From Salvationist 18 November 2017
SOUNDS OF SALVATION
Captain Andrew Stone discovers more about a service for people with sight loss
IT could be easy to take for granted the ability to read these words. According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) more than two million people in the UK live with sight loss. For some of them reading this text would be a challenge – for others it would prove impossible.
In recognition that there are Salvationists among the two million identified by the RNIB, an audio version of Salvationist has been available, on CD, for a number of years. Distributed every two weeks, the recordings help those with sight loss stay in touch with all the Army news in the publication. Since 2009 the recordings have been made by two retired officers – Lieut-Colonel Joy Taylor and Colonel Margaret White.
‘My aim is to inspire and inform and to help listeners feel part of the great Salvation Army fellowship and family,’ Margaret explains. ‘I try to communicate my own love for the Army and the conviction that God is still at work through it.’
For the past eight years Margaret and Joy have thoughtfully and prayerfully read through each edition of Salvationist, highlighting the passages they believe will be most appreciated by their listeners. However, Margaret is now retiring from this role. In the future Joy will be sharing her responsibilities with Lieut-Colonel Margaret Wickings.
Editor-in-Chief Major Martin Hill is keen to express his gratitude for this work: ‘Colonel Margaret White and Lieut-Colonel Joy Taylor have exercised a tremendously valuable ministry for the past eight years. I am so impressed with their dedication, professionalism and real desire to serve their listeners.
‘Margaret has not just been a voice, but a reassuring friend listeners look forward to hearing. I am sure many people will continue to give thanks for Margaret’s lovely ministry and remember her gentle, caring tones. I am so grateful for all she has done to make Salvationist available to people living with sight loss and I sincerely thank her.
‘I am delighted that we have recruited a commendable replacement. Lieut-Colonel Margaret Wickings is enthusiastic about her new role and I am sure she and Joy will form a great partnership as they share their fortnightly recording duties.’
The audio versions of Salvationist will continue to be distributed by sight loss charity Galloway’s Society for the Blind. The charity has been providing one of the largest talking newspaper services in the country for 25 years, sending out more than 50,000 publications each year.
Galloway’s supports more than seven thousand blind and partially sighted people but its Talking Newspapers is the only service it offers countrywide. The aim of the charity is to ensure nobody in the community has to face sight loss alone or without the right support.
Galloway’s relies on donations and legacies to continue its work and has had to raise £1million this year to continue its service. James Coulton, Audio Services Manager at Galloway’s, explains: ‘It costs us more than £23,000 every year to deliver the Talking Newspapers service, something we just couldn’t do without the support and generosity of the community. A £5 donation could cover the cost for somebody to receive talking newspapers for an entire year, so all donations of all sizes really do make a big difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people.
‘We’re really proud of the impact that our audio versions of Salvationist have had on people’s lives over the years. If people reading this could donate any amount they are able to, it would go a long way to ensuring Galloway’s can continue offering such high-impact services. All support we receive will allow us to continue providing lifelines, just like the talking newspapers, to blind and partially sighted people.’
- To make a donation to Galloway’s, cheques can be sent to Howick House, Howick Park Avenue, Penwortham, Preston PR1 0LS. Donations can also be made by phone (01772 744148) or via the website (www.galloways.org.uk)
- If you know someone who would like to receive the audio version of Salvationist please email email@example.com or write to Chris Stringer at THQ
CAPTAIN STONE IS EDITOR OF THE WAR CRY
Pick up a copy of this week's Salvationist to read the rest of this week's articles
Check out this week's comment from the Editor here.
Salvationist is a weekly 24-page magazine for members and friends of The Salvation Army - with news, features, Bible studies and much more