Swindon and District Talking Newspaper turns 40

By Barrie Hudson - 10 May 2022

  • Speaker Dr Tanvir Bush addresses the 40th birthday gathering

    Speaker Dr Tanvir Bush addresses the 40th birthday gathering

Four decades of recording news for blind and partially sighted listeners have been celebrated by a Swindon charity.

  • Guest speaker Dr Bush with charity chair Mike Wood

    Guest speaker Dr Bush with charity chair Mike Wood

The Swindon and District Talking Newspaper, affectionately known as STAN, marked its 40th birthday with an afternoon tea for both listeners and volunteers.

It was held the Blunsdon House Hotel and had a a very special speaker in attendance. 

Dr Tanvir Bush came along to talk about her retinitis pigmentosa diagnosis aged 19, giving insight into how this affected her life and discussing skills she has acquired along the way to continue living without limitations.

Chairman Mike Wood said afterwards: "It was lovely to bring together today some of our volunteers and listeners to celebrate our 40th anniversary; and it was particularly heart-warming to have Dr Bush here to share her story with us. 

"Had it not have been for volunteers agreeing to continue to volunteer and then issue the Talking News over the internet through the covid lockdowns, we would likely not be here today. We have come a long way with technology and have decided to continue to issue the online recordings as well as continuing to send out the USB recordings. 

"The USB recordings are sent out via Articles for the Blind via Royal Mail. This service is specifically for those registered with visual impairments and does not include other disabilities, however, through our online recordings, we are now able to offer these online to anyone who would like to access them.”

STAN currently records fortnightly news from the Swindon Advertiser as well as sport and local history before distributing it to its listeners, both on a memory (USB) stick which is sent directly to listeners and online. Boom boxes to listen to the physical recordings are provided by the charity. 

The charity is always looking for more listeners and volunteers, and is especially interested in volunteers who may be able to help them continue to fundraise.

People interested in volunteering to help the service are asked to call 01793 522511 or email stan@swindontalkingnews.org.uk

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Registered in England & Wales. No: 4513027, Positive Media Group, Old Bank House, 5 Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 4BJ