Renewed hope for future of Lothiansound talking newspaper

A charity which gives the blind and partially sighted access to the latest news has renewed hope of finding a new home after a flurry of offers from organisations.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 6:00 am
Lothiansound Talking Newspaper
Lothiansound Talking Newspaper

Lothiansound, which offers free audio recordings of articles from the Evening News, revealed earlier this month that they may have to cease operating due to “astronomical” rent in the Capital.

The service committee has been frantically searching for a new premises after being given notice on its current building by the Royal Blind.

A closure would be devastating for their weekly 400 listeners, with one avid recipient living as far away as the south of France.

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Reader and committee member Prue McLaughlin has said the charity has had four offers from organisations already which has given the committee renewed hope.

She added: “We have had four offers from organisations in response to the Evening News article. Unfortunately three of those are not suitable for us but one may be a possibility in the future.

“We’d been searching for months on our own and these people had alternative ideas to what we had been looking at.

“Our landlord has just extended our lease for a short time but it is all still very much up in the air. It has given us a bit of breathing space but we are all still searching to find somewhere suitable.”

A team of 55 volunteers record and edit the readings before uploading them to a memory stick or CD.

The search has proved problematic for the committee due to soaring costs for office space in the Capital within the group’s tight budget.

Despite the landlord briefly extending their stay, Ms McLaughlin is aware time is against the charity and is appealing to those who can help.

She said: “We are all so appreciative of those who have come forward with suggestions. It has given us renewed hope that we can find somewhere.

I am on Gumtree every day but unfortunately most of the places are either too expensive or are not suitable for our needs. We offer a free service heavily reliant on donations.

“We feel there is someone out there who has the space for us and we’d urge them to get in touch.”

Potential listeners or anyone who can help can e-mail [email protected] or call 0131 6612850.