Waveney Words Talking Newspaper to celebrate 30th birthday

Diss, Norfolk. David Holland from Waveney Words

Diss, Norfolk. David Holland from Waveney Words

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A talking newspaper which provides local news to the blind and partially sighted in south Norfolk and north Suffolk will celebrate its 30th anniversary later this month.

First established in 1986, the Waveney Words Talking newspaper Association uses local media, including articles from the Diss Express. It was formed following a public meeting by the Diss and District Rotary Club to make local news more accessible.

We are always looking for more volunteers, and we also want new listeners. We produce 45 or so sticks, and we can produce double that in hardly any extra time

Trevor Freeborn

A committee was created, and, a base found and, thanks to community donations and the Rotary Club, equipment was purchased.

And now, 30 years since its inception, more than 45 people receive their news on a fortnightly basis for free, which is sent out on a USB stick.

A gathering of listeners, volunteers and former volunteers will take place at Diss Bowls Club on April 20 as they celebrate the milestone.

At one stage more than 100 people were benefitting from the free service, although it is claimed all talking newspaper have seen a decline in users, due to medical improvements delaying blindness, as well as the array of other media people are now able to access.

Each recording needs about nine volunteers. All in all, more than 50 are involved with the talking newspaper, half of those being reserve readers. Many are based in the Waveney Valley, although some help from East Harling, Wymondham, Woodbridge, Framlingham and, up until recently, as far as Yorkshire and Gloucester.

Departing secretary Trevor Freeborn, of Pulham Market, told the Diss Express: “It is nice way to say thank you and celebrate 30 years.

“If you are blind or partially sighted you could hear the news on Radio Norfolk, or for the national news you could watch on the TV if you had some sight, but you could not get the really local stuff, and that is what the local newspapers in Diss offer, and we put that on offer to our listeners.

“We all enjoy doing it. We would not all do it if we did not enjoy it.

“We are always looking for more volunteers, and we also want new listeners. We produce 45 or so sticks, and we can produce double that in hardly any extra time.”

The Waveney Words is also accessible online by visiting https://waveney.talking-news.info

For more 01379 651746 or email vicci@kfd-architects.co.uk