HELENSBURGH’S talking newspaper has issued its first emergency edition to keep visually-impaired residents in touch with all the latest lockdown news.

Headline Helensburgh is Scotland’s oldest registered talking newspaper for the blind and otherwise visually handicapped, founded in 1975, and passes on edited versions of Advertiser news stories and other features on cassette or memory stick twice a month to those unable to read for any reason.

Because of social distancing, the recording teams are unable to meet to travel to recording sessions in Dumbarton, so editor Donald Fullarton decided to produce emergency editions from his Helensburgh home.

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Donald said: “It is vital at this critical time to keep the visually handicapped informed of what is happening and what is available locally during this crisis.

“The first emergency edition is only 45 minutes long instead of the usual hour, but that reflects the fact that with the lockdown and so many cancelled events, there simply aren’t as many local news stories as usual.

“Unfortunately, as I am in self-isolation, it means there is only one voice to listen to instead of the usual four.

“My technical prowess will also improve the more I do!”

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Headline recording team leader Christine Brodie added: “Now, more than ever, it is important to impart the useful information about the various ways in which volunteers and the community are giving their support.

“Other news brings some semblance of normality to a very strange situation.

“It is an unsettling time for everyone, but even more difficult for people with visual impairments.”

Headline Helensburgh can also be listened to online on the Talking Newspapers app, and on the British Wireless for the Blind Fund website at bwbf.org.uk.

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