Local charity receives prestigious award

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A longstanding Sheffield charity which provides local news to the visually impaired and others who cannot read a newspaper, has been awarded the King's Award for Voluntary Service

On 14th May Sheffield Talking News (STN) was presented with the King's Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS) by the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Professor Dame Hilary Chapman DBE RN. She was accompanied by The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Colin Ross and the Lady Mayoress Mrs Susan Ross, for whom this was their last formal engagement in office. They were welcomed by Mary Blakemore, Acting Chair of STN, Jane Peach and Richard Frost from Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB). SRSB works closely with STN and kindly hosted the event.

The event was attended by several volunteers and listeners from STN, friends from SRSB and guests from other supporting organisations.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Lord Lieutenant, Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress went to the recording studio where they were shown how STN's news editions are edited, recorded, copied and despatched to listeners.

Alan Thorpe, Velvet, Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress, Mary Blakemore, Dame Hilary Chapman and Wendy YapAlan Thorpe, Velvet, Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress, Mary Blakemore, Dame Hilary Chapman and Wendy Yap
Alan Thorpe, Velvet, Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress, Mary Blakemore, Dame Hilary Chapman and Wendy Yap

Once in the main presentation room, a short film was shown which featured some listeners expressing their appreciation for everything STN provides. The presentation also touched on the future challenges faced by STN.

Before presenting the award the Lord Lieutenant praised and admired the work carried out by all the volunteers at STN and advised that such honours are not awarded lightly.

The citation for the award was then read out by Phillip Barraclough, the Lord Lieutenant's aide, and Dame Hilary presented a certificate signed by King Charles and a piece of commemorative crystal to Alan Thorpe and his assistance dog Velvet. In return Alan, who is both a visually impaired listener and a committee member of Sheffield Talking News, gave Dame Hilary a copy of the citation which he had prepared in Braille.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Following the formal proceedings there were photographs, refreshments and the Lord Lieutenant chatted to several guests.Previously, two volunteers (Wendy Yap, who is treasurer and Gerry Kersey, a reader) had the honour of representing STN at a formal garden party held at Buckingham Palace on 8 May. Several members of the royal family were in attendance, including the King himself, Queen Camilla, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh. A great time was had by all.

Lady Mayoress, Lord Mayor, Lord Lieutenant, Phil GeorgeLady Mayoress, Lord Mayor, Lord Lieutenant, Phil George
Lady Mayoress, Lord Mayor, Lord Lieutenant, Phil George

Sheffield Talking News is extremely proud to receive this prestigious award and thanks all its volunteers, supporters and partner organisations, as well as its listeners, and poignantly acknowledges the significant role played for so many years by our late chair, Mary Callaghan.

STN has been providing a weekly recording of local news to visually impaired people in Sheffield since 1988 and is one of only seven charities in South Yorkshire to be given the honour, which is known as the MBE for voluntary organisations.

The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King emphasised his desire to continue the Award.