Cllr Annie Brewster, Mayor of St Albans City and District, congratulated St Albans & District Talking Newspaper (SADTN) on 26 April for reaching its 40th anniversary. Cllr Brewster cut the anniversary cake at the charity’s Annual General meeting at St Mary’s Church, Marshalswick. Help was close at hand in the form of Mike Tetley, his guide dog Wendy, and around 30 other visually impaired listeners.
Cllr Brewster and Cllr Rosemary Farmer, Harpenden Town Mayor, chatted with many of the 90 listeners, volunteers and guests at the celebrations. Also present were representatives from neighbouring Talking Newspapers across the County. Presentations were made by representatives of the national Talking Newspaper Federation and the Harpenden Lions Club. The Club’s 2014 Easter Egg Raffle is funding a communications package for SADTN, which will help develop its first website, to be launched soon at www.sadtn.org.uk.
Cllr Annie Brewster, Mayor of St Albans City and District, said: “St Albans & District Talking Newspaper does a fantastic job helping members of our community who are visually impaired. Through their weekly audio programmes, the charity keeps listeners in touch with what’s happening across the District. Those of us who enjoy the benefit of sight often forget that visual impairment can leave you excluded from what’s going on around the community. I offer my congratulations for the first 40 years of this very important local charity. This is one of the oldest Talking Newspapers in the whole of the UK – long may it prosper!”
The charity provides a free news service to visually impaired people and is supported by volunteers that have included local celebrities, the late Eric Morecambe and Philip Madoc. From its studios on Hatfield Road, SADTN produces a weekly audio programme using news items from the Herts Advertiser and the St Albans & Harpenden Review. Articles from Hertfordshire Life and interviews with local ‘celebrities’ are also included in the programme.. Once completed, the programme is then loaded onto memory sticks which are sent each week by post to 100 local listeners. They listen to the programme on the special “boom boxes” provided free of charge by SADTN.
SADTN Chairman, Rob Pearman, commented: “Our fantastic volunteers, we have about 80 of them, work hard to get these programmes into the homes of our listeners. We raise the cash every year so we can provide this service at no cost to our listeners. Our commitment is to reach out to everyone in St Albans, Harpenden and all the villages within the District. Anyone who is visually impaired, or unable to read the local papers for any reason, can be a listener.”
St Albans Mayor, Cllr Annie Brewster, cuts SADTN’s 40th anniversary cake
[Photo by Brian Doble, L.R.P.S]