragement and friendship to people affected by macular disease and other sight loss conditions.

Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK. Nearly 1.5 million people are currently affected and many more are at risk.

The disease can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces. Many people affected describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement.

There is still no cure and most types of the disease are not treatable. Age-related macular degeneration is the most common form of the disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

Macular Society regional manager Sue Drew said: "I’m really proud and excited with the launch of this new group for people living in and around the area of Frinton-on-Sea.

"I know from experience of our other support groups in the country that people who have been diagnosed with a sight loss condition do rely on them for socialising and support.

“The local group is not only welcoming to new members who have been diagnosed with macular disease but also their family, friends and carers.

"We know the peer support can be so helpful and our groups can really help people increase in confidence and become more independent.”

These groups have guest speakers on a variety of subjects, and people can chat over a cup of tea or coffee.

For more information, email sue.drew@macularsociety.org. or calling 07517 543948.