Are you struggling to read local newspapers?
Why not sign up to our free Talking Newspaper service, delivering audio recordings of local news and magazine articles through your letter box. You qualify if you are blind or partially sighted with close up vision of N12 or less quality. You do not have to be registered blind or partially sighted. Approaches can be made to us direct by the would-be listener, their family, friends or social worker. Clubs or county librarians who work with the visually impaired through alternative reading formats can also be involved, as well as the local Northamptonshire Association for the Blind (NAB).
The Wellingborough and District Talking Newspaper provides the following free service:-
- Approximately 90 minutes of local news on a memory stick, taken mainly from the Evening Telegraph, is delivered each week.
- A further 90 minutes of magazine articles, compiled by various sources within Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire, is provided on the same memory stick.
- USB Memory sticks are sent and returned ” FREEPOST, Articles for the Blind” at no cost to the user.
- Any visually impaired person can apply to join the service.
- An easy to use USB player is loaned free of charge to any service user who has no other means of playing memory sticks.
- This player is small, battery operated, portable and can readily be moved round the house.
The service was started in 1979, and currently operates from our own studio at The Belgrade Centre, Denington Road, Wellingborough. The news is recorded on a Monday evening and despatched on a Tuesday morning by a dedicated team of volunteers. We currently have over 100 individual listeners. In addition we despatch memory sticks to a number of day centres and care homes for use in the communal areas.
The Wellingborough & District Talking Newspaper was started in 1979 thanks to a grant of £ 4000 for equipment from Wellingborough Lions Club and permission to use news from the Evening Telegraph, still the main source of our news. The first group of volunteers came from a small group of workers and their families from what was then Reliance Systems, where the earliest tapes were made. In 1980 we moved to a studio at the bottom of Park Road, 5A, Dexters Chambers, to be precise which we occupied until April 2014.
Wellingborough Talking Newspaper produced its first CD recordings in 2004. During a trial period of three months a small number of listeners who had agreed to take part in the pilot scheme received their magazine programmes on CD. These early recordings were first made on 90 minute cassette tapes and then downloaded and shortened to 80 minutes on the computer’s hard-drive.
In January 2012 the Wellingborough and District Talking Newspaper abandoned recording on cassette tapes and CDs and invested substantially in state of the art digital recording equipment. Therefore the weekly news and magazine recordings are now delivered on USB Memory Sticks. These can be played either on a computer or on a special portable USB player which we are able to loan free of charge.
Unfortunately the Council rent we were paying for our recording studio in Park Road eventually became untenable and we were forced to look for alternative accommodation.
A new site was finally found and on Friday 11th July 2014 The Worshipful The Mayor of Wellingborough, Councillor Jim Bass, opened the new recording studio which is located at the Belgrade Centre, Denington Road, Wellingborough, NN8 2QH.