23rd April 2020 - The Chatterbox Norwich team are Talking again!
In 2019 the team of Chatterbox Norwich volunteers won the Norfolk and Waveney Team of the Year award. Now they are again excelling, addressing the coronavirus challenge by innovating in order to continue providing recordings to the blind and visually impaired in Norfolk.
The Norwich talking newspaper volunteers have been delivering weekly recordings of highlights from the Norwich Evening News for 42 years, and they have decided that they will not allow a virus to stop them. Sending out 400 to 500 memory sticks a week is impossible in the current situation as it requires 20 or more volunteers to work together at the Chatterbox office. Instead the volunteer readers and sound recordists are doing everything safely from their own homes and making their weekly recordings available on the Internet, on the phone and to smart speaker users.
The team are not only producing a weekly podcast summary of Norfolk news from the Eastern Daily Press (EDP). Last week they recorded highlights from the April 2020 edition of Norfolk magazine and this week they have recorded articles from the May edition of Let’s Talk.
If you want to listen you can go to the website, www.cbtn.org.uk OR you can ask your Amazon Echo: “Alexa, please enable my talking newspaper.” OR you can ring 01603 327789 (option 1 for the weekly podcast, option 2 for Let’s Talk, option 4 for Norfolk magazine).
Alison Aplin, who coordinated production of the May 2020 edition of Chatterbox Let’s Talk said “We hope that many of our regular listeners will be able to listen to the weekly podcast and to Norfolk magazine and Let’s Talk. If anyone has friends, relations or neighbours who are blind or visually disabled please let them know that they can listen to the weekly recording. Listening to the website or on a smart speaker is free. Listening on 01603 327789 costs the same as a landline call to a Norwich number – and many people have free local calls at certain times.”
Chatterbox’s blind listeners seem delighted with the new podcasts. Mike Blythe, chair of the Listener's Panel said "I just don't know how the team are making this work, it's like magic. I listen on the Alexa and the sound is getting better each week. I look forward to hearing the local news and keeping in touch with other listeners". Jeanette with her guide dog Jason called us and said "Please remember lots of elderly people don't have access to the internet and we need to use telephones. Thank you, Chatterbox, for providing this".