Couple rewarded for saving sight group

Ann and Graham
Ann and Graham

A couple who helped to save a sight loss support group in Eastbourne have been nominated for a national award.

Graham and Ann Household, of Borough Lane, are in the running for the chairman’s award for volunteering as part of the Macular Society’s Awards for Excellence.

The nomination recognises their hard work and dedication to leading the stheociety’s local support group for the last seven years.

The group faced closure in 2006 with dwindling membership and lack of volunteers.

However Ann and Graham joined, recognised the need for a local support group and have since helped to increase regular attendance from a handful to more than 40.

Their “tireless” effort to run the group is mentioned in the nominations, along with their warm approach and desire to raise awareness of macular degeneration.

Mr Household said, “When my wife was diagnosed with macular degeneration, we naturally wanted to find out more information and what help was out there.

“We found out about the local support group and went along.

“Unfortunately at that meeting it was being discussed that the group would no longer be able to run.

“Along with a couple of others my wife decided she couldn’t let that happen and so took the group on.

Mrs Household said, “We were quite shocked and taken aback when we heard about the nomination.

“It’s so satisfying to be able to share our eye problems together.

“When speaking to others I feel that I can really do so from the heart as someone who is also affected by the condition.

“I’m able to give help and reassurance in a way that I wouldn’t be able to if I wasn’t affected by sight loss.

“So often we hear people say how marvellous it is to be able to hear an informative talk and then have the opportunity to speak to other people and make friends.

“It’s easy for people to feel isolated, but meeting others in a similar position really helps.”

Reg Chopping, one of the group members who nominated the couple, said, “I enjoy the friendly and welcoming atmosphere created at the group by Ann and Graham.”