VOLUNTEERS from Knutsford and District Talking Newspaper welcomed the town’s Deputy Mayor to their recording studio last week for a digital demonstration.

On April 9, Clr Neil Forbes was treated to a demonstration of the new equipment installed to update and improve the delivery of the Knutsford Guardian to the blind and visually impaired.

Chairman of the Talking Newspaper Committee, Desmond Mitchell, explained how the team have been working on a digital changeover for nearly six months.

“The changeover from cassette tapes to digital recording and distribution via memory sticks represents a dramatic change for our listeners,” said Desmond.

“The project was spearheaded by Derek Howarth, with listener familiarisation by Jean Berney, and a team of 10 volunteers who went out to listeners to train them in the use of memory sticks and speakers.

“Without their efforts, we would not be where we are today.”

The Knutsford and District Talking Newspaper was established with the help of the Lions and is completely self-funded. It takes 11 people every Wednesday to complete and distribute the recordings and, in 30 years, the team have never missed an edition.

On his visit last week, Clr Forbes recorded a message and read an article for the first recording.

He said: “I’m very impressed. The changeover has been handled very sensitively, helping listeners to have clearer, more reliable recordings.

“This is a great example of the community in action.”

If you would like to volunteer to help with the preparation of the recordings or with fundraising, or if you have a relative or a friend who is blind or has a visual disability and would like to receive the recording of the Guardian news, contact Jan Devery on 01565 722046 or jan.devery@gmail.com.