Helping blind to see shows

PUBLISHED: 14:43 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:28 17 June 2010

A UNIQUE service at Sidmouth's Manor Pavilion has been given a reprieve thanks to new volunteers. In October, the Herald appealed for volunteers to come forward to join the theatre's audio description service, which allows blind or partially sighted peopl

A UNIQUE service at Sidmouth's Manor Pavilion has been given a reprieve thanks to new volunteers.In October, the Herald appealed for volunteers to come forward to join the theatre's audio description service, which allows blind or partially sighted people to enjoy the theatre experience.Now three volunteers have come forward to help. Beverley Alleston and Alison Cook will share the administration role and Jackie Beckett will be responsible for filming each showMrs Alleston said: "I retired about a year-and-a-half-ago and had always said that, once I had stopped working, I would do some volunteering and something for the community. I thought I could do the admin side, because I have done that all my life and the role doesn't tie me down to a time."We started last month and went to a meeting with the describers and before that we'd been given a lot of paper work from the previous person who did the admin. We've been trying to get our heads around it all."Ishbel Ramsay, East Devon District Council's arts development officer, said: "We are the only small provincial service that offers this service so it's a very unique thing. "We are desperately trying to get more blind and visually impaired people to use it."The main priority for the team of volunteers behind the service now is to keep it all going.Mrs Alleston said: "Quite clearly, at the end of last year, this service was under serious threat and Ishbel thought that if we could find some way of keep it going we should do it. We have picked up something that really had been floundering and we are now looking at how we can revive it."The first described performance of the year will be Saturday night's Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society's production of The Cemetery Club.For more information on the service contact (01395) 516551.

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