Charity (no. 287670)

MID DEVON MESSENGER

"To supply local audio news to those with sight loss or other conditions which make reading difficult"

Who We Help, Why We Help & the Difference It Makes

The Mid Devon Messenger, a local talking newspaper, has been in operation  for over 35 years.  The service is delivered by a band of approximately 50 volunteers. We send weekly audio news to people with sight loss or other conditions which make reading difficult.  The news is predominantly taken from the Tiverton and Culm Valley Gazettes, and supplemented with articles from other sources.  The wide range of material includes a weekly quiz, music, book reviews, interviews, and more.  Listeners receive the recordings by memory stick, which are sent out in a wallet with a reversible address label.  An MP3 player can be provided if required.  The service is entirely free of charge.    We also produce four seasonal magazines per year.  Our service is provided across the Mid Devon region, and may be extended to those who have moved out of area but who continue to consider Mid Devon to be their home.  

Our Services Are

Free

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What We Do

Our objective is to enable our listeners to remain in contact with and participate in their local community.   Listeners come from a variety of sources: some are referred by professionals, others by friends or family, or even self-referral.  After an initial phone conversation, arrangements can be made for a home visit to talk about the service and demonstrate the player.  During this meeting it is often possible to suggest other avenues that may be of interest to the listener.

Jo Shute, a listener and Chair of the Tiverton Club for Visually Impaired People, said  “The Mid Devon Messenger is like a friend arriving on my doorstep every Thursday with news, views and useful information, which helps me keep in touch with my local community in spite of my sight loss."

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Volunteer

The Mid Devon Messenger is recorded in our Studio in Tiverton every Tuesday evening; during the pandemic our volunteers have recorded from home.  There are eight recording teams, comprising a Team Leader, three Readers and a Producer/Recording Technician.   The Team Leaders and Readers read once every 8 weeks, and the Technicians record every 5 weeks.  In addition we  have Copiers and Dispatchers.  Full training and support is  given to all volunteers.

From time to time we need specialist advice.  For example, we are currently looking for someone to help with Public Relations and Marketing.  Also, it would be helpful to find someone with experience of using WordPress!  

We are a very friendly team and our volunteers enjoy and appreciate being able to contribute in this way.  


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Additional Info

We have responded positively to the challenges of COVID19, providing the service throughout the pandemic by switching to home recording.  All listeners were contacted personally and offered a volunteer-led telephone befriending service.   This has been extremely well received, one listener commenting "The weekly phone calls are a real pick-me-up - like a glass of good wine!"  

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