Helping us

We are always looking for people willing to take up the challenge of helping those less fortunate than themselves. Fresh faces and willing hands ensure that the service can continue to be provided FREE of charge to the users.

The time commitment is not onerous. Dependability and keenness are the prime assets. Every single person who works for the charity is a volunteer. We are one of those rare organisations where every one of us is unpaid so we value all that we do for each other and as genuine team members.

  • Volunteers select and read the news items
  • Volunteers ensure precise sound levels and audio quality
  • Volunteers duplicate the recordings
  • Volunteers check those receiving recordings have suitable machines to play them on
  • Volunteers raise funds to finance the service
  • Royal Mail helps out by providing a free postal service
  • The United Reformed Church at Witham assists by providing subsidised facilities for recording sessions.



Every volunteer with the Mid Essex Talking Newspaper is valued because our charity is run entirely by volunteers. No-one receives payment for what they do so we all know how valuable each of us is to the other.

Working as a team we provide:

  •  Full training
  •  A written volunteers’ policy
  •  Happy, friendly and safe working environment
  •  Full mentoring
  •  Equal opportunities
  •  Business plan
  •  Agreed mission statement
  •  Quarterly newsletter


Here is a post by post guide to the many ways you can assist the charity in its work. Duties are many and varied but fit in with busy lifestyles of volunteers, who we all realise, are probably involved in a number of other activities already!

Your total commitment is entirely up to you …… and do not worry if you have never done anything like our jobs before. You will be fully trained by experienced volunteers who will spend time and trouble in ensuring you know all you need to know.

All the activities except news editing and fundraising are held in The Centre, United Reformed Church,Newland Street, Witham.

News Readers

Commitment is approximately one Friday evening every two months. You are one of a team of five recording the news items, in rotation. All the items read from local newspapers are selected on news value and interest and may be edited for length. A clear voice is the only essential. You will be involved on the Friday from approximately 6.15pm to 8pm.

News Editors

You choose and edit the items for recording from the various editions of the Braintree and Witham Times, Halstead Gazette and Maldon and Burnham Standard and Essex Chronicle. Due to the need for continuity each editor works for a complete month of issues and ensures that the marked-up papers are delivered to the recording base in good time for the Friday evening recording session.

Recording Officers

This a key role linking all those involved in the recording session from beginning to end. Available for a month at a time, again to ensure continuity and non-repetition of output, they oversee the recording sessions using mixing console decks to create masters. Sound control and clarity are the aims. They also check recordings before, during and after the duplicating process. Full training will be provided.

Time commitment is from 5.00pm to 9.00pm.


Available later on Friday evenings once the recording is made and quality checks have been carried out, they duplicate recordings on high-speed copiers. The task is non-technical and training is straightforward. Time commitment is approximately 8pm to 8.30pm on the Friday evening. Duty sessions will be decided by rota.



Again available later on Friday evenings, this task involves placing recordings into already-addressed pouches and maintaining details of who has received them through a central book. Organisation is the key to the role and you will be working alongside the copiers. Time commitment is approximately 8pm to 8.30pm. Many volunteers combine reading, copying and packing to make a complete evening!

Recording Preparers

These volunteers work during the day on Fridays, at times convenient to them, to check over the devices returned by listeners, record the returns in the central book and ensure pouches are ready for the evening’s packing.

Commitment is only about an hour a week and main attributes are dependability and thoroughness.


Volunteers involved in the weekly tasks are also fundraisers at the moment because we feel we should all get involved in financing the work as well as doing it. Everything we tackle is as a team and we try to ensure that all burdens are shared as evenly as possible. So we organise and run events to make money to finance the weekly service and ensure those with sight problems can receive the news service FREE.


If you would like to know more about assisting us simply contact our secretary Ray Hardisty by calling him on 01206 545062 or e-mailing him at:

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