THE CHARITABLE efforts of a Hall Green lady have been recognised nationally by a leading sight loss charity.
Sheila Parks was one of the winners at this year’s Macular Society Awards for Excellence after spending the last seven years raising funds for the charity in memory of her late mother, Minnie.
The dedicated fundraiser, who saw her mother pass away with age-related macular degeneration, raised more than £2,000 by giving talks about the ill-fated Titanic.
Though it was said ‘God himself could not sink this ship’ Titanic sank to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean on its maiden voyage in 1912, killing more than 1,500 people.
In return for the talks, which Sheila has given to a wide range of groups all over Birmingham and the surrounding area, she asks for a donation to be given to the Macular Society.
Sheila said she was delighted to be chosen as a winner and admitted she was pleased just to be shortlisted for an award.
She added: “To be chosen as one of the winners was a wonderful surprise.
“I love giving the talks about the Titanic, and I’m delighted I can help raise funds towards research into macular disease through something I get so much enjoyment out of.
“My mum had an extremely difficult time after her sight deteriorated.
“It stopped her from doing lots of the things she enjoyed, and she often used to ask me why more research couldn’t be done to help her and others in the same situation.
“I’d like to think that she’d be very proud if she could see how I’ve been able to support the Macular Society through my talks.”
Now in its ninth year, the Macular Society Awards for Excellence is run by the charity to celebrate the inspirational work done to provide services and care for people with macular disease across the UK.
The charity has more than 350 support groups across the UK, all aiming to tackle the condition that affects more than 600,000 people.
Cathy Yelf, chief executive of the Macular Society, said: “Sheila’s fundraising efforts really have been inspirational.
“She truly deserves this award and I’d like to add my personal thanks to her for all of her efforts to raise funds for us.”
Sheila will receive her award at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London on September 16.