EPSOM’S MAYOR DUBS IAN ‘OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER’

"Picture of Ian having a celebration drink"

Ian Tennant

Report by Jan Collier

 Our Chairman Judy Sarssam and volunteers from Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper, welcomed Cllr Neil Dallen, Mayor of Epsom and Ewell and his wife, Ann, to a special double celebration in December.

Christmas hats and jumpers set the festive mood, but before everyone enjoyed the tasty buffet, all supplied by the volunteers,  Judy had a surprise in store for one special colleague. "Picture of Ian, Niel Dallen and the volunteers"

After thanking the Mayor for his time and dedication to raising funds for his chosen charities, of which EETN is one, Judy then revealed that this was not just a Christmas celebration, but also an occasion to  recognise the work and dedication of a very much admired colleague.

Ian Tennent, who has been with EETN for more than twenty three years, had decided that at 87 years old it was time to step down from his role as Magazine Editor.  Arriving at the Xmas celebration with his wife Dorothy and daughter Becky, he was surprised to find that he was about to make the ‘News’ himself.

 "Picture of Judy Sarssam giving Ian a leaving present"

Eamon McNamee from Central Surrey Voluntary Action told the volunteers that Ian’s dedication to EETN had earned him the respect of both the listeners and volunteers, many of whom had been helped by Ian when they joined the team. He added that Ian’s role had required an enormous amount of home preparation prior to the recordings.

The Mayor, Cllr Neil Dallen, also praised Ian for his long service and ‘Outstanding Contribution to Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper’ and  then presented him with a signed and  framed Award.

 "Picture of the mayor presenting Ian with a certificate"

Judy Sarssam spoke about Ian’s early days as a volunteer and applauded his modesty, wit, and dedication. She then presented a second Award from listeners and colleagues at EETN in recognition of Ian’s long service as Reader, Secretary and outstanding Magazine Editor. ‘I feel sad that Ian has now hung up the scissors, pens and microphones. He will be much missed by us all and the listeners who have a real affection for him. We thank him for so many years of loyal dedication and wish him a very happy and long retirement.’

 

British Wireless for the Blind Reach Out

Visually impaired people are being invited to see if they are eligible for a free specially adapted radio from a charity.

British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF) provides the equipment to those with sight loss across the UK who meet its criteria.

Radio is a lifeline to those who are blind and partially sighted, providing companionship and helping them to keep in touch with what is going on in the world, as well as the local community.

BWBF offers equipment free of charge to those who have sight loss and are in receipt of a means-tested benefit.

BWBF is launching its ‘Reaching Out’ campaign to try and increase awareness about their equipment and help more people who are blind or partially sighted.

Regional Development Manager, Sophie Wheldon, said: “Our radios are designed so that a person with sight loss can use them easily and independently.  All equipment is delivered to the home by a volunteer who sets it all up and provides support in using it.”

“We offer a range of equipment – digital radios, CD players, memory stick players, internet radio and even a specially designed app.  Our radios are vital to someone who cannot see – they provide news, information and entertainment but also, more importantly, companionship and a friendly voice.”

If you or someone you know is interested in a BWBF radio please contact Sophie Wheldon atsophie@blind.org.uk or phone  01283 790 208 or 07540 724063.

To find out more about British Wireless for the Blind Fund, follow us on Twitter @BritishWireless, like us on Facebook or go to www.blind.org.uk

A Cup of Kindness at The Spring

Report by Jan Collier

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Tea Cup Delight

It took little more than a week to transform one of Ewell’s oldest Inns into the kind of friendly restaurant and bar that you can enjoy with all the family. On Saturday 3rd November, The Spring Tavern, which dates back to the 1800’s, opened its newly refurbished doors to reveal a welcoming, warm wood  and brickwork interior with décor that embraces tradition with a  comfortably modern twist.

With the real log fires, very comfy armchairs in cosy corners and a mouth-watering  menu to suit all tastes, they’ve thought of everything from traditional to Vegan fare and desserts in a tea cup.

Manager Alex Oliveira  is delighted with the new style and very proud of his team, however he told EETN that prior to the refurbishment, he held a special last-minute auction of the Spring’s old fixtures and fittings, which otherwise would have been discarded. ‘I couldn’t let that happen,’ he said, ‘there were so many lovely things to treasure including special paintings by local artists and beautiful mirrors.’  The auction raised in excess of four thousand pounds, which Alex then kindly donated to the Royal Marsden.  Not everything was sold, though, and so in the New Year, he plans to hold a second auction  to raise funds for a charity of his choice. What a great idea.

All Out to Raise Awareness

Report by Jan Collier      October 2018

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Felicity and Gabrielle spreading the News

It’s that time of year once again, when here at EETN we gather together our flyers, leaflets and notice boards, our memory sticks and boom boxes, put on our green and white tabards and make our annual foray into the Ashley Centre.

EETN Awareness Day, once again organised by volunteer Heather Griffin, gives us the opportunity to meet dozens of shoppers and passers-by,  enabling us to spread the word about our free news and magazine  service for blind and partially sighted people.

As Heather and volunteer Richard Wheeler made their way to the Ashley Centre, laden with all that makes a good presentation desk, a team of volunteers was preparing  to record the week’s newspaper. When recording had finished, some of the team, including  Geoff Trickey, Gabrielle Richardson and Julie Harvey, then came on to help in the Ashley Centre.

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Gabrielle was recording earlier

We met some lovely people as always, including young Mums and Grandparents, some of whom were interested in telling friends and relatives about our service and others are considering joining our team, which is wonderful news!  We made a connection with a  professional  DJ and radio broadcaster and also with  a  local presenter  from Epsom Hospital Radio. The good news is that we hope to arrange an interview with them, which will be of benefit  to both EETN listeners  and those at Epsom Hospital.

We’d like to thank everyone who showed interest in our work and will help to spread the word, and of course,  to those who kindly made a donation to help keep the spoken words of Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper ticking along as it has done since 1975.