Sleaford Talking Newspaper charity could close due to volunteer shortage after 34 years

A local service for blind and visually impaired people is to close after 34 years unless more volunteers come forward.

Latest news. EMN-210212-171953001
Latest news. EMN-210212-171953001

Sleaford and District Talking newspaper has struggled since lockdown to find enough volunteers to keep this vital weekly service going.

The charity provides blind and visually impaired people with weekly recordings of readings from local newspapers.

Teams comprise a team leader a recording technician, readers and a copyer, but the charity is two team leaders and two technicians short – without which they cannot record.

Unless new volunteers come forward they will be forced to close by the end of January.

Chairman Howard Sanders said: “We cannot continue with a depleted team structure, as it’s putting too much strain on our limited resources. Before the pandemic we ran five recording teams including a joint sixth form school team. Sadly over lockdown we lost two teams due to retirement and ill health - and have since lost another Team Leader.

“Unlike many charities, our problem is not finance but people.”

Howard continued: “The Team Leader role requires someone to select and organise the articles to be read from the local newspapers. It takes up about two thirds of a Wednesday every four to five weeks on average.

“The Recording Technicians are required for a Wednesday afternoon or evening session on the same frequency. They record the readings on a computer and then download to a master memory stick and on the internet. The next day , our copying teams copy the the memory stick and post to our listeners.

Customers have stressed how much they missed their weekly news recording during lockdown. They will lose out so much if we have to close,” he said.

If you would like to keep this brilliant service going contact Howard Sanders for more details either by email: [email protected] or phone 01529 414047 or 07760195429.