A High Peak eye charity has been awarded almost £10,000 in lottery funding to set up a specialist equipment library for the visually impaired in Buxton.
On Tuesday, the Big Lottery announced it was donating £9,846 to the Buxton and Beyond Macular Disease Support Group, as part of its Awards for All scheme.
The group, which meets monthly at Buxton Methodist Church, on Chapel Street, will use the cash boost to set up a bank, which will allow blind and partially-sighted people to access expensive specialised equipment for free.
The equipment library will be built up in the next few months and then be up and running, initially only at Buxton Library, on Kents Bank Road.
Marge Rose, treasurer of the group, said: “Details of how equipment will be used in the library or hired out to try at home, have yet to be finalised, but library service staff have been very supportive of the scheme.
“The sort of equipment to be provided is not available through the NHS or social services, but can make a significant improvement to the lives of those with sight loss and help them hold on to their independence.”
Items will include talking measuring jugs and kitchen scales, bank note money detectors, colour indicators, a talking brailler, a PenFriend audio labeller and a video magnifier.
The charity, part of the Macular Disease Society, was formed for the support of persons suffering from macular degeneration by bringing together those affected, including family or carers, so that they may encourage each other through advice and example to build self-confidence and live more independent lives.
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60, which occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. Estimated prevalence in the UK is 4.8 per cent of those over 65 years of age and 12.2 per cent of those aged 80 years or more.