This Sheffield charity is making sure people with a sight impairment can still listen to the news

Volunteers at a Sheffield charity which works to bring the news to people who are sight-impaired have found different ways to ensure those in need can still access their resources.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 3:22 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 3:47 pm

Sheffield Talking News (STN), which has been run by volunteers since 1988, produces audio recordings of weekly local news, interviews and features. These recordings are usually saved on a USB stick and then sent out weekly to people but, amid the coronavirus outbreak, the charity has decided to stop producing the USB sticks.

Instead, people can still listen to their recordings over the phone or via various online means, which is all free of charge.

Chair of the charity, Mary Callaghan, said: “There is no need to stop listening to your favourite news.

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“Following government advice and in order to protect the health of their volunteers STN have been forced to temporarily suspend the production and delivery of the weekly USB memory stick.

“The good news is that Listeners can still hear all their recordings completely free of charge. These include the Weekly News, Magazine and ‘Out & About in Sheffield’ interviews. Recordings can be accessed over the telephone or through various online sources.

“STN hope that friends and relatives will help their subscribers to continue listening to their services.”

To listen on the telephone, people are asked to dial 0114 383 0345 and select what they want to listen to from the menus. Calls are charged at local rates and for many there is one hour of free time in the evenings or weekends. After 59 minutes the call is ended so people don’t incur any costs and all they have to do is re-dial to pick up where they left off.

If people have an Amazon Alexa device, they need to say say ‘Alexa, enable my Talking Newspaper’ and follow the instructions to get all that STN has to offer.

Alternatively, people can hear all of the recordings through the charity website at www.sheffieldtalkingnews.org.uk. There is also a free app called Talking News, which can be downloaded from the app store on smartphones.

If people need help, charity volunteers can be contacted via phone on 0114 278 0440 or at e-mail [email protected]