Burnham charity helping visually impaired shuts down
long-running Burnham-On-Sea charity which has provided audio news
to blind and visually handicapped people for over 30 years is
set to close.
and Voices Talking Newspaper Burnham-On-Sea has operated for 33
years, providing recipients with memory sticks featuring recordings
of local news articles, features and interviews.
of the stories were sourced from Burnham-On-Sea.com, along with
other news providers but this week's bulletin - its 800th - is
the group's final one and the charity is being wound up.
Bryan, President of the group, pictured right with contributor
Tony Deahl holding the memory sticks, told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"It's very sad to be stopping after 33 years, but unfortunately
there are dwindling numbers of people who use the service."
had over 130 people at one time receiving the recordings every
fortnight, but now we're down to just 15. It's no longer viable."
of the reasons for the downturn is stricter privacy and data protection
rules which prevent doctors, social services and nursing homes
from sharing personal data with us about when visually handicapped
people move into the area."
added that the charity also has had to raise ever-increasing funds
to keep running. "We've had to raise over £2,000 a
year to pay for both insurance and rent costs for using the Town
Council Chambers for our recordings. It's sad to see it go after
so long - it's really regrettable - but we have done what can
and now is the right time to call it a day."
thanked the charity's 40 volunteers who have spent many hundreds
of hours in helping to run the service. The charity's equipment
is being disposed of, some of it going to similar services in
Weston and Bridgwater.
BACK AT 33 YEARS OF RECORDINGS
the years, Burnham-On-Sea.com has featured the audio service many
interviewed have included MPs, head teachers of local schools,
local authors, local yachtsmen, the matron of Burnham Hospital,
and many others from local groups and charities.
2010 and in 2014, Burnham's then-MP Tessa Munt was interviewed
for the service, as reported here,
by Tony Deahl, a regular editor.
2010 and 2011, Sounds and Voices brought pupils from King Alfred
School into the recording studio for a special feature on local
youth, pictured below, and reported here.
service was also featured in 2008 here
when John Bryan interviewed visitors to a volunteer fair, pictured
interview with Burnham-On-Sea author Andy Cruickshank was also
featured in 2013, as reported here.
And in 2012 Brean parish council chairwoman Joan Jackman was
the focus of the service, as featured here,
when she spoke about her community work and the publication of