Lockdown Silences Our
Talking Newspaper
‘We’ll be back when it’s safe’
promises Chairman

Judy Sarssam in the recording studio
Judy Sarssam in the recording studio

For more than four decades, Thursdays have been the designated ‘recording day’ for a team of volunteers who produce a free audio newspaper for blind and visually impaired residents in the borough.

The Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper (EETN) the Charity visited earlier this year by Mayor Councillor John Beckett, is proud of its 46 year track record of 2275 weekly recordings.

But in a letter to its Listeners and volunteer team, Chairman Judy Sarssam expressed her sadness at its temporary suspension.

“In this unprecedented situation of lockdown due to the spread of the Coronavirus it has been impossible for the volunteers of the Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper to continue to record and distribute our weekly free service to over one hundred visually impaired people in the area.

We are devastated as in 46 years, apart from one week at Christmas, and one day of heavy snow, we have always been able to give access to local news, magazine articles, poems, jokes and podcasts to our eager Listeners.”

Judy went on to explain that whilst recording was still possible, it required volunteers to travel to the Epsom studio, not only to make the recording, but to duplicate, pack and distribute the memory sticks to one hundred and six registered Listeners.

“Digital technology has really come into its own during the lockdown”, she said, “however using it efficiently does rely on residual vision expertise and patience.

So despite everything on offer it is still most practical for our Listeners to receive their memory sticks once a week to play in the small, simple players that we provide

Back in February, during his interview with EETN, Cllr Beckett emphasised how much he valued the free Talking Newspaper service and fondly recalled his Aunt looking forward to receiving it every week. “I remember how much it meant to her and will mean to all your listeners,” he said. Judy, herself visually impaired, agreed with the Mayor, explaining that prior to becoming an EETN Committee Member and subsequently the Chairman, she was originally, and still is, a very enthusiastic Listener.

“During this unprecedented crisis I want to re-assure all EETN Listeners that normal service will be resumed as soon as it is safe to do so. Until then I urge everyone to keep safe and send good wishes to all our valued Listeners, Volunteers and the wider community,” she said.

‘Please Do Not Adjust Your Set…’

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Jan Collier interviewing Karolina Ruprik

Interview with Audiologist Karolina Ruprik

If you wonder why everyone seems to mumble these days, and you regularly turn up the volume on your TV or Boom box, you might be surprised at what’s really behind those muffled sounds, as Audiologist Karolina Ruprik explains to Jan Collier.

To listen click the following Play button

Our Thanks To Our Charitable Community

When we were chosen earlier in the year, by the Mayor, Cllr Neil Dallen, to be one of the three charities he will support this year, we were truly delighted. It is an honour that our charity has been recognised in this way and that we can spread the word about EETN to so many more people in the borough. Part of our role as a chosen charity was to ask local companies if they would be able to donate prizes for the many raffles that will be held throughout the year.

News Editor Jan Collier took on the role and was delighted with the response of so many local shops and businesses. We’d like to give our warmest thanks to them all for their wonderful donations and for giving, without hesitation, so generously.”
Chairman of EETN, Judy Sarssam

Local shops, restaurants and businesses are regularly approached by charities and it was heart-warming that so many were able to give, once again, to us for the Mayor’s Charities 2018—19.

Our thanks go to Ken Broome who was interested to hear about our special year as a chosen charity and generously donated a Family Portrait Sitting with him at Kenneth Broome Photography in the Upper High Street.
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Barber Mark Adams at Hair For Man & Boy in the High Street didn’t hesitate to give a gift voucher for gents’ hair services. Hatty, at Hatty’s Sweet Shop in the Ashley Centre provided a ‘sweet’ donation too. Georgia at Dolly Goes Dancing beauty salon donated a hair appointment for a blow dry in her Upper High Street salon and there was also a gift voucher for treatments at AJ’s Tanning, Nails and Beauty salon.
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Charles Sonnex at Sainsbury’s Kiln Lane, organised a generous gift voucher for us. Charles has also volunteered with EETN on several occasions. Café Rouge kindly gave a gift voucher, as did M&S, both of which were gratefully received. House of Fraser gave wonderful summer gifts of beach towels and candles and Boots gave an overwhelming haul of cosmetics, toiletries and luxury holdalls.

Epsom Racecourse generously donated tickets for adults and children to attend the Queen’s Stand and Duchess’s Stand on a day of their choice. And finally, Neil Sands, the Producer and star of the patriotic musical show Land of Hope and Glory, generously gave tickets to the show in Epsom Playhouse for the general raffle and two more pairs of tickets exclusively for EETN listeners.

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Mr Muller meets Neil Sands and the cast

We caught up with listener Mr. Muller and his wife on the night, who said  “We were delighted and surprised to hear that we had won the tickets. The show has been brilliant and we enjoyed it very much. It was an extra surprise to meet Neil Sands after the performance and we thank him again for the tickets. Our thanks to EETN too for a great service. I never fail to listen every week.”