A renowned puppet master from Sutton has been shortlisted for a national award in recognition of his volunteer work supporting people with sight loss.

Gary Miles, from Carshalton Beeches, has helped raise thousands of pounds for the Macular Society over the past 13 years through his Punch and Judy puppetry.

Over the last 13 years he has performed numerous shows and given talks on the history famous duo, raising thousands of pounds for the charity, which supports people with macular degeneration, a medical condition which causes loss of vision.

Gary said: “I’ve always raised money for good causes, but I’m particularly passionate about fundraising for the sight loss sector.

"I got involved with the Macular Society through my friend and fellow fundraiser Liz Wardle, who’d been fundraising for the charity for a couple of years before me.

“At that time, I didn’t know much about macular disease or what the Society did, but since then, I’ve had a couple of close family members diagnosed with macular conditions, so it’s even closer to home for me now than when I started.”

A programme director at London Business School, Gary has been volunteering for the Society since 2006.

He has been behind a variety of fundraising events, arranging and running a number of quiz nights.

In collaboration with his friend Liz, he has helped organise a couple of major fundraising concerts, including one to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 2016, which saw him take to the stage in full costume to recite some of the Bard’s iconic literature.

And while president of Cheam and Sutton Rotary Club in 2008, Gary selected the Macular Society as his chosen charity, raising money for the Society throughout his 12-month tenure.

Now in its 11th 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 all over the UK.

If successful, Gary will be presented with his award at the Macular Society’s national annual conference, which takes place at the Leonardo Royal London Tower Bridge Hotel in London, on Saturday September 21.

Gary said:“It’s so nice to have been shortlisted – I was very surprised to have made the final list, but it’s a real honour and I’m absolutely delighted.

“My philosophy has always been to put the ‘fun’ into fundraising, and I can definitely say I’ve had an awful lot of fun with all of the fundraising activities I’ve been involved with for the Macular Society.”

Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK, currently affecting 1.5 million people.

The disease can have a serious impact on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces. There is still no cure and most types of the disease are not treatable.