The founder of a news service for people with visual impairments in Lichfield says it is “even more vital” than ever.

Lichfield Talking News will celebrate 39 years of operation in November.

The service – which uses stories from Lichfield Live – provides hours of local news and information a week for those who receive it.

Founder John May MBE said:

“In November, the Lichfield Talking News for the blind will be 39 – it was very important when it was first conceived, but it is even more vital today.

“People usually develop visual impairments later in life. There are exceptions, of course, but the average age of our listeners is mid 70s.

“Because of the problems caused by their impairment, they tend to stay at home. During this pandemic, many have found themselves very isolated.

“What the Talking News brings them is so much more than just the local news – it also brings important information, plus around 20 hours a week of listening.

“That means that the listener can enjoy around three hours a day of virtual company, friendly voices and even entertainment.”

John May MBE

John said there may be a number of local residents who were not aware of the free service on offer from the group.

“Initially, newly-diagnosed people were told of the Talking News by the rehabilitation officers for the blind, but they appear to have become casualties of council economics.

“So we now find new listeners slowly and almost by luck.

“If anyone knows of anyone with a sight problem, we can start their service immediately.”

John May MBE

Anyone interested in receiving Lichfield Talking News can call 07948 794982 or e-mail


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.