Appy days for visually-impaired Borders newspaper listeners

Borders Talking Newspapers Annual General Meeting at Abbey Row, Kelso
Borders Talking Newspapers Annual General Meeting at Abbey Row, Kelso

Borders Talking Newspapers (BTN) has launched an app for visually-impaired people to listen to their recordings.

The AGM heard visually-impaired users of Android and Apple smartphones or tablets can download the app from their app store.

It is called ‘Talking Newspapers’. Talking newspapers from across the UK are put on the app by British Wireless for the Blind who have developed it. Locally, one of BTN’s volunteers adds the weekly recording to the app and BTN’s website each Saturday.

The annual general meeting was chaired by BTN founder Matilda Hall. The formal business was followed by a talk from Marion Dodd and an afternoon tea for the listeners, volunteers and friends who came to the meeting, held this year in Kelso’s Abbey Row Centre, pictured.

BTN produces weekly recordings of a digest of articles from the Southern Reporter and its sister title, the Berwickshire News, as well as the Border Telegraph and the Hawick Paper from its bases in Duns and Hawick.

Two hundred and fifty visually-impaired people are registered to receive the recordings and a team of around 70 volunteers work on a rota to prepare and produce them.

Registered charity BTN is governed by a board of trustees.

No funding is available from local authorities or the Scottish Government, but BTN is grateful to the listeners and funding trusts who make it possible to continue the service.

Anyone who would like to be sent the recordings or to volunteer should contact Wendy Moss on 01361 889211 (freephone), by email at office@btn.org.uk or through its website – www.btn.org.uk.