Ilkeston’s Talking Newspaper to close its doors

MDB090529L1'Talking newspaper: Jacqui Wardley, Tony Rogers and Steph Elkins work on the Ilkeston talking newspaper
MDB090529L1'Talking newspaper: Jacqui Wardley, Tony Rogers and Steph Elkins work on the Ilkeston talking newspaper

A group which formed 35 years ago to enable visually impaired people to find out the latest news in Ilkeston will close in April.

Ilkeston and District Talking Newspaper saw volunteers reading aloud copies of the Advertiser and recording it onto tape for blind people to listen to.

But the number of people being referred to the service has dramatically dropped leaving the group with no other decision but to close.

Chairman Peter Hodson, who has been involved since the beginning, said: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we no longer receive introductions to visually impaired people who could benefit from our recordings. Since this change the number of recipients has fallen from 140 to 34 which is not viable.”

For 35 years the group’s volunteers have read and recorded the Advertiser every week. They then distribute it free of charge to users, with approximately 150,000 recordings being dispatched over the years.

Mr Hodson said: “We have all enjoyed producing the recordings and have made many friends during the process. I would like to thank all those who have been associated with the Ilkeston Talking Newspaper over the years for their dedication and support.”

The group used to hold its meetings at the Advertiser’s office on Heanor Road during the 1980s.

The group has ample numbers of volunteers who take it in turn to read the paper on a six-week rotation.

Mr Hodson said there was much sadness at the news that it was coming to an end in April.

It is believed that other groups in the surrounding areas are also struggling for numbers because people are no longer being referred by sight support groups.

• Do you know someone who will be affected by the closure of the Talking Newspaper? Get in touch.