A Brief History
Our story begins in 1981 when four teenagers, Alex Kerr, Ian Glover, Clark Struthers and Sabur Akhter decided to start a talking newspaper in Johnstone. They contacted Peter Fraser from the Playback Service for the Blind who gave them invaluable advice and information. Having received a small grant from the Prince’s Trust the necessary equipment was purchased and we obtained the names and addresses of twelve visually impaired people in the Johnstone area. The first addition of the Johnstone & District Talking Newspaper for the Blind was hand-delivered by the four teenagers on 5 November 1981.
Initially our service was based in a small ‘recording studio’ in Alex Kerr’s bedroom. By 1983 it was becoming clear that it was now too big to be based there. We moved to the Community Wing of Cochrane Castle Primary School in Johnstone and were based there between 1983 – 86.
By 1986 our service had grown further and we approached the Volunteer Centre who granted us free use of part of their premises in Queen Street, Paisley. A recording studio was built for us and we were given use of adjacent office accommodation. Following the move to Paisley it was decided that our service should expand to cover the entire Renfrewshire area. In order to better reflect the geographical area covered, it was decided to change the name of our service to Renfrewshire Sound Talking Newspaper for the Blind.
By 1997 our premises in Queen Street Paisley had deteriorated to such an extent that we approached Renfrewshire Council asking for assistance in finding suitable alternative premises. In 1998 we identified premises at Barscube Terrace Paisley and a small recording studio was built as well as an office and technical area. Our service has been based at this address since this time.
Our Story Today
We are Renfrewshire Sound Talking Newspaper for the Blind and are registered as a charity with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and our registration number is SCOO5755. We are a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered with Companies House and our registration number is SC219168. We are also members of the Association of Scottish Talking Newspapers.
In 2011 we celebrate 30 years of service to visually impaired people in Renfrewshire. Each week we produce an 80-minute Talking Newspaper that features recordings of articles from the Paisley Daily Express and the Gazette group of newspapers. Our service is available via the post on compact disc, on tape or via this website as a stream or download. There is no charge for our service. For further information on how to receive Renfrewshire Sound click on the receive our service button.
Our service is run entirely by volunteers and we currently have a small team of around 25 people working with us. The volunteers elect a management committee that oversees all aspects of our service. For further information on volunteering please click on the volunteers tab.
Our funding is derived from a variety of sources including Renfrewshire Council, donations from grant making organisations and individual donations. For further information on donating click the donate tab.