You’re going to HAVE to forgive me. I’d love to say the image is blurred because – well – it was all about sight loss and I thought I’d try a bit of method PR.
In fact it’s blurred because I was laughing so much when I took the picture – on impulse snapping a moment in time too sweet to resist.
This is when Sally met Joy. Sally Naden’s a first rate broadcaster at BBC Radio Lancashire, Joy Killip is – arguably – Britain’s oldest news reader, or certainly up there with the best of them. They traded tips and laughs in equal measure for a glorious programme highlighting a special anniversary for the Talking Newspaper. We not only went out live that day but Sally followed through with choice excerpts for Charity of the Week ahead of the party proper.
Joy’s in her 90s and for the past 40 years has read the news for the Talking Newspaper run entirely by public spirited volunteers at N-Vision NW, the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Society for the Blind. The society has been around since 1910, the newspaper for 40 years. Joy was in it before the start. That’s a heck of a long time to be reading newspapers. I should know, I was writing them over the same period.
Each week the society sends out an 11 hour Talking Newspaper to hundreds of listeners who are severely visually impaired (blind) or partially sighted. It’s a valuable lifeline for those who might otherwise have to rely on the telly or radio (sorry, Sally) for their news or set the PC, laptop or tablet to spoken text which can be a hit or miss affair.
The news is drawn from the local papers – Gazette and allied weeklies – as well as the leading county magazines, Which? consumer news, sports news, Best of British and many other sources. The original cassettes, followed by a briefer flirtation with compact discs, have long since gone – replaced by digital audio plugs.
The Talking Newspaper, one of the biggest and oldest in the country, can also be downloaded via app Sound Cloud which gives it an enviable circulation.
Joy’s distinctive tones have been delighting readers from the start. Along with more than 100 other volunteers she works on a rota, coming in to edit, read, then record the news, to keep listeners updated. Her favourite item? “The obituaries, I’m afraid … I think most of us check them out to make sure we’re still here!”
Along with other veteran volunteers, Joy was presented with an award for long service to mark the 40th anniversary.
Everyone deserves a little Joy in their life…