PENSIONER Betty Richards has been nominated for a national award in recognition of her volunteering for the second year in a row.
The 85-year-old works as a volunteer for the Fareham group of the Macular Disease Society.
Now she is in line to win the Chairman’s Award for Volunteering as part of the society’s 25th Anniversary Awards for Excellence.
Mrs Richards, from Bentley Crescent, has been leading the Macular Disease Society support group since its formation 10 years ago.
The great-grandmother, who is affected by macular degeneration, said: ‘I don’t like the limelight – I do what I do for the love of it.
‘People who are newly diagnosed often don’t know the help that is out there, but here they can ask questions.
‘I feel there is real warmth at the group, people can talk about the problems they are facing and share hints and tips.
‘At the monthly meal we have together I can relax and talk to everyone. You get to know people very well, I’m extremely lucky to have such a lovely group.
‘There still must be people in the Fareham area who are affected by macular degeneration that don’t know about the society or the local group. We need to raise awareness.
‘My sense of humour always carries me through, I like to make people laugh and know that they are happy for the time they spend with us.
‘It’s so rewarding to be able to help others and it brings me a great deal of joy. I love doing what I do.’
Angela Nicholas, who nominated Mrs Richards for the award, said: ‘Despite whatever personal challenges she is facing, she always has a huge smile on her face and is such a warm and kind person.
‘She is passionate about the work of the society and will not miss an opportunity to spread the word.
‘She truly is an inspiration and a real champion for volunteering and for the Macular Disease Society.’
Age-related macular degeneration affects the central vision and is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK.
The group gathers to offer advice, information and friendship to people affected by the loss of sight.
The awards ceremony takes place on Saturday, September 22 in London.