Spring statement from Update Production Manager Tim Calvert April 16th 2021

Hi All

Update is the local talking newspaper for Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire that provides information, banter, local news, sport, poems and entertainment for those visually impaired and anyone unable to read written text for whatever reason.

It’s certainly been an eventful year that none of us could have prepared for or expected but through it all we have strived to overcome the obstacles in front of us and look forward towards brighter horizons.

Update has stayed active all the way through the pandemic and produced content in many different ways, our usb pouch service, online podcasts, the wireless for the blind talking newspaper app and from March this year we have stretched our wings and are now on Amazon Alexa, Google and telephone listening service.

We support our members by continuously adapting our services to the needs required and Update is a community full of character and personality and love to receive feedback and suggestions.

Many thanks to all our supporters and members as you make us who we are and without our remarkable team of volunteers Update simply would not exist so a big thank you to you all.

It’s such good news that we are even more accessible than ever before with the addition of Alexa, Google and Telephone listening service.

To access update on Alexa, you need to first time round say to your Alexa Device – Enable my talking Newspaper, and then when prompted ask for Stoke on Trent.

For all times after the first you address Alexa by saying open my Talking newspaper and it will remember where you left off

And to use the telephone listening service

The dial in phone number is 01782 479 476 – while listening, pressing “5” will pause and give the playback controls.

If you need any help whatsoever with either of these services you can call 07721 641887 and I will guide you through

We are also asking anyone who decides to switch from usb sticks and machines to one of these services to return your equipment to us and if you can afford make a yearly contribution of £20 to help with the additional costs.

We are totally reliant on donations and help for funders like National Lottery and Stoke and Staffordshire county council so if you can make a donation it will be greatly appreciated and make a difference to so many people

Cheques can be made payable to Update Stoke on Trent and sent to Update, Unit 2, The Forecourt, 12 Albion Street, Hanley ST1 1QL

The addition of Alexa does mean a few changes around the availability of content, so from now on, certain content like songs, the talking magazines and in touch will only be made available on the USB Sticks and on our own website Update Stoke .org this is due to certain restrictions

We also offer a telephone service where we can help with things like a referral to other services, help with things like entertainment services with Audio description and talking book service and can even read specific articles to you down the phone when required.

As we look towards the future we want to build our membership base and expand our listeners so please do spread the word and anyone wanting to receive update can contact 07721 641 887 for further information. We are also on the lookout for new volunteers to work in our office in Hanley or from home and have various roles available in admin, audio production, fundraising, marketing, and news readers so do get in touch if interested.

To find out more about any of the information detailed please get in touch

Thanks for reading

Keep smiling through and stay safe

Warm Wishes

Tim Calvert – Update Production Manager