Talking News charity birthday
A group which helps to provideÂ a free audio news service for the blind and theÂ visually impairedÂ has celebrated their 30th birthday.
Sheffield Talking News, (STN),Â is a charity which providesÂ a free serviceÂ for those who find reading a newspaper difficult due to disability,Â and operated by a team of unpaid volunteers.
The team came together earlier this month to celebrate their milestone at a dinner at Tapton Hall, aÂ Grade II listed venue in Crosspool.
Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Tony Downing praisedÂ Sheffield Talking News and its 60 strong volunteering team for their commitment for keeping over 400 blind and visually impaired people across Sheffield up-to-date with local news, information overÂ the last thirty years.
He said: ''Happy anniversary and thank you for the great work you do.'
Councillor Anne Murphy, who has long been a listener and keen supporter of STN for a number of years,Â paid tribute To the volunteers whoÂ record and dispatchÂ USB memory sticks filled with the local news to the hundreds of users ofÂ the charityÂ across the city.
She said: 'A golden package lands on my doormat every week without fail.'
The BBC's Gerry Kersey alos entertained guests at the event by reliving memories of his career, which be began fifty years ago.
He described his early days in radio, his favourite programmes and even entertained people with the occasional burst of song to illustrate his theme of talking and listening.
Addressing the crowd, Gerry said 'Fellow communicators your free service to the visually impaired means talking and listening and providing a very valuable service.'
Gerry also thanked The Telegraph and our sister title the Sheffield Star for our support of the charity.
Chair of STN Mary Callaghan said she looked forward to celebrating more milestones in the years to come.
She said: ''Here's to another 30 years of providing our free service to Sheffield.'
STN was founded in 1988 by Mary and the lateÂ Bill Crozier andÂ Roy Chester.
The charity is based atÂ the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind, Mappin Street, just outside the city centre.
Each week, a group of volunteers help to select the news, record and edit it inÂ custom built studio and put it on USB sticks ready to be sent to the charity's users.
Editors start the process byÂ selecting material for the recording by reading The Telegraph and the Sheffield Star.
They thenÂ draw up a reading list based in stories which they believe will be of most interest to their listeners.
Readers then read the chosenÂ new itemsÂ and technicians record them as they do so.
The technicians then undertake post production work and make a copy to a master tape before uploading the recording to the USB sticks and also the charity website.
The USB memory sticks are then ready to be distributed to listeners free of charge under the Royal Mail's articles for the blind concession.
The USB stick arrives on doorsteps in a bright yellow padded postal wallet, and all the charity ask is that recipients make use of the return address label provided to them once they have listened to the news toÂ send theÂ memory stick back to the charity so it can be reused each week.
Sheffield Talking News is funded solely through public donations andÂ benefactors.
The charity does not receive any government or council assistance and volunteer are unpaid.
If you would like to donate to the charity, become a volunteer, or sign up toÂ use the service please e-mail [email protected] or callÂ 0114 2780 440.
You canÂ listen to STN on the official website at www.sheffieldtalkingnews.org.uk, orÂ or even through the charity'sÂ new telephone service on 0114 2305 1664. Charges apply for the telephone service.Â You can also find the STNÂ podcast on iTunes.
For more informationÂ about the charity, please visit the website.