Talking paper sounds out help

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Volunteers are being sought to work as ‘sound engineers’ by the talking newspaper for the blind in Mansfield and Ashfield.

Charity the Mansfield and Ashfield Echo, is set to resume its fortnightly editions for visually impaired people when it moves into a new recording studio in Botany Avenue, Mansfield.

However up to three volunteers are now needed to help carry out the recordings and produce the mastercopies from which 150 copies are then made.

The service’s editor Bill Purdue explained: “Each edition of the Echo is compiled by a small team of volunteers who will meet every other Tuesday evening at the new studio to record the edition.

“This is duplicated the next morning and sent out to blind and partially sighted listeners.

“Sound engineers are vital to this process as they control the way the recording is conducted and produce the master copies.

“There are vacancies for up to three new sound engineers, who need to be able to work as part of a team and be willing to learn the recording system and possibly bring in new ideas.”

The recording process is done with a sound recording software package called ‘REAPER’.

The Mansfield and Ashfield Echo currently has 25 volunteers in total which includes readers and circulation staff.

The registered charity is run entirely by volunteers and has no paid employees, however travelling expenses can be refunded.

Bill continued: “As the Echo is recorded throughout the year, with a short break at Christmas and New Year, membership of the recording team does require a certain amount of commitment.

“This is a great opportunity for someone who likes working with computers and sound recording equipment and would like to join a friendly team of local volunteers.”

The Echo’s team had been looking for new premises for several months and last produced an edition at the end of May before vacating its old offices on Newgate Lane, Mansfield.

The new premises are expected to soon be ready after being adapted for use as a recording studio.

Copies of the Echo are sent out to blind and partially sighted listeners courtesy of the Post Office Articles for the Blind postal concession.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering for one of the sound roles is urged to email Bill at