Harrogate and District Talking Newspaper Association celebrates 40 years of a life-changing service

A treasured local charity is celebrating 40 years of providing a life-changing service across our district.

Friday, 10th March 2017, 1:42 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:11 am
Committee members Mike Hine, Derick England, Alan Storer, Karen Shearer, Mike Wilesmith, Evelyne Sanpher, Sally Wootton, Pat Turnbull, Angela Richmond, John Beck and Sarah Storey. Picture: Adrian Murray. (1703051AM9)

Every week the Harrogate and District Talking Newspaper Association (HDTN) uses articles from the Harrogate Advertiser Series to record news bulletins for people who are blind, partially sighted, or have disabilities making it difficult for them to hold or read a newspaper.

For the recipients, it is an invaluable and cherished social lifeline that helps them to stay informed and enjoy discussing the local hot topics of the week.

The Harrogate Advertiser attended one of the Association's production nights at their studio in Ripley to speak to the team of dedicated volunteers who have made the service such a success.

Sitting at a table with enthusiastic committee members and volunteers, Chairman of HDTN Sarah Storey, said: "We are very happy to be celebrating this anniversary.

"Our recipients really value staying informed and finding out what is going on locally.

"We get some lovely feedback from people saying that they look forward to getting the news every week and that it makes such a difference to them."

Committee member Evelyn Sanpher is just one of their long time recipients who looks forward to her Talking Newspaper every week.

Evelyn said: "Not being able to see to read, I like to be able to stay informed and know what is going on around the district.

"I count the readers of the news as friends, they are really interesting to listen to - you come to know their voices and enjoy their company."

Editor Sally Wootton said: "It is important for people to know what the issues are locally, and I really enjoy being a part of it.

"It is an interesting process going through the newspapers and deciding what goes in our bulletins."

Presenter Mike Streeton said: "It's really nice when we go to events and sometimes have the opportunity to meet some of our recipients and hear their feedback.

"It is a really fun thing to be a part of, and you meet some really friendly people."

From distribution to editing, and from presenting to processing the recordings, committee members and volunteers work together as a unit to make the production happen - and they all enjoyed their annual lunch at Ascot House Hotel to mark the milestone 40th anniversary.

To find out more about the Harrogate and District Talking Newspaper Association, visit their website: www.harrogatetalkingnewspaper.co.uk, where you can find out more about how to receive the recordings, and their monthly magazine.