Ex-policeman sets his sights on helping others in north
A former policeman, who is now living in the Highlands, has been appointed as the new regional manager for north-west Scotland of national sight loss charity, the Macular Society.
John Furze, from Drumnadrochit, has joined the charity after a spell as a volunteer with charity Sight Action in Inverness.
He began his career as a police officer in Birmingham, spending 30 years in the force.
Then, for eight years, he was a town clerk in Somerset, before becoming a locum town clerk, based in various locations across England.
He also spent time in economic development, based in Georgia in the US.
Mr Furze, who is now enjoying semi-retirement in the picturesque Highland village next to Loch Ness, said: “This is a really exciting time to be joining the Macular Society and I can’t wait to get started.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with all our support groups, members and volunteers across the region and all our partner organisations, so that we can spread the word about macular conditions, and help people with macular disease to get the level of assistance they need to continue living their lives independently.”
In his new role, Mr Furze will be responsible for the Macular Society’s day-to-day operations in the area and strengthening its presence across the Highlands, Moray, Western Isles and Northern Isles.
Tessa Barrett, head of service delivery at the Macular Society, which has more than 22,000 members, has welcomed John on board, saying his past experiences would be a massive benefit for the charity and its thousands of members.
She added: “John’s skills and knowledge will help us immensely and we’re delighted to be welcoming him to the team.
“This year marks our 30th anniversary and it has never been more important for us to raise awareness of macular disease, what causes it, and the wideranging support that’s available to people living with different macular conditions.
“It is also vital we continue to finance macular research and encourage others in the sight loss sector to follow our lead.
“Thanks to the extensive studies which have already been conducted, we have a much greater understanding of the disease than ever before.
“We need to keep building on that knowledge and we’ll continue to do so until a cure for all macular conditions has been successfully found.”
The macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye. It is only about 5mm across but is responsible for all of our central vision, most of our colour vision and fine detail of what we see.
Every day, more than 200 people in the UK receive the news that they have macular disease.
This can rob people of their independence, leaving them unable to drive, read or even recognise their family.
The charity helps people adapt to life with sight loss, regain their confidence and independence, and take back control of their lives.
“Help people to get the assistance they need to live their lives independently”
John Furze is now a Macular Society regional manager