A message from our Chairman, May 29th, 2020

You will be aware of our continued difficulties during the current crisis so I just wanted to explain our plans to take things forward and keep you all in touch as well as we possibly can under these unprecedented circumstances.

First of all I’m sure all our listeners and volunteers will join me in wishing Tim Calvert a huge thank you for his continued persistence and industry in issuing Update whenever possible and keeping things going. He continues to put in lots of hours to bring you the latest news and entertainment despite being in lockdown.

Without his outstanding commitment along with the assistance of, Liz, and Sandra and who have been able to visit the studio I fear we would have been silent months ago. Special thanks also go to Uta who during isolation at home has been spending a considerable amount of time producing relevant stories on her smartphone and to Aggie who complies countless news stories week in week out. Without everyone’s contribution it would have been hard to continue our invaluable service which is helping those in need to stay connected during isolation

You will also be aware of our current perilous financial state and may remember I spoke recently about our situation since RNIB vacated the office and the city.

Unfortunately we now have to pay rent for a small office at Albion Street as sight loss organisation Beacon have now also vacated our old office. Unfortunately we have never had to do this before as by promoting and publicizing all RNIB and Beacon events, training sessions and visits from specialists we enjoyed a rent free occupation of our small studio space. Our funding is very limited as we previously used all our income on the purchase of players, pouches and memory sticks to send to listeners. Aware of this issue Tim and I negotiated a three month deal with our landlord as a temporary measure and moved across the hall to a new small office.

Our problem is that we have no funds to continue this when it ends very soon.

We have, however been busy chasing extra funding. Tim and our good friend Lesley Smith have submitted another Lottery bid which we hope will be successful.

Additionally Tim has won a grant from the City Council and I have obtained a similar small grant from the Staffordshire Community Fund.

We anxiously await a result from the Lottery before we can make any serious decisions on the way forward but we will continue to be open, transparent and timely with any decisions our committee make in the near future.

In the meantime can I wish you all a safe and careful journey as we navigate our way through these extraordinary times?

We are all determined to continue providing you all with up to date news, sport (when it  returns) and entertainment on a regular basis so we hope you will be reassured that our team will do everything we can to progress Update into an even better service for listeners in future.

We also are here to support the update community during these extraordinary times and are happy to refer into other services and offer advice as well as offering a telephone service so please contact our service manager Tim on 07721641887 for further information

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this crisis and we all wish you the very best for the future.

Thank you for your support

Cliff. Hathaway

Update Chairman