The Macular Society is proud to have the following patrons.
Patrons who are visually impaired are indicated with a *.
Gemma Craven has had many starring roles throughout her career, including parts in The Slipper and the Rose, BBC TV drama Pennies from Heaven, and the BBC Radio 4 comedy Clare in the Community. Both Gemma and her mother have macular disease. Gemma was diagnosed at the age of 60, following a check-up from her optician, who was aware the condition can sometimes be genetic. She became a patron in 2012.
Henry Blofeld OBE*
Henry Blofeld, or Blowers as he is affectionately known, is one of international cricket's best loved commentators. He was diagnosed with a macular condition around 2009 and became patron of the Macular Society in June 2012.
Zac Shaw is a British visually impaired sprinter who competes in the T12 disability classification. At the age of nine he started noticing problems with his vision and he was diagnosed with Stargardt Disease a few years later. In 2015 he made his international debut for Great Britain for the IPC Athletics World Championships, where he finished sixth in both the 100 metres and 200 metres. Shaw has gone on to compete at multiple World, and European championships. In 2018 Zac made his England debut at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. Later that year Zac won a Gold medal in the 4X100M Universal Relay at the European Championships.
Maggie Norden is a broadcast journalist. She started her radio career at London’s first commercial radio station, Capital, where she presented the youth programme ‘Hullabaloo’. The 80s saw her move from sound to image, with BBC TV “Young Nationwide” and TV-am, where she produced Data Run and later the Bafta Craft Awards, Carrot’s Commercial Breakdown for Channel 4 and ‘Posers, The New Romantics’. Maggie also worked as an academic at The London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, where she innovated cross college projects as Course Director for BA Fashion Promotion and Creative Director Media; Maggie can be heard interviewing her late father Denis Norden, in the introduction to the audio-book “Clips from a Life”.
Gwyn Dickinson MBE*
Gwyn is a former chair and trustee of the Society, and became a patron in 2013. She was awarded an MBE in 2010 in recognition of her work with visually impaired people.
Patricia Greene is an English radio. television and film actress. She is best known for portraying matriarch Jill Archer in the BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers since 1957, joining as Jill Patterson. She has also appeared in Casualty and Doctors both in 2000.
Vincent Hill is an English traditional pop music singer and songwriter who is best known for his recording of the Rodgers and Hammerstein show tune ‘Edelweiss’. The song reached No.2 on the UK Singles Chart, staying in the chart for 17 weeks. Along with a successful recording career in the 1960s, he also hosted several hit TV shows during the seventies and eighties. In 2011 Vince was diagnosed with AMD and has had to give up performing on stage.