Grant that work – the Buxton Talking Newspaper Story

Every week a loyal band of volunteers meet to audio record the contents of local papers and magazines. Their voices, their words, travel across the High Peak and connect over 100 elderly, and visually impaired people to the outside world.

Adjusting to life with visual loss can be emotionally very challenging, it can cause depression / low mood on top of having to cope with the practical changes required to a person’s daily lifestyle.

A small grant from the Hall Family Fund was able to revitalise and grow the group’s stock of USB sticks and audio recording equipment to support the expansion of their service into local care homes, as well as private residents.

It sounds such a simple thing, but the act of being able to keep up with daily life through a local paper or magazine can galvanise spirits, provide entertainment and solace and help to maintain a sense of independence so many feel is slipping away.

Elsie* is one of our listeners, she is 90 years old, largely housebound and is now blind after deterioration in her sight over the last few years.

When we arrived to bring her new listening device she was enthusing to her niece about how much the Talking Newspaper meant to her.  To be able to keep in touch with what is going on in and around the town she has grown up in and to understand how things are changing – the sense of feeling joined to and part of the community, outside her door was invaluable.