EACH week while nominations are open for the 2018 Observer-supported Solihull Together Awards, we are taking a look at the award categories in more detail and sharing stories of the 2017 winners.
This week we are encouraging people to get nominating for the Outstanding Community Project.
This category celebrates innovative work by voluntary and community groups or organisations supporting vulnerable and frail adults.
The 2017 award was won by Solihull Borough Talking Newspapers Association, which produces a weekly talking newspaper and quarterly magazine for visually impaired people.
Based on its listeners’ interests and selected by the producer for the week, the newspaper includes stories from local and regional publications including the Solihull Observer and has more than 200 listeners aged between 55 and 95.
There are 65 volunteers promoting, recording, producing and distributing the newspaper.
The operation, based at The Core, sees the volunteers work in teams to record the newspaper each Friday evening.
The recording is saved onto memory sticks and distributed, free of charge, early the following week.
Everyone working for the association is a volunteer, including Derek Bush, the organisation’s information officer.
Derek also provides hands-on support for new listeners to operate the playing devices and is a sound engineer when recording the weekly editions.
He became involved with the association when he retired and puts the group’s success down to teamwork.
He said “Our volunteers are always willing to help one another and provide additional support when needed.”
The fact that they complete and distribute an edition every week, without fail, is testament to strength of that teamwork and collaboration.
The association started more than 35 years ago and initially distributed the talking newspaper on tape cassette.
Over the years it has embraced the opportunities offered by technology and now offers the service on USB sticks.
Derek said winning the Solihull Together award was ‘a great experience.’
He added: “We were amazed to see just how many people are involved across Solihull.
“It was lovely to have some recognition for the Association and for the volunteers to be recognised for their time, effort and enthusiasm.”
The association is always on the look out for help and hopes that the volunteer base will continue to grow.
For more information visit the Solihull Borough Talking Newspapers Association website www.sbtna.weebly.com
The Solihull Together Awards are an annual borough-wide celebration of outstanding care and support provided by residents, volunteers and professionals.
Now in its fourth year, the 2018 Awards recognise inspiring individuals and innovative teams who are working together to make life better for Solihull’s vulnerable and frail adults.
For more information about all the award categories and to submit an online nomination visit www.solihulltogether.co.uk/awards You can also find out more by following the Awards on Twitter @ST4BL.
The closing date for nominations is midday on Monday, January 29.