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Sanctuary funding helps talking newspaper service

2 July 2020
An older person wears a headset.

Blind and partially sighted people in Rochford are continuing to keep up to date with the latest news thanks to funding from Sanctuary Housing.

Rayleigh, Rochford & Castle Point Talking Newspapers for the Blind is benefitting from £500 from Sanctuary’s Maureen’s Gift fund to replace one of their USB machines.

The talking newspaper service is run by a team of volunteers who read and record articles from the local newspaper, The Echo, onto USB sticks. The new machine will allow multiple recordings to be made and saved onto USB sticks. These audio recordings are then delivered to blind and partially sighted people to help them stay up to date with the news.

Chris Silvey, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to support a project that provides such a vital service when news and information is so important.”

Jean Harrison, from Talking Newspapers, added: “We receive lots of positive feedback from our listeners, who look forward to receiving the regular recordings. This additional funding will help us purchase a new USB machine and continue this valuable service.”

Sanctuary Housing’s Maureen’s Gift fund offers individual grants of up to £500 to charities, resident groups and voluntary organisations that need a financial boost to get community projects up and running.

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Community, Cllr Mike Webb said: “This funding from Sanctuary is great news for the community especially those who would struggle to read the news by sight.

“To the volunteers behind the talking newspapers, who work to ensure that there is access to trusted news and information, thank you. Your efforts make a huge difference and have not gone unnoticed.”

To apply or find out more about Maureen’s Gift, contact Sanctuary on 0300 123 3511 or 0800 131 3348. Alternatively, email contactus@sanctuary-housing.co.uk