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Fareport returns with talking news for the visually impaired

By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas

THE charity that provides ‘talking news’ for the blind and visually impaired in Fareham and Gosport has started recording again after having to stop during the latest pandemic lockdown.

Fareport Talking News volunteers record local news and features from newspapers and periodicals – with permission – onto USB sticks which are then posted out free of charge to those who have registered with the scheme.

However, many of the volunteers are in the Covid-19 vulnerable groups and to protect them, and its listeners, the charity suspended its service.

Now it has returned, and the charity’s chair Suzie Lyczywek is delighted. She said: “It is wonderful to be back, and to be recording once again. We love what we do and who we do it for.  Everyone deserves to be kept up to date with local news and community issues and we endeavour to do our best to provide this for all those who are visually impaired living in our area.

Safety is still paramount. Fareport’s studio in Stubbington has been kitted out with screens and it has altered the ways it operates to ensure social distancing is maintained.

Suzie explained that, “despite being vaccinated we are still taking sensible precautions with only 2 people in the studio at any one time to remain Covid secure.

“We also have fewer volunteers who are able to do this. Consequently, as we did last year we will be producing and sending out our news just once a fortnight”.

Fareport is working to make sure visually impaired and blind people in the Fareham, Portchester, Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent, and Stubbington area know the service is back. There are no subscription fees except for a small charge if someone needs a ‘box’ to play the USB.

And getting the message out will have been boosted by councillors of both Gosport and Fareham councils. In May, Councillor Mrs Pamela Bryant included Fareport Talking News as one of the three charities she is supporting during her year in office.

Registering to receive the USB every fortnight can be done by telephoning the studio:  01329 664364. There is an answer machine so that a message can be left if no one is available to take the call.

Fareport Talking News also has a website – and a Facebook page.

FAREPORT CONVENTION: Suzie Lyczywek getting the computer ready for another recording. Reproduced with permission below.