ILKLEY Talking Newspaper (ITN) had provided free weekly recordings from The Ilkley Gazette without interruption for almost 40 years - until Covid19.

The pandemic necessitated the closure of the ITN Abbeyfield studio in March last year. The situation was rescued when two local voice over artists stepped in to offer their services free of charge. From their own studio in Ilkley, Katie and Jon Rand provided professional quality recordings, bringing talking newspaper listeners back in touch with local issues and events. David Waterhouse, a third voice over artist working from his studio in the town, heard of this and also came forward to help. Susan Storey, of ITN said: “The charity is extremely grateful that these three generous and talented people kept the talking newspaper going for many months. This allowed for the development of a new system using original volunteers - those who were able to record from their own homes. It is hoped that eventually there will be a return to normal back at ITN’s studio, but in the meantime ‘home working’ is running smoothly thanks to the hard work of Steve Amos, lead technician, and the adaptability of editors and readers. This has allowed recently for the reintroduction of monthly recordings from The Dalesman magazine alongside the weekly news. Now, as new freedoms bring the possibility of breaks from home for volunteers, additional teams of editors, readers and technicians are needed to ensure the continuity of the service. An editor allocates the items to be read amongst three readers, and would normally need internet access for this. Readers record on their smart phones, then email their recordings to a technician. Technicians collate the recordings to produce a master CD . If you would be interested in helping in any of these roles, please get in touch. ITN will be delighted to hear from you. Equally, the charity is always pleased to receive requests from anyone who feels they themselves, or someone they know, might benefit from receiving the recordings. This could be due to sight impairment or physical difficulties in handling a newspaper. Listening to the recordings can also be helpful to people suffering from mental health problems such as dementia. The service is free. To volunteer or receive CDs, contact either Lorraine 600869, Harry 830882, Susan 609040, Steve 600111.