Charlie Bennett is one of the nominees for this year’s Macular Society Awards for Excellence, having been shortlisted for the Chairman’s Award for Volunteering category.
A former police officer, Charlie began volunteering for the Macular Society after being diagnosed with macular degeneration in 2013, taking on a wide range of volunteer roles, becoming a qualified trainer, and acting as a telephone befriender.
He said: “It’s a really lovely surprise to have been shortlisted for this award. When I was first diagnosed, it was a real shock as I’d never had any health problems at all.
“However, I quickly decided I wanted to find out as much about macular disease as I could and to share my knowledge with others.
“I’ve been volunteering for around four and a half years now and it’s very satisfying. I think it really helps that I’m able to share my personal experiences.
“It does make a big difference when I’m talking to individuals or groups because they know I understand what it’s like to live with a macular condition.”
Cathy Yelf, chief executive of the Macular Society, said: “Charlie thoroughly deserves this nomination. He has worked tirelessly to help people with macular conditions in his local community.”
The winners will be announced at an event in London in September.