Berkshire Masons have donated £1,400 to the Reading Branch of the Macular Society. The donation has helped 30 elderly, visually impaired people to go to a special performance of Les Misérables in London. The cost of the ticket and all transport for the group was met by this donation.
The macula is a significant part of the retina at the back of the eye, responsible for all of our central vision, most of our colour vision and the fine detail of what we see. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK, affecting more than 600,000 people. There are some 140 people supported by the Reading and District support group with the disease. By organising a programme of visits, speakers and social events the Society helps overcome some of the fear and isolating experience of encroaching blindness.
This special performance provided support to the visually impaired by giving a running commentary of the show through a special ear piece. In addition to the show, a stage tour was organised, letting people feel the costumes and props and getting a better understanding of the performance.
The grant from Berkshire Freemasons comes through the Berkshire Masonic Charity (BMC) which is entirely funded by Berkshire Masons.
Tony Hussan, Chairman of The Reading and District Support Group said: “We’re very grateful to Berkshire Freemasons for their generous grant. It will help us to support people in Reading who suffer from the onset of this disease. Everyone who went to see the show thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were grateful for the support from the Freemasons.”
David Jarvis, a senior Berkshire Freemasons and member of the BMC said: “We are delighted to help the Reading Branch of the Macular Society. The onset of blindness can be frightening and debilitating. Anything we can do to help combat the fear and isolation is welcome.”