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VOP     TEAM

Bulletin  N° 39   (30.07.10)

 

Be of good Heart!  We have encouraging news.  But first I want to hark back to the item in the previous Bulletin (N°38) headed “Change is in the Air!” And indeed there are changes, not only in the air but in some of the ways we do things.  It is natural to feel apprehensive when familiar routines are changed but, as they say in Yorkshire, “think on!”  If we don’t make effective changes we’ll end up with ever reducing listener numbers.  We have all volunteered give a service to people who can no longer read and, if numbers keep reducing we will not be achieving what we volunteered to do.  That’s

not news – we’ve been at it for 7 or 8 months, so let’s recap:

1. Visually impaired persons are increasing and listeners numbers are reducing.  We have the numbers.

2. We have followed the lead from 35 years ago.  Is there anything that is the same now as it was then?

3. The figures show there is a need for what VOP does.  Welcome Pennie B, our Artistic Director!

4. She, with others, identified Content and Presentation as the first two priorities.

5. Following a huge amount of thought, discussion and planning, July 13th edition tested the proposals.

6. The result was judged a success, and therefore Pennie rightly decided that this was the way forward.

7. Who judged it to be a success?  The readers, who else!  Not only Mark Mansworth, our blind critical listener, but all those who have written in to tell us so – and writing is exceedingly hard for our listeners - (see below)  But judge for yourself – our talking newspapers and magazine are as much your achievement as anyone else’s.  To do so you need only to read two documents and listen to two recordings.  Those two documents are Pennie’s informative email of July 26th and Dickie’s results of the July 13th Experiments dated July 27th which I have found absolutely fascinating.  The way we have lived all these years in separate compartments, on the basis that never the twain shall meet, is shown for the blinkered nonsense it is.  I will attach both documents to this email and send printed copies to non-emailers.  In addition, if you have access to the web, listen to the July 13th edition on www.voiceofprogress.co.uk and click on the link 'Listen Again' and, on the same site, listen to Margaret Eagle interviewing Mark in May.  When you have done that you will be in a position to answer the question “How are we doing so far?”  And I’d welcome you telling me what you do think!

 

That’s not the end or anywhere near.  But it’s a start and here are some encouragements: 

* VOP will be receiving a civic award from Rustington Council in September

* Jonathan at TNS, who works with TNs (I’ve never heard of him), wrote to us totally out of the blue  “I am involved with local TNs and listen to hours of output each week . .from an outsider’s perspective what you have going here is gold dust”

* In the 29th June edition I invited listeners to make it their newspaper, by suggestions, requests etc etc.  We had nearly 20 written replies – far more than we get in an average year, and are continuing to follow up their ideas and suggestions.  That’s a huge encouragement.  You, Sir or Madam, as well as all the other volunteers, can feel proud in what has been collectively achieved so far.

 

What Next?  We are also quietly working on our VoP Talking Magazine (note: no longer the ‘Arun Magazine’!) and more of that another time.  But once we feel we have content right, and the presentation right, we must make that evidence available to the wider community and, especially, to new visually impaired people.  To that end a “Demo Disc” is being planned – I have hopes it will be really, really good - plus a leaflet that gives essential information to new v.i. people in a form they can cope with.  Sue Willis, who recently came to us to head up Outreach, is planning a campaign targeting Opticians and every Practice Manager in our catchment.  We are also establishing active mutual help with 4Sight.

 

But First we need people – not necessarily new volunteers, but perhaps existing volunteers ready for a new challenge?!  We need another editor, someone to look after the new jobs we take on from other

organisations, an archivist, I need help to deal with the huge volume of communications.  Any offers?

Also, we want to encourage people who don’t often meet, or even never, should become familiar.  Please send me a photo of yourself, name on the back, with the year you joined VOP for a rogues’ gallery we’d like to assemble in the studio.  (Who is this Nicholas?  What does he look like?)

Nicholas







 


Bulletin No. 37 ‎‎‎(29Apr10)‎‎‎



VOP Bulletin No. 36 ‎‎‎(07Mar10)‎‎‎