Macular Society to extend telephone befriending programme after funding boost

The money has been awarded by the Coronavirus Community Support Fund

woman on mobile phone
Getty/izusek
The Macular Society is to extend its telephone befriending programme in Yorkshire and the North East of England, after receiving a £10,000 grant from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund.

It is hoped that the extension of the programme will allow further assistance to those experiencing loneliness and isolation as the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues.

The programme sees telephone befrienders provide regular phone calls, helping users to rebuild their confidence and independence.

The Macular Society aims to match users with a befriender who shares common interests and experiences, or who understands exactly what living with macular disease is like.

The charity is now calling on anyone living in the area who has a macular condition to make use of the service.

Maria Storesund, head of regions at the Macular Society, said: “This is fantastic news for visually-impaired people in Yorkshire and the North East of England. We have seen an enormous increase in the number of people with macular disease coming to us for support to maintain their independence and wellbeing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

She added that the programme volunteers “all have personal experience of sight loss, meaning that they are best placed to provide regular social contact, emotional support and genuine understanding to others who are struggling to cope, as the threat of fear and isolation continues to grow.”

The Coronavirus Community Support Fund is distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, which has helped the Macular Society to deliver a range of vital support services across the UK since 2009.

For more information about the Macular Society’s befriending service, call 0300 3030 111 or visit macularsociety.org/telephone-befriending