ST ALBANS & DISTRICT TALKING NEWSPAPER (FOR THE BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED)
Your local Talking Newspaper (‘SADTN’) helps to keep visually impaired residents in touch with what is happening in Harpenden, St Albans and the surrounding villages.
Each week, we send our audio programme (or ‘Talking Newspaper’) to almost 100 local listeners, aged between 45 and 99. Every time we find a new listener, they tell us that they did not know about our free service! We depend on recommendation by current listeners, word-of-mouth and reference by professionals such as care homes, GP practices, opticians, clinics, health visitors, chiropodists and others.
Our weekly programmes - between 90 and 120 minutes long but with the option of ‘jumping over’ any item - include news stories and readers’ letters from the Herts Advertiser, St Albans & Harpenden Review, St Albans Times, Harpendia and articles from other local and national sources including Hertfordshire Life – all by permission of the publishers – as well as interviews with local ‘celebrities’, information especially relevant to the visually impaired, previews of local music and entertainment (amateur and professional), audio book discussions, what’s coming up on national radio, which of this week’s TV programmes provide the ‘audio assist’ facility, the ‘London and New York Beyond Sight’ series and a range of content from other TNs across the UK.
Delivered free by Royal Mail as ‘Articles for the Blind’, our programmes reach our listeners on a USB stick which they listen to through an easy-to-use player (provided by SADTN on free loan) or through their own computer or other device. Volunteer readers record the news programmes and articles; other volunteers handle the recording, production, copying and distribution.
Our weekly programmes - as well as archives of interviews, discussions, poems and other items - can be heard on the ‘Listen Online’ page on our website (www.sadtn.org.uk) and on the ‘Talking Newspaper’ mobile app. We also help Herts Vision Loss by recording its regular magazines for visually impaired members.
As a registered charity active since 1974 and run entirely by volunteers, SADTN uses gifts, donations, street collections and bequests to fund its operation and enable new listeners to be added. Our website explains how new listeners can sign up for our weekly programmes and how new volunteers can offer to help, as well as how to donate. We have welcomed students aiming for their Duke of Edinburgh Award to work with us on special projects, and were honoured to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and The St Albans City & District Mayor’s ‘Special Recognition’ Award in 2019 and the Lord Lieutenant’s ‘Heroes of Hertfordshire’ Award in 2020 as recognition that we had adapted to the situation and continued to produce our programme each week throughout the pandemic and lock downs.
Registered Charity No.268838