A Helping Hand for two charities

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A CHARITY which brings local news to the blind and a social hub for the community have become the latest recipients of a helping hand.

Every month, the Bury Free Press, with the aid of St Edmund’s Wheel, gives local projects a £500 boost, St Edmundsbury Newstalk and the Unitarian Meeting House are this month’s recipients.

St Edmundsbury Newstalk produces audio news and magazines for blind and partially sighted listeners across the borough.

The charity distributes USB sticks containing recordings of articles from local papers free of charge, ensuring that their listeners are able to keep up to date with what’s going on in their area.

Committee member Martin Chandler said: “The Helping Hands contribution will make a big difference to us because we are a small charity.”

Martin is a listener to the Newstalk recordings and explained why the work of the 40 or so volunteers was so important.

He said: “It makes such a difference. I cannot read newsprint or large print – it makes such a difference listening to the articles selected from the papers.”

The money will go replenish the charity’s reserve fund which was depleted after the changeover from using tapes to USB sticks.

Last year, celebrations were held marking 300 years since the Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, was built.

The building is not only a meeting place for the Unitarian Church but for many of the town’s clubs and organisations.

As part of last year’s celebrations, building work, including the installation of disabled access, was started.

Marian Shaw, of the building’s management committee, said: “The money means that we can pay the whole of the bill without digging further into our own small capital – a significant contribution, much appreciated.”

Organisations, charities and individuals can apply for A Helping Hand grant by filling in the form, below then, on a separate sheet of paper, in not more than 200 words, explain what the money would be used for.

Send your completed application to: A Helping Hand, Newsdesk, Bury Free Press, King’s Road, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3ET.