Service switches premises

Technician Colin Coates making a recording for Morpeth Talking Newspaper.
Technician Colin Coates making a recording for Morpeth Talking Newspaper.

A LONG-RUNNING support service has found a new home, thanks to a Morpeth charity.

Morpeth Talking Newspaper (MTN) provides fortnightly readings of the Morpeth Herald to 40 blind or partially-sighted people throughout the area.

The service is supported by various local organisations, whose members volunteer as readers and technicians.

And for the last 21 years recordings have been made from the radio facilities at Morpeth Cottage Hospital.

However, when the wards moved to the new Morpeth NHS Centre at Hagg’s Field there was no room for the talking newspaper to be accommodated and it was forced to find an alternative venue.

Thankfully, Contact Morpeth Mental Health charity came to the rescue and offered space at its Oldgate premises.

MTN Chairman Simon Foley said: “We are grateful to the Morpeth Cottage Hospital for the use of its premises for so many years.

“Fortunately, David Livesey, Chairman of Contact Mental Health, invited us to use its headquarters. We were delighted to accept his kind offer of secure space there. This is an excellent example of local organisations working together for the benefit of those in need in our area.

“The move will also give us an opportunity to explore different ways of distributing the recordings.”

The talking newspaper is posted out in tape cassette form and is free to any blind or visually impaired person.

Readers are drawn from the Morpeth and Mid Northumberland University of the Third Age, Morpeth Methodist Church, St George’s Players, Morpeth Soroptimists, Morpeth Business and Professional Women, Morpeth Lions Club and Morpeth Rotary Club.

For further information about the talking newspaper, or to volunteer, call Mr Foley on 01670 514673.