Tonbridge Lions seek readers to record local news for visually impaired

READ ALL ABOUT IT: (L-R) Rowena Love, Margaret Hawkins, Editor Dixon Hawkins, Tim Hamsell and Betti Price make up one of the five Talking Newspaper teams recording at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital

Tonbridge Lions seek readers to record local news for visually impaired

by Andy Tong | 31st January 2019

TONBRIDGE LIONS are looking for volunteers to help with their Talking Newspaper operation.

The club has been running the service for the visually impaired for 39 years and have never previously experienced a shortage of readers.

There are five teams, each consisting of an editor, four readers and a technician. Each team records once every five weeks, on a Friday evening at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital.

For one hour from 7.15pm, they read local news from the Times of Tonbridge newspaper, as well as events listed on social media.

The news articles are selected by the editor earlier in the day, collated and fixed to sheets of A4 paper for ease of reading.

The readings are recorded on to a memory card and then uploaded to the Kent Association for the Blind at Maidstone.

The sound file is then copied on to memory sticks and sent to the many recipients in the Tonbridge area.

Lions organiser Richard Rose said: “The service allows people to keep up with the news from the local community which they would otherwise be unable to access.”

He added: “At present the Lions Club is short of volunteers to man all teams, so if you can spare any time for the above schedule they would welcome some help. If you are only able to help occasionally you could become a reserve to cover others at holiday times.”

To find out how to join the teams, contact Richard on 01892 653863.

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