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County councillor backs expansion of Lichfield Talking News service

A Lichfield voluntary service has been given a cash boost as it bids to expand its work to help people who are visually impaired keep up to date with local and national news.

The Lichfield Talking News (LTN), which has been running for over 30 years, has grown its audio newspapers over recent times meaning more people than ever receive a regular memory stick containing 16 hours of news and entertainment to listen to.

John May receives a cheque from Cllr Matthew Ellis

John May receives a cheque from Cllr Matthew Ellis

The organisations also provides services to special needs schools using a powerful scan-to-voice camera and there are plans to purchase a Braille embosser which will complete the service and also potentially provide Braille translation to other local bodies.

Staffordshire County Councillor Matthew Ellis has again supported LTN via the Local Community Fund.

“The work done by Lichfield Talking News helps to tackle social isolation and keeps people in tune with what’s happening locally and wider,” he explained “As radio and television news becomes less ‘very local’ it’s important that something helps people keep that connection with local events.”

LTN has also now widened its activities to be involved in community care and safety in the home.

The Message in a Bottle scheme sees key medical and other data stored in a plastic tube in a fridge in the home with recognisable stickers directing paramedics where to find the information in the event of an emergency. It is given free of charge to anyone at risk who needs it and is recognised and welcomed by medical professionals.

“I’m delighted to see the expansion into other services, with the Message in a Bottle potentially saving time for medical professionals in the event of an emergency,” added Cllr Ellis.

“It’s superb to see things going well and I wish John and the team the best of luck with plans to widen services further.”

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