29th May 2019 - Norwich Charity Receives Large Grant to Benefit the Visually Impaired and Volunteers
Chatterbox, the Norwich Talking Newspaper, has just received a grant of over £5,500 from an anonymous donor. The grant will help Chatterbox to provide major benefits for the blind and visually impaired listeners to Chatterbox products and to improve conditions for their 100 volunteers.
Most of the grant will be used to help Chatterbox listeners to use new technology. When Chatterbox started sending out weekly talking newspapers forty years ago they were recorded on tapes. This technology was succeeded by USB memory sticks and at the moment Chatterbox provides all their listeners with a free memory stick player, and they plug in a new memory stick each week to hear the Chatterbox talking newspaper. They also receive various other recordings, such as the monthly EDP Norfolk and Let’s Talk magazines (supplied by Archant) and Chataround, a quarterly magazine produced by a Chatterbox team.
Now, thanks to the new grant, listeners can also listen on Amazon Echo Smart Speakers and on the telephone. Chatterbox will be providing up to 50 of their listeners with free Amazon Echo smart speakers so that they can try out this way of listening each week. Support will be provided to help new users setup their smart speakers and start listening to Chatterbox. This will be provided to Chatterbox listeners who already have wifi connections, and are interested in trying out the new technology.
Stephen Cox, who will be coordinating the trial, said “We are very excited by this opportunity to exploit the latest technologies for talking newspapers. We know it will not suit everyone, and expect to be continuing to provide many listeners with memory sticks for a very long time, but we hope that the use of smart speakers will spread, as it will reduce some of our production costs.”
Part of the grant will be used to purchase an Automatic External Defibrillator or AED. This will be installed in the Chatterbox office. As many Chatterbox volunteers are in their 60s, 70s, 80s or even 90s there is a risk that someone might have a heart attack while helping at the office. Christine Gillham, one of the Chatterbox team leaders who has been trained in emergency first aid said “We hope that we never have to use the AED, but it is good to know that we now have the means to intervene if it is suddenly needed.”
Chatterbox always welcomes new blind or visually impaired listeners, who are provided with a free USB memory stick player and receive all Chatterbox recordings every week, free of charge. Anyone interested can contact Chatterbox at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on their Answerphone: 01603 765365
Chatterbox’s 100 volunteers put together a recording of highlights from the Norwich Evening News every week and have now produced over 2040 editions. They also record excerpts from the EDP Norfolk and Let’s Talk magazines every month, and produce their own Chataround magazine programme which is also distributed by several other Talking Newspapers and broadcast by Future Radio and on N&N Hospital radio. Chatterbox recordings go to about 500 blind and visually impaired listeners, mainly in the Norwich area.
The visually impaired on our mailing list listen to Chatterbox productions on USB sticks.
Chatterbox can also be listened to:
• On our website: www.cbtn.org.uk
• On Amazon Echo Smart Speakers: Just ask Alexa to “Enable My Talking Newspaper”
• Or on the phone: Call 01603 327789
David Potten, Chair, Chatterbox Trustees:
Home: 01603 304216
Mobile: 07733 664270