Talking newspapers for blind and visually impaired people in Oxford & district
Oxtalk 'Sound Orb'

Oxtalk Chair’s Annual Report 2015

October 19, 2015

Please click the link to download a copy of the Chair’s Report for 2015 . This was presented by Margaret Simpson at the Autumn meeting, which took place on Saturday 17th October. The complete text of the report is included below:

Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting 2015

Welcome to the 2015 Oxtalk Autumn Meeting.

I am pleased so many listeners are attending and ‘thank you’ to the volunteer drivers for being their ‘chauffeurs’.

This has been an interesting year to say the least and one which I hope will never be repeated – certainly not whilst I am involved with Oxtalk.

I am not one to dwell in the past but I appreciate I have to report the year’s events for this official report.

I mentioned at last year’s AGM the possibility that Radio Cherwell and Oxtalk would have leave the Churchill Hospital site – OUHT wanted the land for a development opportunity. Thank you to those of you who, following the meeting, gave me the contacts for possible alternative organisations which had recording equipment and/or recording studios. All these were followed up.

OUHT did give Radio Cherwell notice to quit by the end of February 2015 and Neil Stockton gave Oxtalk notice to quit by 21 January 2015 , which we did – thank you to all the people who helped to clear out Oxtalk’s accumulated property, some of which is still being held in various peoples’ homes, rent free!

The last recording at Radio Cherwell was on 20 January and the last copying session on 21 January. Oxtalk was then silent until the relaunch on Tuesday 12 May. In the short time available the Committee checked out possible alternative sites and the discussions with Oxfordshire for the Blind [OAB] were proving to be the most promising. So in the intervening 4 months a decision was made to accept OAB’s Trustees offer for Oxtalk to be based at Bradbury Lodge, one night a week. To comply with OAB’s Insurer’s requirements their staff and Trustees had to agree to either a member of staff or a Trustee being on duty each week. This they very generously agreed to.

As you will appreciate many things were going on in parallel:-

Oxtalk restarted with a number of new listeners and has now been back in production for 6 months. I know listeners appreciate receiving the weekly news again as they let me know from time to time. In these 6 months the number of listeners has fluctuated as some no longer receive Oxtalk.

I have been told that Oxtalk should have stayed with Radio Cherwell as they are still in the old building but we had no choice. Many volunteers have told me they really appreciate being at OAB, being in a warm comfortable building, being made to feel welcome and just this last week Caroline Ludden of OAB told me that she had received a similar message on OAB’s facebook page and this pleased OAB. It pleases me too that 1 of Oxtalk’s volunteers sent this unsolicited positive message to Colin and his staff, a message that will no doubt be passed on to the Trustees.

Oxtalk are making a small contribution towards the utilities that are used on a Tuesday night.

Those of you who attend other groups and clubs could suggest they ask Anne Ambler to give a talk about Oxtalk. You know about Oxtalk but perhaps not everyone at your club does.

I am very confident that Oxtalk’s future is secure with the new partnership now established with OAB. Both organisations have a common purpose. We have a strong, reliable and supportive group of volunteers producing a weekly talking newspaper enjoyed by the listeners who receive it.

During these last few months I have been supported by an excellent group of Committee members and I appreciate the support given to me. My thanks to you.

I close by wishing Oxtalk a very positive, successful and calm 12 months.

Margaret A Simpson

Chair – Oxtalk

16 October 2015

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