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CHIPPENHAM & District Talking Newspapers, which produces the Melksham Talking Newspaper, has received a grant of £1,500 to purchase three new laptops.
The volunteer group, which produces and distributes recorded audio news on USB memory sticks for blind, partially sighted and housebound people in and around Melkshamm Chippenham and Malmesbury, intends to use the new laptops in its Chippenham-based studio once normal service resumes.
Volunteer Brian Heath, who currently records the Melksham Talking Newspaper in his loft at his home, reports, “Since the pandemic began, I have been producing the fortnightly Melksham edition and sending it out to up to 25 addresses in and around Melksham, including four care homes who have residents who used to live or have family and friends in the Melksham area.
“Our Chippenham and Malmesbury editions have been combined into a single weekly recording made by Margaret and Gwyn Rees in their home and sent out to over 60 listeners over a wide area.”
The Chippenham & District Talking Newspapers received the grant from the Borough Lands charity, which generates its income from investments and property in Chippenham and uses it to give out grants to community projects, people and organisations, welfare, education and the arts within the parish of Chippenham.
Brian adds, “Their grant to Chippenham & District Talking Newspapers will be used to provide protective screens within our studio and to upgrade our computers and other equipment so as to be able to minimise the use of actual printed newspapers and rely instead on online digital versions.
“It will also go some way to covering the subscriptions we have had to pay and will continue to pay in order to gain access to the digitised content of local newspapers – with the notable exception of the Melksham Independent News, which is completely free to access whether in its printed or its digital editions.”
If you know somebody who would like to receive a Talking Newspaper, or would like to help the service, contact Brian on 01249 814005 or 07944 818971.