Talking newspaper for blind and partially-sighted people to return to Leeds after five-year absence

A talking newspaper for people who are blind or partially-sighted in Leeds is set to be relaunched.

Thursday, 4th January 2018, 4:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th January 2018, 4:05 pm
Feature on the volunteers of Burnley's talking newspaper group. Alan (left), Marjorie Dunderdale and Brian Horne prepare the next edition. PIC BY ROB LOCK 10-5-2017

The previous service folded five years ago but after an appeal by local health care officials, the Talking Newspaper Federation UK (TNF) has got involved in the process of reviving the service.

TNF assist groups up and down the country in setting up and running talking newspapers.

Volunteers read aloud the contents of local newspapers and magazines and the recordings are then transferred to a memory stick for users to listen on.

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Feature on the volunteers of Burnley's talking newspaper group. The USB stick and 'boom box' used to listen to the recordings. PIC BY ROB LOCK 10-5-2017

Alan Dunderdale, development officer at TNF, has been tasked with drawing up the logistics of bringing the service back to Leeds.

“There’s a big demand for it in Leeds,” said Alan.

“Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) have told me they are desperate for something like this in the city.

“Lot of readers say that it’s like having a friend reading a newspaper to them.

Feature on the volunteers of Burnley's talking newspaper group. The USB stick and 'boom box' used to listen to the recordings. PIC BY ROB LOCK 10-5-2017

“It’s a real bonus to them and means they can hold a conversation with friends and family.

“These people have interests too.

“They are normal people - it’s just that they have a slight disability.”

Alan, who grew up in Bramley, says that the recordings try to include as much variety as possible.

“As well as news and sport we also record lighting up times and chemist opening hours,” he added.

“We try and get as much information as possible into the recordings.”

If you know anyone who is registered blind or partially-sighted email [email protected] or leave a message on 07564 368453.