High-flying Fundraiser

A mammoth fundraising effort has resulted in a Lincolnshire man being nominated for a national award.

Corporal Matthew Cocking from RAF Waddington, is in the running for the Macular Disease Society’s annual Chairman’s Award in recognition of his outstanding efforts in raising more than £7,000 for the charity.

Mr Cocking was part of a group from RAF Waddington’s Single Track Maintenance Team and Cobham Aviation, who cycled more than 200 miles from RAF Waddington to the Cobham Headquarters in Bournemouth.The gruelling task was taken on to raise money for the Society after they supported Mr Cocking’s sister when she was diagnosed with macular disease (MD), an eye condition that causes loss of central vision.

Mr Cocking said: “I was a bit surprised when I heard about the nomination. We did the ride to help out the charity that supported my sister and didn’t think much more of it, but it is nice to get some recognition for the team. They put loads of effort in and gave up time doing collections, setting up stalls, handing out leaflets, carrying out a bingo night and a church tea and cake stall, purely to help me try to reach my target.”

Felicity Honnor, who nominated Mr Cocking, said: “Matthew worked incredibly hard, not just on the ride itself, but on all of the organisation that goes into arranging a challenge like this. He got a lot of people on board to help; he didn’t just ask his friends and family, but approached work colleagues and businesses. He made a huge effort to reach the total he did.”

The Macular Disease Society was set up almost 25 years ago to support people with the condition, offering information, advice and funding research to find a cure. The charity’s annual awards are designed to recognise the wonderful work of everyone who helps the Society fulfil its goal, of building the confidence and independence of people with MD.

Mr Cocking’s nomination will now be handed over to the judges, who will decide on the overall winners and present them with their awards at the Society’s annual London conference on 17 September.

The ‘Chairman’s Award’ is one of three awards presented by the charity. There are also awards for ‘Support Service of the Year’ and ‘Clinical Service of the Year’ to help show the public’s appreciation for the work of those within the eye care profession.

For information, advice and support about macular disease, contact the Macular Disease Society’s Helpline on 0845 241 2041 or email help@maculardisease.org