Sir George formally opened the Macular Society's new office building in Crown Chambers, South Street, Andover. In the picture, from left to right, are: Tom Wilson (the Society's Treasurer), Councillor Janet Whiteley (Mayor of Test Valley), George Young, and Helen Jackman (Chief Executive of the Society).
Helen Jackman explained that macular degeneration was the most common cause of sight loss in the UK, with more than 600,000 people having an advanced form of macular degeneration. She said that the Society had grown from one room in Bridge Street to its current offices on several floors of Crown Street with 80 volunteers, providing a wide range of services.
Sir George said he was proud to have the Macular Society in Andover - the only national charity with its headquarters in the town - and was pleased to hear that they were recruiting to deal with increased demand for their services. He praised the Macular Society for being the only national charity in the UK that supported those who were affected by providing information services and helping people to stay independent and confident.
Sir George said he had welcomed the representations which the Society had made about a range of medicines, such as Novartis and Avastin, and he would be doing what he could to reduce waiting times for those who needed retinal medical services at Southampton and Basingstoke.
Sir George welcomed at the launch Andover VIP of Open Sight, who have strong links with the Macular Society, and praised all the volunteers who manned helplines.
After a short video was shown explaining how the Society helped those who were visually impaired, Sir George formally cut the ribbon to open the offices.