26 May East Shropshire Talking Newspaper receives Queen’s award for Voluntary Service
The highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK, it was presented to the charity by Anna Turner, the Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire.
Robert Green, the talking newspaper’s chairman, said members were thrilled and could not be more pleased.
“Only three such awards were given in Shropshire this year and we feel privileged indeed that we received one of them,” he said.
He said that as part of the decision to give the award the talking newspaper welcomed two of the Lord-Lieutenant’s deputies to its studio to see for themselves the work of the volunteers.
The award was presented at the talking newspapers new base provided by the Wrekin Housing Group.
“We are indebted to one of our volunteers, Tim Allsop who started the whole venture off.”
Shropshire originally had one talking newspaper, launched in 1976 to help people with impaired vision. Then in 1990 it split into the East and the West talking newspapers, the east serving Telford, Albrighton, Shifnal, Ironbridge, Much Wenlock, Bridgnorth, Newport, Claverley, Highley, Alverley and Market Drayton.
“We provide a free weekly USB memory stick of local news and features to our listeners,” Mr Green said.
“We now record remotely and send the items to a central file store.”
Up until 2012 cassettes were send out to listeners but they were replaced when new technology saw them become almost obsolete.
He said the talking newspaper was staffed entirely by volunteers, and operated solely via voluntary donations from both individuals and organisations.
“We have been affected by the postal strikes as the USB sticks are kindly delivered free of charge for us through Royal Mail.
“We hope that things will get back to normal soon.”
Anyone interested in receiving the talking newspaper or in volunteering to help can find out more information online at eastshropshiretn.co.uk.
Credit – Shropshire Star