Volunteers

Volunteer reading with recording software displayed on monitor

We have 90 volunteers of all ages and differing walks of life providing recordings to 100 listeners.

The many, varied jobs they do include newspaper & magazine editing, registration/admin, listener contact, publicity, literature distribution, presenting and reading.

We are always looking for more volunteers to join our dedicated team.  Maintaining the talking newspaper regularly to a high standard is a challenging commitment that our volunteers work hard to achieve.  But it comes with the rewarding satisfaction of helping people in the local community.

Rory MacPherson
Readers' Team Leader

"We, the presenters and readers, are very conscious that we are the public faces (or, more accurately, voices) of WTN.  In our performances we aim to put across to you, the listeners, as clearly and interestingly as possible, the essence of a selection of the most important topics covered by the HC in any one week.

We work in 6 teams of 4 (usually 2 men and 2 women) who read 8 times a year, and we have around 12 reserve readers who take their places 3 or 4 times a year when anyone is ill or on holiday.

When choosing readers, we're not looking for a particular type of person and certainly not a particular accent.  Many readers have had teaching or acting experience but just as many have had neither.  We want readers whose style is neutral yet expressive.

What satisfaction do our readers get out of being readers? According to our occasional and not very scientific surveys, it is knowing that we provide an invaluable means of keeping our listeners in weekly touch with local affairs."

Bill Argles
Editor and Editors' Team Leader

"The editor each week is responsible for the content of that week`s recording.

He /she works within guidelines which have been drawn up over a period of years following consultation with our listeners over what they like and do not like included in the recording.

The editor sometimes needs to liaise with the presenter for the week regarding format.  The objective is to produce a balanced recording which will be as interesting as possible and easy to listen to without losing sight of the fact that we are producing a recorded version (albeit a shortened one) of the "Hampshire Chronicle".

Each editor is supported by a small team (usually two people) who cut the paper into individual articles to make it easier both for the editor to select and edit the items and for later distribution amongst the week`s team of readers.

I joined WTN simply because I wanted to do a voluntary job and I saw an advertisement in the library for WTN. I do it to put something in rather than to get anything out."

Anne Woodford
Listeners' Representative

"When I became partially sighted I at first felt cut off from the world, but gradually I found ways of doing many things, although  conversations with local friends generally included them telling me what was happing in the district.

Then I heard about Winchester Talking News.  Now I am the one who can say “Did you read about  (something) in the Hampshire Chronicle?” and I can send my own comments in answer to Letters to the Editor.  Marvellous – I am able to feel a real part of what is going on in and around Winchester, and to continue to play my part in the local community."

Celia Ferguson
Registration Team Leader

"Registration is about preparing the wallets returned from our listeners, so that they are ready for dispatch after the recording of the newspaper on Friday morning. The work includes dealing with the queries, changing addresses, making a note of them going on holidays or removing them from the list and generally keeping the address list up to date.

All this takes about an hour and a half, most of the time being taken up reversing labels and sorting the wallets into some sort of order in the drawers. It is an essential process which needs to be done.  Without it, the whole production of WTN would come to a grinding halt!"

Irene Dowding
Copiers' Team Leader

"When the presenter and readers have finishing recording the weekly newspaper or monthly magazine, the copiers arrive.  In teams, we work to copy the master recording onto memory sticks, carrying out random tests as we go along to ensure that the sticks have the correct recording on them.

We put the copied memory sticks into the wallets prepared by the registration teams earlier in the week, making sure that the printed labels are affixed correctly on the wallets and check them off on our master data base.  We put all the wallets into a Royal Mail sack ready to be collected by the postman.

I suppose all teams think that what they do is the mainstay of the organisation but one thing is absolutely certain – if we don't copy the recording and send it out, none of the listeners will ever hear it!"