The first edition of Richmond Talking News was recorded on Friday April 20th 1979 and arrived on the doormat of a small number of blind people on Monday April 23rd – St George's Day.
Since then there have been a regular 50 weekly editions each year plus a special Christmas recording.
The Talking Newspaper contains news articles extracted from The Richmond & Twickenham Times, recorded and duplicated on Friday and posted to arrive at the listeners’ homes the following Monday morning.
This unique source of local and community news in audio form comes free of charge to anyone who would like to have their paper read for them.
Although the talking newspaper was originally set up for those who were blind or partially sighted, anyone who finds difficulty in handling newspaper – perhaps after a stroke, or who has arthritis, or any other condition – is welcome to subscribe to the service.
Members of the Committee/Trustees
Chair - Jackie Venus
I have been an RTN listener for many years. I joined as a trustee as I felt more direct links with local organisations could expand the reach of RTN.
I was also keen to help RTN with increasing listener interaction so that it could produce more user-friendly items.
Vice-Chair - Valerie Munro
I joined RTN in 2001 when I saw an ad in our local paper for more recording technicians. As a broadcast journalist, the technical side held little fear..
I also felt it was a good way for me to repay all those efforts that others had made to keep my visually impaired mother in touch with her local and community news in Southampton.
Treasurer - Alick Munro
I think it is important that people maintain their local connections and sense of local community.
I do think that Richmond Talking News goes a long way to achieving this.
Secretary - Lynda Hance
I have lived in the borough of Richmond for over 20 years and love the enthusiasm of local people who volunteer their time for good causes. I first started as a reader for RTN because I love reading aloud and wanted to help this fantastic charity. As a management consultant, I felt I could help further by joining the committee as a Trustee to bring my expertise in governance into use.
I was appointed Secretary in January 2020 and am delighted to be part of the team ensuring that we manage the charity in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Listeners' Representative - Alison Kelly
I have worked in primary education – first as a teacher and then a lecturer – for more than 40 years. A major part of my work has been ensuring access to reading for everyone so it was with huge pleasure that I realised a role on the Richmond Talking Newspaper allowed me to continue to ensure that the written word is accessible for everyone including the visually impaired.
I’ve been on the team of readers for three years now. Reading aloud to children and to student teachers is a vital part of my job so it’s great to be able to read aloud from the newspaper for a different audience. I have really enjoyed getting out and about as a ‘roving reporter’ doing pieces of local interest.
Digital Strategy - Barry Donovan
I'd wanted to volunteer locally for some time before coming across an advert asking for someone with a vague technical competency, and having a visually impaired grandmother made the opportunity to help out a perfect fit for me.
I drive the technical side of things for RTN with a desire to increase the availability and the reach of our recordings.