Support group leader nominated for national award

Pat Clemow, front centre, with members of Worthing Area Macular Support Group. Photo by Derek Martin DM17838332a.jpg
Pat Clemow, front centre, with members of Worthing Area Macular Support Group. Photo by Derek Martin DM17838332a.jpg

The leader of a successful sight loss support group has been nominated for a national award.

Pat Clemow has run Worthing Area Macular Support Group since 2009 and her work as a volunteer has been recognised by The Macular Society, one of the leading sight loss charities.

She has been shortlisted for the Chairman’s Award for Volunteering in the Macular Society Awards for Excellence.

Pat said: “It was a real surprise to learn that I’d been shortlisted for this award. I’ve been a member of the Macular Society since 2007. I really enjoy all of the volunteer activities I’m involved in and meeting lots of interesting people.

“The group meetings are very important because they give everyone a chance to sit down and chat over a cup of tea or coffee and share their experiences. It makes a real difference to their lives and that’s very satisfying.”

She was nominated for her commitment and dedication in raising awareness of macular disease and supporting people in her community with macular conditions.

The Worthing support group offers information, encouragement and friendship to people with macular degeneration living in the area.

It meets twice a month, on the first Friday at Sight Support Worthing’s headquarters in Rowlands Road, Worthing, and on the third Friday at Rustington Manor Hotel, Broadmark Lane, Rustington.

Pat decided to organise the second meeting in the month for group members living in and around Rustington, because they told her they were having difficulties getting to Worthing.

Not wanting them to miss out, she arranged for a monthly meeting nearer to them to ensure they could get together.

Pat is also a Skills for Seeing trainer for the charity, teaching people with macular conditions new techniques designed to help them make the most of their remaining vision.

Since 2015, as part of her volunteering activities for the society, Pat also runs an information and practical advice helpdesk at Goring Hall Hospital on a Saturday, at the NHS clinic for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The awards are now in their ninth year, celebrating the inspirational work done by volunteers to provide services and care for people with macular disease all over the UK.

The Chairman’s Award for Volunteering is one of five honours handed out and winners will be announced at the Macular Society’s national annual conference, at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London, on September 16.

Cathy Yelf, chief executive of the Macular Society, said: “All of our volunteers do a tremendous job in helping people all over the UK with macular disease, and our annual awards give us an opportunity to say thank you to them for all that they do.

“Pat is no exception and thoroughly deserves this nomination. She has worked tirelessly to help people with macular conditions in her local community. It’s only right that her efforts should be recognised in this way.”

The Macular Society is the national charity for anyone affected by central vision loss. It has more than 350 support groups across the UK, which help to increase the confidence and independence of people affected by macular disease.