The importance of regular eye checks to prevent avoidable sight loss was highlighted as Cambridgeshire Euro MP Richard Howitt was invited to the Fenland Cam Sight centre in Chatteris to promote World Sight Day 2014.
The Labour MEP met staff and users of the charity Cam Sight who support local people with sight loss.
He was moved to meet Rita Smith, who was devastated by sudden sight problems but transformed her life with the help of Cam Sight and now volunteers for them, helping others.
The quality of eye care in Cambridgeshire is well regarded but elsewhere in the country there is concern that resources are too stretched.
Mr Howitt said: “Regular visits to get your eyes checked are a must if you want to reduce your chances of sight loss.
“Here in Cambridgeshire the GPs, eye clinics, opticians and Cam Sight offer a comprehensive service.
“I was honoured to meet Rita Smith and hear her inspirational story. Cam Sight can help, as Rita has discovered. No one should suffer alone and now it is Rita herself who is helping others.
“I fully support the RNIB’s ‘save our sight’ campaign to check avoidable sight loss and share their concerns elsewhere in the UK that there is inadequate provision of sight loss advisers in our hospitals.”
Rita suffered sight problems in 2007 and in 2009 she and a Cam Sight team member set up a monthly peer support group which currently has 27 members.
She also volunteers at the Chatteris Low Vision Equipment Centre, where she is able to offer reassurance and inspiration to others with sight loss.