Macular disease can have an impact on many aspects of people’s lives. This might include employment, social activities and looking after a child with macular disease. Talking to someone who has lived through some of those difficulties can be helpful. The Macular Society has volunteer ‘mentors’ who can advise and support you through their own personal experiences of macular disease.
What is a mentor?
Our mentors have lived experience of macular disease and are able to communicate that experience in a supportive way. Mentoring can be useful in many areas of life including employment, parenting and everyday life, including:
- Understanding your sight loss
- Strategies to use in the work place
- Knowing what your child is entitled to at school and during further education
- What university is like for somebody with macular disease
If you have recently been diagnosed with macular disease, you may be concerned about your job and whether you can continue to work. The Macular Society has employment mentors who can offer advice and information about things to consider to remain in work. Sometimes we can identify a mentor who is in a similar job, and can therefore advise on how they overcame any difficulties they had in the work place. This could include:
- Telling your employer about your sight loss
- The type of equipment and technology they use
- Life hacks for the work place
- Experience of the Access to Work scheme
- Difficulties that may present themselves, and any solutions
As part of the support the Macular Society offers parents of children with macular disease, there is a Parents Telephone Support Group.
This support group is a great place for parents of children with macular disease, and parents who have macular disease themselves, to connect and share experiences. There are also parents willing to talk and offer advice to other parents whose child has had a recent diagnosis. Some of the things you might discuss are:
- How to tell the school about your child’s sight loss
- What support could be available in school
- The emotional impact of diagnosis on the family
Could I be a mentor?
The Macular Society is always looking for people to become volunteer mentors. If you feel you could offer support to another person with macular disease, because of the job you do or any personal experience that you have, why not become a Macular Society mentor?
Our mentoring service is over the telephone and offers support for the length of time that the mentee requires - this is usually one to two sessions.
For more information or to apply to become a volunteer mentor, please contact Colin Daniels, Working Age and Young Peoples’ Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I use this service?
If you feel that you need support either with work, parenting or everyday life and you think a mentor could be helpful, please contact the Macular Society Advice and Information Service on 0300 3030 111.