Talking newspaper appeals for extra engineer

Kidderminster Shuttle: Talking newspaper: Volunteers, from left, readers Valerie Bradley and David Condy, technician Peter Hodges and chairman Fran Hodges. Talking newspaper: Volunteers, from left, readers Valerie Bradley and David Condy, technician Peter Hodges and chairman Fran Hodges.

WYRE Forest's Talking Newspaper is on the look-out for an additional engineer to join its dedicated group of volunteers.

The organisation, run by 60 volunteers, produces a 90-minute recording of The Shuttle to keep blind, partially-sighted and disabled Wyre Forest residents up-to-date with the latest news.

About 200 listeners rely on the free recordings of selected news, crime, council, sport and entertainment stories each week, which are produced at St Barnabas Community Hall on Friday nights by three teams who take it in turn.

With a growing number of listeners tuning in, chairman Fran Hodges hopes to recruit another engineer to help the teams out.

She said: "They've got to be reliable. What the technician says goes, they're in charge."

Her husband Peter Hodges, who will provide full training to a new engineer, said: "There's four technicians but we don't have any sick days or holiday as we're all volunteers. It'll be nice to introduce someone to the team which will let me do other jobs.

"We're running a tight ship. We're looking for anyone who can work with others, who is responsible, reliable and easy to get on with.

"They'll always have someone with them until they're comfortable."

Volunteers arrive on a Friday night at 7pm ready to record the news. By 9.30pm, 200 copies have been made and labelled ready for Royal Mail to collect early on Saturday.

An interest in audio and basic computer skills would be beneficial but full training will be given. The new engineer would also need their own means of transport.

The talking newspaper was set up in 1980 by the Kidderminster Lions and District Club.

For more information on becoming an engineer call Mr Hodges on 01384 872792.

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