In August 2020 we were pleased to receive a letter from Birmingham’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Mohammad Azim. He wrote to Charles Ashton-Grey who was then our Chairman:
Thank you for drawing to my attention the work that you and the other volunteers have been doing supporting over 500 blind and visually impaired people throughout the lockdown.
I understand that you have developed several ways to record at home, mostly using mobile phone apps or recorded Zoom/Skype calls, and that almost all your volunteer readers have been able to participate. Your technicians also worked at home using editing software to produce the finished mp3 tracks.
You recognised that many listeners were missing – they were shielding, locked down or ill in hospital, so you instigated a ring-out to people who had not been in contact for several weeks. This allowed you to get 50-60 listeners back once they realised you were still active.
This is essential work and must have made an enormous difference to those you are supporting, allowing them to access a more upbeat take on the news.
Please pass on my heartfelt thanks to everyone at Talking Newspapers, you really are all heroes in these challenging times.
I hope that you, your family and all your friends and colleagues are well.
Councillor Mohammed Azim
Lord Mayor of Birmingham