Volunteers Week

The Epsom and Ewell Talking News would like to thank our Chairman Judy Sarssam and all the volunteers who contributed to the success of the EETN hat stall at the Epsom Derby Festival party night. As it’s national volunteer week, we would also like to take this opportunity to say a BIG THANK YOU to all our amazing volunteers who contribute to the recording and publishing of the EETN each week as well as all those who support us.

Photograph of Jan and her husband Rob Taylor

Our hat stall organisers Jan and husband Rob Taylor

If you live in Epsom or the surrounding area and would like to volunteer please Contact us or visit the Volunteering website to see how you could get involved nationally.

Hats off to the EETN!

Photograph of EETN Chairman Judy Sarssam holding a poster, with her husband Amer

EETN Chairman Judy Sarssam, with her husband Amer and the poster she created advertising the Picture Yourself In A Derby Festival Hat EETN stall

When we discussed the type of market stall we could have to raise funds for the Mayor’s Charities on Derby Festival night, on Thursday 31stMay, what better idea we thought, than a festival hat stall?  Only we added a twist for fun.

EETN Derby Festival Hat Stall

As one of the Mayor’s three chosen charities, we set up our stall under a gazebo in the market square, offering adults and children the chance to take two selfies wearing two different hats of their choice, at a cost of just one pound. What a bargain!   And what a selection of elegant Derby-winning hats we had, in pinks, blues, yellows and all the colours of the rainbow. Big brims, bows,  flowers and veils with a touch of nostalgia were the order of the day.

Photograph of Celeste Sonnex in a pink hat

Celeste Sonnex looking very glam in her hat

There were bowlers, boaters even an Australian cork hat and a huge Mexican sombrero with a mini size for children.

Photograph of Maria Reeves, Director of Epsom and Ewell Arts Festival with her son who is wearing a sombrero

Maria Reeves, Director of Epsom and Ewell Arts Festival with her son, who loved the sombrero

For the men, we had every style of hat, including a sea captain’s hat and a Tommy Cooper style fez.

The evening ended with Sinatra-style singer Wayne Woodward on stage. He was a finalist in Britain’s Got Talent and he certainly has.

Photograph of Wayne Woodward and Celeste Sonnex

Wayne Woodward and Celeste Sonnex with the Mayor and Mayoress in the background

Wayne’s songs were the highlight of the night, but our highlight at EETN was when HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip graced us with their presence. At least, we thought they bore a great resemblance…

Photograph of people wearing masks of HM The Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip

HM The Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip

It’s All In The Voice …

Poetry, teaching, acting, singing and song-writing – all in a day’s work for EETN’s legendary, longest-serving volunteer. Her voice is instantly recognisable for its warmth, sincerity and humour, so we’ll let you find out who the mystery lady is when you listen to the interview.

 

There’s long service and then there’s very long service and here at Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper, we are  proud and privileged to have a wonderful lady on our team who has been volunteering  with us for more than three decades. When you hear that she became involved with EETN after taking early retirement from teaching, you will know why she is our own  much valued ‘doyenne’ and is indeed a legend with an awesome level of commitment.

Our interview took place last week, after our mystery lady had just read the News for our listeners and before she went on to read the Magazine. As she chats and reads some of her poems, you’ll hear a little about her life and her early years at EETN, and you will applaud her outlook on life and her commitment to the things she holds dear.

Jan Collier reports.

To listen to an interview with our longest serving volunteer click on the following Play button

Chairman Judy Sarssam speaks from the heart at the AGM

The Chairman (right) and Treasurer at the AGM

 

Following our regular recording on Thursday 8th March, the Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper held its Annual General Meeting in Bradbury Lodge, Swail House, Epsom.

Listeners were invited to come and hear Chairman Judy Sarssam’s report on how things have progressed at EETN over the past year and learn more about some of the  behind-the-scenes volunteers who  play vital  roles in our support.

Welcoming newcomers as well as long-term listeners, Judy began by thanking the volunteers who give their time so generously and without whom, she said, there would be no paper. ‘The atmosphere at EETN is so good and every volunteer so willing to go the extra mile and step into the breach if anyone is unable to attend at short notice’.

She then explained some of the  roles that volunteers played, including visits and interaction with listeners, keeping the website up to date and also the complexities of the technical side of EETN recordings, praising ‘stalwart’ volunteer Roger Stockwell for his technical wizardry  and understanding of  the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the equipment.

Judy was immensely proud that only three recordings in the last year had been cancelled, two during the Christmas break and the third on March 1st owing to heavy snow and adverse travel conditions.

Discussing some of our interviews in the last year, which included former Mayor George Crawford and current Mayor Liz Frost, both of whom gave their time freely to learn more about us, Judy was delighted that we were also able to welcome Rt. Hon Chris Grayling MP into our studio at the end of September. ‘Not only did he take time out of his impossibly busy schedule to be with us,’ she said, ‘but he gave us a wonderful insight  into his professional and personal life’.

Going forward, Judy expressed her gratitude that the incoming Mayor Councillor Neil Dallen, who takes up office in May, has chosen EETN as one of his charities. ‘We are very privileged’, she said, ‘and will do all we can to encourage family, friends and neighbours to promote the Mayor’s Charities. What we need most of all at EETN is exposure. It is surprising how many local people have no knowledge of our charity, despite our regularly distributed publicity leaflets and annual Awareness Days in the Ashley Centre.’

During the meeting, many aspects of EETN were discussed, including the essential extra work, undertaken by volunteers, to comply with regulations,  particularly those relating to data protection for our listeners.

Our Treasurer’s report by Richard Wheeler gave a detailed account of EETN’s financial position, detailing outgoings and income and generous donations from many sources, which are our main source of income.

Summing up, Judy, who spoke from the heart, without notes, again expressed her gratitude for the dedication of our volunteers.

‘I am very proud of our newspaper, totally run by volunteers. Our service is free, funds are raised by the public and we comply with all the rules and regulations. Thank you to everyone who helps to keep our service operating for our appreciative listeners.’

Tea and biscuits, organised by volunteer Heather Griffin and Gabrielle Richardson were then welcomed by everyone.

Jan Collier reports

To listen to the Charman’s report in full, click on the following Play button