Reading the newspaper can be thought of as a luxury by those who are blind or partially sighted.
Luckily, sight loss charity, Galloway’s provides one of the largest Talking Newspaper Services in the country.
The charity, who sends out more than 50,000 publications every year, sends audio publications of the Lancashire Post, as well as sister papers Chorley and Leyland Guardian, Longridge News, Garstang Courier, Lancaster Guardian and Morecambe Visitor to readers with sight loss.
This equates to 18,252 a week, including 7,956 audio tapes of Lancashire Post, 5,772 of Lancaster Guardian and 3,210 of the Chorley and Leyland Guardian publications.
James Coulton, audio services manager at Galloway’s, explains: “Our Talking Newspaper Service is a free service we offer to people living with sight loss who are no longer able to enjoy printed newspapers.
“It is often described as life line and a window to the community and a way to stay connected with what is important to people.
“Over the years it has grown to be one of the biggest audio services in the country.”
Galloway’s supports more than 7,000 blind and partially sighted people every year but its Talking News Service is the only project it offers country wide.
The aim of the charity is to ensure nobody in the community has to face sight loss without the right support.
Galloway’s, which is based in Penwortham, relies on donations and legacies to continue its work and has to raise £1m this year alone.
James continued: “It costs us more than £23,000 every year to deliver the Talking News Service, something we just couldn’t do without the support and generosity of the local community.
“A £5 donation could cover the cost for somebody to receive talking newspapers for an entire year, so all donations of all sizes really do make a big difference to the lives of local blind and partially sighted people.”
The Galloway’s Talking Newspaper Service, which is now in its 25th year, is supported by an army of volunteers, who read, record and edit publications, along with assisting in posting them out on a weekly basis.
Janet Hindle, 56, of Hoghton, has been a volunteer for 18 months.
She says: “I do a lot of acting and public speaking and so I am used to this sort of thing. I wanted to turn that into helping others.
“I enjoy reading newspapers myself and wanted to share the joy with people who cannot access them in the same way I can.”
Barbara McNally, 69, of Penwortham, joined the charity’s Talking Newspaper Service two months ago.
She adds: “Living in Penwortham, I am aware of Galloway’s and what it does. Now I have more time to spare, I thought this would be a good way of helping a local charity.
“The service is a great way of getting news which is very important across to people who would not normally be able to access it.”
James adds: “We are really proud of the impact our audio versions of the Lancashire Post has had on people’s lives over the years.
“If people reading this could donate £5, or any amount they are able, it would go a long way in ensuring Galloway’s can continue offering such high impact services, just like the Talking News.
“It’s really simple to make a donation, you can send a cheque in the post to Galloway’s, Howick House, Howick Park Avenue, Penwortham, Preston, PR1 0LS, donate over the phone by calling 01772 744148 or via our website www.galloways.org.uk. All support we receive will allow the charity to continue providing life lines, just like the Talking Newspapers, to local blind and partially sighted people.”