News and Events

Sussex Coast Talking News

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Sussex Coast Talking News distributes fortnightly news broadcasts - containing up to 30 stories plus a magazine - directly to the homes of listeners who are unable to look at a conventional newspaper.

Recipients from Shoreham to Bognor Regis receive the information by post via CD or USB stick, ensuring they are able to stay fully in touch with what’s been happening in their area.

If you know of anyone who you think may benefit from ‘talking news’ you should contact Margaret Eagle at magalan@yahoo.com

 

Volunteers, who have provided the free news service for visually impaired and blind people for more than 45 years, have maintained the service during the past year by turning their spare rooms into ‘home studios’ to ensure the operation has kept running uninterrupted through the Pandemic lockdowns.

Normally, broadcasts are recorded digitally at the charity’s professional studio in Rustington. A team of news editors prepare the bulletins, based on local newspaper articles, also producing a separate digitally-recorded magazine containing feature material. These are recorded by a group of readers and technicians, with multiple copies produced and posted out.

But when Covid-19 struck early last year, subsequent restrictions meant teams could no longer meet collectively for studio recordings and to copy and distribute the broadcasts.

SCTN - originally known as Voice of Progress - felt it was essential to come up with a plan and do everything possible to keep the service going. Under director Rob Batho, volunteers were asked if they were able to record the broadcasts at home.

During the lockdowns, bulletins have been prepared as usual, emailed to readers, who have been using their phones, computers and tablets to produce ‘at home’ recordings which have then been collated by the charity’s ‘techies’ and made available on the SCTN website (https://sites.google.com/view/sussexctn/home) for listeners to access. 

In addition, SCTN volunteers have been in contact with their listeners, telephoning them all regularly to ensure they are well and to help them access the information online.

Director Rob Batho said: “We all felt that at this time it was vital we kept our service going for our listeners and it was wonderful the way our volunteers stepped up to help.

“It was clear from phoning listeners that they were pleased to hear from us and that they always looked forward to our audio digest of local news.”

Since the charity was launched in 1975, well over 1,100 editions have been produced and many leading politicians and celebrities - including Harold Macmillan, David Jacobs, Dave Allen, Margaret Thatcher and Barbara Cartland - have been interviewed exclusively for the broadcasts.

If you know of anyone who you think may benefit from ‘talking news’ you should contact Margaret Eagle at magalan@yahoo.com

Pic caption: Sue Hepburn, one of South Coast Talking News’ readers