Havering Talking Newspaper


The Havering Talking Newspaper receives the 2019 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The Havering Talking Newspaper, a group of volunteers based in Harold Wood, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The Havering Talking Newspaper is a free weekly service of local news recorded onto USB memory sticks for vision impaired people in the borough of Havering whose sight is too poor to read the printed word. Those who cannot see well enough to read do not have access to information we all take for granted. For the few who can read Braille, local news and some event information is still outside their reach.

Two representatives (Gwyn Halliwell and Bob Wickington) from The Havering Talking Newspaper attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award. The Havering Talking Newspaper is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.  Winners are announced each year on 2nd. June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse.  They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.

Representatives of The Havering Talking Newspaper will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of London later this summer.

The Havering Talking Newspaper’s Chairman, Bob Wickington says:

“We are delighted that our group’s work, which brings weekly recordings of local news (and more) to the blind and partially sighted in Havering and beyond has been recognised. It is wonderful that we have won this award and we shall endeavour to maintain our totally free service for as long as there is someone who needs it. I personally pay tribute to the constant commitment of our volunteers with whom I have the honour to work.”

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