AN ANDOVER-based charity has taken home a prestigious national award.

The Macular Society, based in South Street, was named ‘Charity of the Year 2020’ at an award ceremony held by the Association of Optometrists.

Tessa Barrett, director of services at the Macular Society, said: “We’re delighted to be named as the Association of Optometrists’ Charity of the Year.

“Macular disease is a devastating condition and has a profound effect on people’s lives.

“It’s thanks to all of our supporters and donors that we’re able to continue to help those affected by the condition, as well as fund medical research to find a cure.

“This award recognises their dedication to helping to beat macular disease.”

The society was chosen after a combination of a public vote and judges’ vote.

The award was accepted on behalf of the charity by Ms Barrett, as well as Felicity Crump, PR and content manager.

Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK.

The charity say that nearly 1.5 million people are currently affected and many more are at risk.

The disease can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces.

Many people affected describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement. There is still no cure and most types of the disease are not treatable.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.