BLOG | Volunteering by Dan Socaciu

Published: 04/06/2015

To celebrate Volunteers Week our Regional Training Manager Dan has written a blog about his volunteer work with Exmouth & District Talking Newspaper

I love what I do and I think that is what volunteering is all about:  helping others by doing something you love…

About 6 years ago I decided that I wanted to give something back to my local community and as I found myself with spare time at the weekends I decided to look into volunteering and put my time and skills to good use.

I called the Exmouth & District Talking Newspaper (TNP) having seen an advert in the local newspaper looking for “computer savvy” people to volunteer with them. Six months later I received a phone call from an unknown number. The kind lady at the other end of the phone asked me if I was still interested to volunteer for TNP as they had my name on the list. After a few moments of silence when my brain had to work really hard to remember who TNP were all about we arranged a meeting for me to find out more about what the role involved.

The Exmouth & District Talking Newspaper sends weekly recordings of the Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton Journals and the Express and Echo to people who are visually impaired or have difficulty reading the newspapers.

They have around 60 volunteers working in teams to edit, read, record, copy and distribute an hour's local news every week to our listeners (about 80 in total). Each team has their own allocated - Editor, Chairman, a team of three or four Readers and a Producer (that’s me!).

As we are now living in such a ‘digital’ world, TNP have had to make a transition from using old cassette tapes (hands up who remembers these?!). Now, it is all computers, CD’s and USB’s; things that I enjoy dealing with - so naturally I volunteer as a Producer! One of my key roles as Producer is making sure the recording levels are right so that the final sound doesn’t come up distorted. I also have to make sure the volunteer readers are reading the articles with enough enthusiasm so they sound as interesting as the information in them – I can be a hard task master if I need to be! It can also be a bit challenging when having to deal with a ‘sudden sneeze attack’!!

I have now been volunteering with TNP for about 6 years. What’s great is our team is still made up of the same people as when I started, which means we all know each other really well and that makes my job much easier, as getting used to everyone’s way of reading helps me anticipate things.

If you would like to become a Volunteer with Exmouth Talking Newspaper, or help with fundraising please ring the Secretary Gill Laws on  01395 266968.

I love what I do and I think that is what volunteering is all about:  helping others by doing something you love.