AS part of a link up with Knutsford Academy, the town's Talking Newspaper was recently visited by pupil Iona McGarvey, who was shown what it takes to put the weekly production together.

Ranging from Goostrey, to High Legh, to Peover, to Mobberley, and of course to Knutsford itself, the Knutsford Talking Newspaper provides a digital, recorded copy of the latest news from the Knutsford Guardian, to anyone who cannot read N12 print, totally free of charge.

When I visited the Talking Newspaper on a Wednesday evening, I was impressed by the spirit and dedication of the volunteers.

I was told by Desmond Mitchell, the chairman of the Knutsford and District Newspaper, that the newspaper 'brings the town to life' for those who are unable to leave their homes, often due to partial or total blindness, and that to many of their listeners, the memory stick they receive in the post is greatly looked forward to each week.

The meticulously organised process of compiling each talking newspaper was briefly explained to me: in the morning, the cutters arrive to separate the articles of the Guardian and place them into groups of theme and genre, then the editor organises the order in which the articles shall be read out and recorded.

In the evening, several readers enter the recording studio and read out the selected articles, and once the master memory stick is ready, copiers replicate the information onto many smaller memory sticks, placing each one in an envelope to be distributed to the eager listeners.

I was there to witness the seamless nature of the process from recording to copying to preparing for posting, and I had no trouble believing that the paper had been running successfully for more than 30 years, especially when I was invited to sit in on a recording of two articles written by George Keeble, the beginning of an exciting new collaboration with the Knutsford Academy “Sixth” magazine.

The Talking Newspaper is currently developing links with Knutsford Academy sixth formers such as myself and George, as well as the editors of the Knutsford Academy magazine, Oscar Edmondson and Emily Davies, with plans to create a Talking Magazine to accompany the newspaper.

There are plans to include articles written on Knutsford events from the perspective of Knutsford students.

Chairman Desmond Mitchell said: “It is a delight to work with such committed and responsible sixth formers. We have been thrilled with the support that we are getting from the Academy”.

George Keeble remarked that the talking newspaper is “a truly incredible, beneficial service that’s as rewarding to report for as it is to help those who need it”.

I feel truly lucky to be involved in such a worthy cause, and am very much looking forward to seeing what our contributions can bring to the talking newspaper.

Before my visit, I hadn’t ever heard of such thing as a talking newspaper, however seeing the commitment of all involved, I could readily believe that the Knutsford Talking Newspaper provides an essential service to those who are not able to access the news by simply picking a paper up in their local shop.