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
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
On Thursday, 22nd February, Councillor Liz Frost, MSc, FCOptom, Mayor of Epsom and Ewell visited the Talking Newspaper whilst the regular weekly recording session was taking place.
The Mayor being interviewed by Jan Collier
She kindly gave an interview to News Editor Jan Collier and talked about her year in office so far. She discussed the great work being done to raise money for her chosen charities and praised the people of our borough for their Community Spirit. The Mayor highlighted some of the many fundraising and memorable events she has attended, told us about one aspect of being Mayor that might surprise many of us – and let us into a little secret about one big disappointment in her Mayoral year.
Our volunteers at Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper enjoyed another excellent Awareness Day at the Ashley Centre on Thursday 16th November. The aim of this annual event is to spread the good news about the free audio service for blind and visually impaired people in the borough.
As always, shoppers and passers-by found the time to have a few words with us and were not only interested in learning more about what we do, but were generous in their support.
This year we handed out leaflets to many people who were interested in working with our friendly team as volunteers. There are so many different roles to play, both from home, researching suitable material for our weekly Newspaper, and also in our studio.
This year we were able to record our regular weekly Newspaper as normal in the studio, as well as holding our annual event in the Ashley Centre. Some of our wonderful volunteers came straight from their recording session to help in the Centre. We all praise the work of long-term volunteer Heather Griffin who organises the annual event and worked hard on the day to ensure it went without a hitch.
Our Chairman Judy Sarssam commented:
‘ The Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper for the Blind extend a big thank you to all those in the Ashley Centre on Thursday 16th. We are grateful for the generosity of all those who came to support our service.
We send out, totally free, memory sticks with fresh weekly news items and pod casts each week to over 100 Visually impaired people in Epsom and Ewell. We rely on a grand team of volunteers, always ready to go the extra mile.
We welcome support in many different ways and can be contacted on 01372 721519.’
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