Paper reaches wider audience

Alnwick Talking Newpaper volunteers Jim Barrett, Andrew Smail, Alan Robinson, Manfred Broch, Arlene Cadman and Liz Lamb at one of their recording sessions.
Alnwick Talking Newpaper volunteers Jim Barrett, Andrew Smail, Alan Robinson, Manfred Broch, Arlene Cadman and Liz Lamb at one of their recording sessions.
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A FREE service for the blind and partially-sighted is looking for new clients in north Northumberland.

Alnwick Lions’ Talking Newspaper wants to make sure no one is missing out on what’s reported in the Gazette, which they record onto cassette and then send out once a fortnight.

At the moment, the team provides tapes to 38 people with varying degrees of visual impairment, but the service is also available to anyone who has mobility issues which make it difficult to access a copy of the paper each week.

Talking newspaper editor Andrew Smail said: “We want people to be aware that we are here and that they can access local news through our cassette. Each cassette contains 45 minutes of news on one side and features on the other, including music.

“They are recorded at the Gazette office and then sent out in labelled packs to the clients. When they are finished with it, they simply return the cassette by post, which is paid for by the Lions. Our clients mainly live in the Alnwick area, but we do post a few cassettes as far as Catterick, Huddersfield and even Brighton, to readers who used to live here.

Some of the customers who receive the tapes have been signed up for more than 20 years, but the group wants to make sure that others are not missing out on the opportunity.

Andrew added: “Anyone who uses the service has to be visually-impaired but we will also provide cassettes to those with physical difficulties which stops them from reading a newspaper.

If you know anyone interested in receiving the Talking Newspaper, contact Andrew on 01665 602562.