How We Help

About us

The Macular Society is the national charity for anyone affected by central vision loss. We have more than 21,000 members and, as the biggest membership group in the sight loss sector, we are the voice of people with macular conditions.

What we do

We fund medical research to find a cure for macular disease, provide free information and support and campaign for better care. Our helpline, befriending, counselling and genetics services provide one-to-one support. Our volunteers give awareness talks and provide training to help people make the best use of their remaining sight, manage everyday tasks and use technology. We have over 300 support groups run by volunteers.

Our Vision

A cure for macular disease in the future; excellence in treatment, rehabilitation and support now.

Our Mission

To fund research so that one day we can overcome macular disease and to offer information and support to improve lives today.

Who we are

The Macular Society is made up of a small paid staff and over 1,000 volunteers who deliver services and run groups around the UK.


We are proud to have the following patrons: Denis Norden CBE; Gemma Craven; Henry Blofeld OBE; Peter Sallis OBE; and Gwyn Dickinson MBE.


Our Board of Trustees are responsible for strategic oversight and monitoring Society policy and operations. At least 50% of our Trustees must be visually impaired, indicated by*.
John Dunston – Chairman; Margaret Packham – Vice Chair (HR); Alan Walter* – Vice Chair (Marketing); Tom Wilson - Honorary Treasurer (Finance); Valerie Wares* (Nursing); Toby Evans* (Due diligence and audit); Timothy ffytche (Ophthalmic research and care); Lucy Howe (Ophthalmic research and care); Martyn Long* CBE (Local government and NHS); Alan MacFarlane* (Engineering); Paul Ryb* (Finance); Jane Touil* (Employment rights and benefits); Moira Black CBE (Finance); and Alison Guthrie (Optometry).

How we raise money

Our funding comes primarily from three sources: charitable trusts and the lottery; membership subscriptions and donations; gifts in wills and donations in memory. We receive no government or pharmaceutical industry funding.

Support services

How we help (2)

We provide a range of services to help people with macular degeneration, including:

  • Helpline – confidential information and advice for people with macular conditions as well as their family and friends. Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Also contact the helpline for information about our other support services which include:

  • Confidential counselling to help with the emotional impact of sight loss.
  • Telephone befrienders are a great support, especially if you find it hard to get out and about.
  • Access to treatments - we can help if you are struggling to get treatment.
  • Skills for seeing training to make best use of remaining sight.
  • Buddies chat to people who have had treatment by injection for support and advice or who have experienced visual hallucinations as a result of a macular condition.
  • Daily living skills volunteers help people retain independence with tips for managing everyday tasks with a macular condition.
  • We have a network of over 300 Support Groups across the UK, including ones specifically for younger people and Skype groups for those who prefer to interact with a group online. Call 01264 350 551 or email to find your local group.
  • Our genetic information and support service is specifically designed for people with juvenile macular distrophies.

Eye care professionals

We have over 5000 professional members who are essential to helping us achieve our mission. We produce patient information that professionals give to patients and carers. Professionals also signpost people to our support services including counselling and training to maintain independence. Professional members receive our quarterly magazine Sideview and annual research review Digest. To join today for free email

Download the Patient Information List from the downloads section to order free patient information.

Our research

We fund clinical research so that one day we can overcome macular disease. We consider applications for clinical or laboratory-based research projects aimed at improving the treatment or quality of life of patients with macular disease.

Research example - London Project to Cure Blindness

Thanks to generous donations we gave £100,000 to the London Project to Cure Blindness led by Professor Pete Coffey at a crucial stage. The project aims to regenerate the retina using stem cells and recently started patient trials.

Research participant database

You can receive information about research trials you may be eligible for.

Download the Research database form - people with a retinal condition from the downloads section to register on the database.

Download the Research database form - family and volunteers from the downloads section to register on the database.

To find out more email