Talking Newspapers set to restart service

Brenda Birmingham, Secretary Coordinator for the East Devon and Sid Vale Talking Newspaper

Brenda Birmingham, Secretary Coordinator for the East Devon and Sid Vale Talking Newspaper - Credit: Brenda Birmingham

A local charity which helps to keep visually impaired people informed of the local news is aiming to resume its vital service again next month.

The East Devon and Sid Vale Talking Newspaper, whose patron is the well-known broadcaster Jeremy Vine, is looking to restart its recorded publication on June 1. 

The charity supports visually impaired people through a network of dedicated volunteers and aims to help all visually impaired people in the local area to access news and information about the community where they live.

Like most voluntary organisations, the service is currently suspended owing to Covid-19 restrictions, but now that lockdown measures are easing the plan is to restart weekly recordings. 

Any person who is visually impaired or in any way ‘print disabled’ can receive all their local news from the free Talking Newspaper service and hear what others can read for themselves. Newsworthy and entertaining items from local newspapers covering the towns and villages of the Sid Valley are recorded on to audio sticks. 

The Talking Newspaper covers residents in the towns and areas of Sidmouth, Axminster, Beer, Branscombe, Colyton, Honiton, Ottery St Mary and Seaton. Royal Mail delivers the recordings directly to listeners' homes. A quarterly magazine is also recorded and distributed in the same way. 

To support its vital work, the charity needs more volunteer producers to join the production teams. Full training is given and equipment provided. There is a rota of recording sessions, so it’s an opportunity for anyone with confident computer skills to learn something new or for someone with experience to spend a few hours a month helping to provide this valuable community service. 

If you’re interested in joining the team as a producer, contact Brenda Birmingham at: sidvale40@gmail.com. Or if you know someone who would like to receive the Talking Newspaper, contact Wendy Eagles on 07552 766382.

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