Concern over decline in users of newspaper service

Volunteers at Angus Talking Newspapers.
Volunteers at Angus Talking Newspapers.

It is feared that a decline in referrals has led to a reduction in the number of users of the Angus Talking Newspapers (ATN) service.

The committee met last month for their annual general meeting and the issue was the hot topic of the agenda.

They are worried that despite rising national figures for visual impairment, the number of listeners receiving the Angus CDs has been steadily declining in the past ten years.

Ian Scott, chairman of the Angus Talking Newspaper Association, said: “Traditionally Angus Council Social Work Department has referred people diagnosed with visual impairment to the service and it is these referrals that have been significantly reduced in the past few years.

“This has been of concern for some time and in the past year has been drawn to the attention of Angus Council and NHS Tayside but there has been a surprising lack of response.

“At the meeting we agreed that efforts would be continued to open a dialogue on this matter.”

A council spokeswoman said: “We have been in direct dialogue with Angus Talking Newspaper Association specifically about how we promote their services since March 2013 and a meeting with them is scheduled in June to speak with them about other methods of promotion.

“As discussed with the association in March, in addition to our occupational therapy staff advising people with visual impairments about Angus Talking Newspaper Association, as a staff reference we also have written contact details about them in all our area offices.”

At the meeting, members of the association agreed that now a new logo has been finalised after a competition held among primary schools last year, every effort should be made to get a new information leaflet finalised and distributed to public places such as Residential Homes, Doctors Surgeries, Access Offices and Libraries.

Office-bearers remained unchanged with Ian Scott staying on as chairman, Lorna Milne as treasurer, and Liz Mountford as secretary.

If you would like to volunteer with the association in any capacity please call 01575 575912.