Friday, 18 June 2021

Henley Talking Newspaper

THE 33rd annual meeting was held at the Christ Church Centre in Henley on Saturday, May 16.

THE 33rd annual meeting was held at the Christ Church Centre in Henley on Saturday, May 16.

Chairman Richard Hodgkin welcomed members and guest Deputy Mayor Jeni Wood.

He said: “The Henley & District Talking Newspaper has had another successful year but our ‘listener’ numbers have unfortunately dropped steadily over this time and we currently only have 60 recipients.

“This does include six local nursing or care homes who use the recordings as one of their weekly activities, so we do not know how many individuals listen from these homes.

“I would like to put out a plea for new listeners to be introduced to us. We cater not only for those with sight problems but also for those with any other disability that prevents them from reading for themselves.

“The service continues to be free of charge to all and in addition to posting the weekly recordings, we offer a free player that accepts our memory sticks together with instructions on use.”

Mr Hodgkin paid tribute to four volunteers who were retiring, Robin and Sue Rippon and Malcolm and Barbara Lewis. He said they had given up a great deal of their time over many years and would be greatly missed.

“Robin has not only been a long–term controller, with Sue helping with the administration each week, but he has also been responsible for all our equipment purchasing and repair,” said Mr Hodgkin.

“Over the past 12 months we decided to purchase two new laptop computers and upgraded software with which we had a number of teething problems.

“Robin is very dogged with these matters and all now seems to be running smoothly. A big thank–you to you both for all you have done. Malcolm has been another long–term controller and committee member and Barbara has also always been there, helping with admin, copying and sending out the recordings.

“Another big thank–you to them for all their commitment to the charity over many years. Again, it will be difficult to replace such a wealth of knowledge.”

Mr Hodgkin reported that recordings had been sent out every week during the past year, meaning this had now been managed every year for 33 years, or 1,716 consecutive weeks without interruption.

He thanked the Henley Standard for providing early proofs each week, the Henley College for collecting the memory sticks and Townlands Hospital for making the Maurice Tate room available.

He continued: “I would like to say thank you to our committee for all their time given to and in support of the Talking Newspaper and also to all our readers who turn out, whatever the weather, week after week. Most of all, a tribute should go to our ‘listeners’ for their unfailing support. The feedback we get from them is always very positive.”

“We look forward to another year with confidence that the equipment, readers, controllers and all other volunteers are working well together.”

The officials were re–elected, including Mr Hodgkin as chairman, Lynda Mortimer as honorary treasurer and Caroline Green as secretary. Martin Whitaker will be responsible for equipment.

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