The Talking Newspaper Federation Committee has a maximum of 9 trustees. A further 3 trustees can be co-opted for specific tasks. Both elected and co-opted members must be active within a local Talking Newspaper, or connected to an organisation that specialises in the production of audio text, or be an Individual Associate Member - all of whom must be members of the Federation. Each member, once their election as a trustee is ratified at an AGM, serves a 3 year term. After 3 years, they may stand for re-election for another 3 year term if they wish to do so.

Michael Lewington - Chair

 

Michael has been been the Director and Company Secretary of Calibre Audio Library since September 2007. Calibre provides audio books for any person unable to read normal print.  Previously a Company Secretary and contributes to the lawful governance and complete legal compliance in all TNF matters relevant to charity law.  His speciality is audio and he is passionate that audio must sit alongside other formats; braille, large print and increasingly the availability of eBooks with text to speech.  As a Trustee he is committed to the promotion of all material including newspapers and magazines to be available in accessible formats and of good quality.  The Talking News Federation and local Talking Newspapers play a vital role in the audio production and distribution of local newspapers and magazines that would otherwise not be available to listeners. 

Cathy Sexton - Secretary

When my local TN – Grenestede Talking News – was looking for volunteers in 2012, I joined as a recording engineer as I knew how important receiving local information was to people who could not read their local paper after my Dad started receiving his local TN. Then having been involved for three years, the chairman wanted to step down so I volunteered and have been the chairman since 2015.  I became involved with TNF since January 2017 and I have been organising and documenting the items held in the TNF archive and want to make the archive a useable resource for members of TNF.  I was co-opted onto the TNF committee as secretary after the 2017 AGM and voted onto the committee at the 2018 AGM.

Richard Black - Hon Treasurer

Richard worked in many areas of a major bank for 24 years followed by 12 years with the National Lottery Community Fund.  When a reorganisation of the Fund relocated his job to Newcastle upon Tyne in 2007 he left the Fund and worked as a charity consultant until 2015.  He is Treasurer of Chelmsford Talking Newspaper and one of their Technical Officers.  Since 2014, Richard has been the Treasurer for the Talking News Federation and of three other local charities.

 

Amanda Reed

Amanda’s relationship with Visual Impairment started at Walsall Society for the Blind at 15 years old, here she went on her first work placement from school.  After leaving College she went on to work for SENSE a National Charity working with Deaf Blind adults, followed by joining the NHS as a Care Manager.  She returned to the Walsall Society in January 2006 as the Chief Executive Officer.  Over the past 13 years Amanda has made changes in the Society operations, ensuring that it is fit for the future.  She Chairs the Walsall Talking Newspaper Committee and has been part of the team that has challenged the original format of their Talking Newspaper and supported as it went digital then extended to a magazine service also.  She has served on the TNF committee since November 2012.  She is currently the Chairman for TNF current supports the committee with strategy.

Alan Dunderdale

Alan has a history of caring, first as a line ambulanceman with paramedic training. Alan retired and moved to become a site supervisor at a special needs school.. As a result of meeting his wife Marjorie who is a very strong TN supporter of over 35 years he became involved 8 years ago with Burnley Talking Newspaper, assisting them to move from analogue cassettes through digitalization.  He has with his wife made up the development team and been instrumental in the rebuilding of a new Leeds Talking Newspaper. As the Trustee with responsibility for development he works with old and new Talking Newspapers’s to develop their service offer for the betterment of our blind and partially sighted listeners.

Helen McIntosh

Helen’s professional background is in NHS management, with a focus on clinical governance and service improvement.  Later, employed by a consultancy, she led whole-system change across health and social care.  Helen is currently Chair of the Mid Devon Messenger Talking Newspaper.  On behalf of the Talking Newspaper Federation, and working with listeners with visual impairment, Helen has introduced a process of independent reviews for Talking Newspaper members.

 

Paul Ramsden

I have combined a career in the oil industry, focussing on technical, economic and recycling areas, with longstanding involvement as a volunteer in the charitable sector. Initially with Relate, as a counsellor before moving on to become Chair of Relate in Cheshire and Merseyside and then a member of the national Relate Board with responsibility for governance matters. As Chair of Stockport Talking News for the past seven years, I just caught the end of the tape cassette era and then more recently oversaw the move from CD’s to Memory Sticks. This was particularly enjoyable as it provided an opportunity to visit many of our TN listeners in their homes and gain a greater insight into the personal challenges faced by visually impaired, and often older, members of the local community.

Steve Barrett-White

Steve Barrett-White first worked for worked in the record industry, in a number of roles and then for Acorn Computers, working on the BBC Micro, then Commodore Computers, to introduce the Amiga in the UK. During has time at Acorn Computers, Steve was seconded to the BBC as a presenter of the Domesday Project for two years.

After a spell at Philips and SPC, he entered the AV market, working for distributors and dealers. He joined the Royal Institute of British Architects as the only AV technician 16 years ago and retired as the Audio-Visual Manager in October 2019.  He was responsible for the sales and implementation of AV at the RIBA’s London head offices and also responsible for the provision of AV in the regional offices around the country. On a day to day basis, provided AV for 24 conference rooms at 66 Portland Place, scheduling the in-house team and freelance technicians.

In addition, Steve is in demand as a presenter/lecturer in microphone techniques and sound in general. He also records and produces recordings for radio and for orchestras, cinema organists, choirs and jazz bands across the UK and Europe. He is also a product specialist for Sontronics, a boutique British microphone manufacturer and provides advice and equipment from Audio Technica, Allen & Heath and other Audio companies.

Steve is a trustee, events and technical officer for TNF (talking news for the blind) and provides the sound and recording facilities for their regional and National Conferences.  In addition to being a trustee of the Musical Museum at Kew Bridge Brentford, Steve joined the board of directors in January 2020. The museum has 3 galleries and a concert hall complete with a 3 manual Wurlitzer cinema organ.