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Talking Newspaper Conference

Amanda Barton

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Talking Newspapers Marple Buxton Talking Newspapers High Peak Town End Methodist Church Patricia Kerry

Chapel-en-le-Frith based volunteers from Buxton Talking Newspapers were delighted to host their first ever conference for the Talking Newspapers Federation in June. 

The Federation represents over 450 local talking newspapers in the UK. Talking newspapers were established in the 1960s to enable blind and partially sighted listeners to access local news in audio format. Volunteers select, read and edit articles from local newspapers and magazines and post the recordings on memory sticks to subscribers. 

Listeners living in the High Peak receive their news, free of charge, from Buxton Talking Newspapers who meet each Thursday at Townend Methodist Church in Chapel-en-le-Frith to prepare the recordings. 

“We have around 30 active volunteers at Buxton TN, some who work on the weekly newspaper, some on our bi-monthly magazine and some on both,” says volunteer, Fran Pickering. 

Patricia Kerry oversees operations and organised the conference with husband, Philip. 

“We were very pleased with how it went,” she said. “We had both local delegates in attendance, as well as those from Congleton, Stockport and the West Midlands. The conference came about because the TNF have been asking us to organise local conferences for a while. They have an annual conference which lasts two or three days, but are finding that this is not what TN volunteers want any more as it’s costly and rather repetitive. Local conferences are less costly and hopefully more relevant.”

“Delegates were pleased with the format, the speakers and the chance to get together with other TN's and discuss ways of working. I think probably the key speaker, Amanda Reed, Chair of TNF, was the highlight of the day. Delegates also very much enjoyed the social side and the opportunity to swap ideas. And we had an excellent presentation from David Beard of the British Wireless for the Blind Fund who focused on streaming.”

If you think you would like to become a listener, or know of someone who would benefit from the service, please contact: buxtontalkingnewspaper@gmail.com or phone Patricia on 01298 811021.
New volunteers are always needed to take on a range of roles.