Talking News Federation

Talking News Federation

Talking News Federation

Charity Number 1108294

Annual Report and Accounts


Benefits offered to Members of

Talking News Federation

The Talking News Federation (TNF) is an umbrella organisation representing the interests of local Talking Newspapers across the United Kingdom. Full membership is available to all Talking Newspapers and other charities which produce audio recordings for blind and partially sighted people.

Full members of TNF have the following benefits:-

Advice and Support:

  • Equipment and Property Insurance
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Trustee Indemnity Insurance
  • Health & Safety Advice
  • Legal Advice
  • Suppliers
  • Free loan of display equipment
  • Publicity leaflets
  • Free collecting boxes & associated labels
  • Starting, reviving, and closing a local Talking Newspaper
  • Bursaries
  • A collection of policies and procedures for adaptation by members
  • Technical Issues

TNF represents the members:-

  • with associated organisations at a national level
  • at other organisations’ conferences and exhibitions

TN Network:

The magazine,available on the TNF website, isproduced 3-4 times a year to all members. It can also be obtained in audio format for blind and partially sighted listeners and volunteers. Hardcopies of the magazine can be obtained by printing a PDF copy from the TNF website.

National Conference:

This provides an opportunity for member representatives to meet and discuss various local TN issues. A selection of presentations and workshops help and encourage local TNs to develop a better service. Exhibitors demonstrate existing and new technologies.

Local Conferences:

A number of local conferences are held each year. These encourage local TN representatives to meet and discuss local issues.

TN Week:

This is an annual designated week concentrating on raising public awareness to the audio service provided by local TNs to blind and partially sighted persons in their area. Itis an opportunity for TNs to generate links with other local organisations and individuals which, in turn, may also lead to additional funding.


Our website provides general information about local talking newspapers in the United Kingdom and a directory of local organisations. This enables access to local TNs at any time. TheMembers’ Area provides more detailed information. Members are able to join, update their own profiles and renew their subscriptions online.

TNF Policies:

A series of policies and procedures has been introduced so that members can fully understand the importance of being part of an organisation which has high standards. Local TNs may use these policies and procedures as guidelinesfor creating their own. All the policies and procedures can be found on the website. These also demonstrate to external funding bodies that high standards are properly managed within a talking newspaper.

Long Service Certificates:

Certificates are available for member TNs wishing to celebrate the number of years of production or a number of editions produced. A TNF committee member, or the Vice-Presidentwill be happy to present the certificate if the TN wishes. Certificates for individual service by local volunteers to a TN can be downloaded from the website.

Annual Review

2012 – 2013

Review of TNF Activities and Achievements

Brian Watts, Chairman

Weare supported by a strong number of volunteers who take very active roles and responsibilities within the organisation. We give you all a big vote of thanks for this valuable and continuing support.

This Annual Review of our activities covers the period from 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013.

During this year many objectives have been achieved including:

  • continuing to reduce costs by using electronic format rather than hardcopies
  • maintaining tight financial control of our funds
  • taking part in discussions with other national bodies
  • representationon the UKAAF standards working groups
  • attendance at conferences and exhibitions to raise the profile of local TNs
  • organising an annual national conference
  • supporting a number of local conferences
  • introducing new backroom processes to remove expensive hardcopy production and postal charges
  • continuing production of the TN Network magazine and sending electronic alerts to volunteers within the membership
  • the loan of fundraising equipment for use by members
  • the loan of display equipment to help members advertise their service at local exhibitions
  • the provision of leaflets and posters to those TNs who wish to improve their profile

TNF Committee:

We think that individual committee members should have an expertise to make a strong, forward thinking team. The idea of a committee is to determine the strategy of the organisation and allow the management to be carried out by individuals who understand their role and responsibilities. Representatives on the committee have come from local TNs and other organisations which understand our role but can offer a different perspective. After 7 years as TNF chairman, Mike Wood stood down from the committee at the 2012 annual meeting, and was subsequently elected as Vice-President. Brian Watts was elected chairman of the committee. Julia Richardson, who had been co-opted in October 2011, joined the committee as Secretary, and two new members have joined during the year, Amanda Reed (Walsall Society for the Blind) and Steve Cowdry (Swindon TN). Ann Willis decided to step down from the committee in January 2013.

TNF Membership:

There were 289 full members, 74 life members, and 6 individual members.

Annual General Meeting:

This was held on Saturday 6th October 2012 during National Conference weekend. Overall, the organisation continued to make improvements to its aims and objectives.

National Conference:

This year’sconference was, for the first time, held at the Marriott Hotel in Preston in October with the numbers of delegates from local TNs declining slightly from previous years. The speakers were interesting and diverse in their subject matter and all helped local representatives to broaden their knowledge. Delegates were offered a variety of presentations and workshops throughout Saturday and Sunday morning. OurPresident,Peter White,attended once again,mixing with all the delegatesand giving continued support.

Local Conferences:

Local Conferences were held during the year in some parts of the country with TNF supporting these (conferences) both financially and organisationally. Most conferences had a representative from the committee in attendance. These conferences are a good source of information for local TN representatives who do not wish to travel too far from home.


Chairman Mike Wood promised before the start of TNFthat a firm control of finances would be maintained and this has been the case since our formation eight years ago. The main source of our operational fundsis our members’ annual subscriptions. The TNF subscriptions were reduced by £3 to £42 per annum and have continued to remain the same for the past 6 years. We agreed to honour TNAUK’s Life Membership when we began in 2005 but since then some life members have convertedto annual membership and, together with new ways of working and careful management, this has enabled us to continue offering the reduced fee of £42 per annum. We intend to continue to fund any projects mainly through grants. Since our formation we have had free office rent, although we have paid a service charge for heating, lighting and cleaning services. The lease on the Royal Wootton Bassett office terminated during 2012 and, thanks to Mike’s negotiation skills,our new office in Swindon comes at no rent.


Many members continued to take advantage of ourspecialinsurance scheme. The policy is specifically written for local TNs, and the vast majority of our full and life members continue to take advantage of this facility. Some of those not using the insurance scheme are TNs hosted by other organisations with other responsibilities and arrangements.

Audio recordings:

In the last financial year we created a library of audio recordings made available to all TNF members through our website, and it is hoped that many TNs will take advantage of this service.


We continued to attend the major sight loss exhibitions but intend to implement a review of the viability (both financially and in terms of attendee numbers) in the future.

TN week:

This was held in September 2012. A resource pack was available for TNs to use to publicise their service locally which proved very helpful. Many TNs arranged for publicity to be sent out during this week to highlight their services for local blind and partially sighted people and to encourage new volunteers.

Objectives and Aims for 2013-2014

We will continue to attend a variety of national and local exhibitions to support and raise the profile of local Talking Newspapers.

We will put the interests of listeners in the forefront of any guidance given to any of our members.

We will support our members in matters relating to the management of services they provide.

We will give guidance, when requested, on how to improve methods of providing the service to listeners.

It is even moreimportant for local TNsto provide a good quality service,both in content and engineering, than ever before and to publicise their service. There are new alternatives to providing local news to listeners, and TNs must ensure that the service they provide is not only very good but also provides their listeners with other relevant information as well as the local news from the newspaper.

At the 2011AGM we encouraged our membership to renew their annual subscriptions electronically. We also ceased sending out hard copies of our magazine TN Network and various paperwork concerning the AGM and Annual Report. Members have instead been sent electronic alerts when these documents and reports are available for viewing and downloading from the website. Those members who do not have internet access may still have office printed copies on request. It would be helpful if someone in their TN could receive this information via an e-mail or the website rather than a hardcopy and for this person to become the contact person.

We will continue to encourage our members to attend National Conference, as well as to attend local conferences in all parts of the UK, to expedite the sharing of knowledge and best practice.

In the early part of the year we set up and operated a social networking site to keep current members up to date with the latest information and to encourage younger members of TNs to be better informed about TN matters.
TNF President and Vice-President

Name / TNF President / Start date / Finish date
Peter White / President / 28-11-2005
Mike Wood / Vice-President / 06-10-2012

TNF Executive Committee Members

Name / TNF Committee Member / Start date / Finish date
Ann Willis / Rayleigh, Rochford & Castle Point TN / 01-04-2005 / 06-10-2012
Barry Symonds / Sight Concern, Bedfordshire / 13-01-2007
Bob Finch / Colchester and District TN / 03-07-2010
Brian Watts / Guildford TN / 01-04-2005
John May / Lichfield and District TN / 03-07-2010
Julia Richardson / Swindon TN / 29-10-2011
Marten Rayner / Kent Association for the Blind / 03-10-2009 / 12-05-2012
Mike Wood / Swindon TN / 01-04-2005 / 06-10-2012
Tony Vale / Wymondham & Attleborough TN / 01-04-2005

TNF Co-opted Members

Name / TNF Committee (Co-opted) / Start date / Finish date
Amanda Reed / Walsall Society for the Blind / 06-10-2012
Ann Willis / Rayleigh, Rochford & Castle Point TN / 06-10-2012 / 07-01-2013
Steve Cowdry / Swindon TN / 02-03-2013

Volunteer Contributors to TNF

Ann Willis / Website/Passwords / Rayleigh
Ann Wood / Conference Organiser / Swindon
Bob Grieve / Reading through Audio-webmaster / Wickford
Dave Buckley / TNTalk / Dumfries
Janet Berry / TN Network magazine/website editor / Rochford
Paula Sinden / Office Administrator / Swindon
Peter Sinden / Office IT / Swindon
Steve Cowdry / Editor's content (TNF website) & Facebook / Swindon
Tahera Begum / Office Administrator / Swindon

Annual Report 2012-13

Charity Information

The Talking News Federation is an unincorporated charity.

General enquiries:


Talking News Federation

Craven House

145 Victoria Road

Swindon SN1 3BU

Tel: 0871 226 5506


TNF is managed by an Executive Committee of officers and office bearers. For enquiries on specific subjects, please contact the appropriate person. The contact details are at the back of this report.

Correct at 31st March 2013.

Peter WhitePresident

Officers:Mike WoodChairman (to 6.10.12)

Brian WattsChairman (from 6.10.12)

Julia RichardsonSecretary (from 29.10.2011)

Barry SymondsTreasurer

Executive Committee:

Bob FinchGuidelines

Brian WattsCampaign

John MayDevelopment

Tony ValeLocal Support

Amanda ReedCo-opted member (from 24.11.12)

Steve CowdryCo-opted member (from 2.3.13)

Registered Office:

Craven House

145 Victoria Road

Swindon SN1 3BU

Charity Number:1108294

Bank:HSBC, 57 High Street, Totnes, Devon. TQ9 5NS

Talking News Federation Annual Accounts 2012-2013:

Treasurer's Report

The accounts have been prepared using the Receipts and Payments accounts process as allowed in England and Wales section 42(3) of the Charities Act 1993.

The accounts have been reviewed by our Independent Examiners, GBAccountingSolutionsLtd, and have been adopted by the TNF Committee at a Committee meeting on 17 August 2013.

The accounts are distributed to members and will be presented at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday28thSeptember 2013 at:

Swindon Marriott Hotel

Pipers Way

Swindon SN3 1SH

Questions regarding these accounts can be addressed to

Barry Symonds


Talking News Federation
Craven House

145 Victoria Road

Swindon SN1 3BU

or by e-mail or raised at the AnnualGeneralMeeting.

Talking News Federation 2012-13

Summary of Financial Results

1st April 2012- 31st March 2013

2012-13 / 2011-12
£ / £
Total incoming resources / 34,311.92 / 40,786.25
Total resources expended / 34,017.06 / 38,263.10
Net incoming/outgoing resources / 294.86 / 2,523.15
Conference 2013 in advance / (1,515.00) / 1,515.00
Fund Balances B/fwd 1st April 2012 / 46,144.01 / 42,105.86
Fund Balances C/fwd 31 March 2013 / 44,923.87 / 46,144.01

Summary Balance Sheet as at 31st March 2013

2012-13 / 2011-12
£ / £
Unrestricted funds / 30,376.05 / 30,150.29
Conference 2012 / 0.00 / 1,515.00
Restricted - Ronald Sturt Foundation / 13,376.07 / 13,306.97
Website Fund / 1,171.75 / 1,171.75
Accumulated Funds / 44,923.87 / 46,144.01

Represented by

2012-13 / 2011-12
Cash at Bank / £ / £
HSBC Current Account 1 / 1,500.60 / 1,495.64
HSBC Current Account 2 / 749.53 / 1,994.05
Scottish Widows Treasury Tracker 1 / 673.41 / 673.41
Scottish Widows Treasury Tracker 2 / 522.01 / 522.01
Scottish Widows Business Fund 1(General) / 29,964.53 / 30,075.51
Scottish Widows Business Fund 2 (Conference) / 11,513.79 / 11,383.39
44,923.87 / 46,144.01

TNF Annual Accounts 2012 – 2013

Period: 1st April 2012 – 31st March 2013


Membership / 2012-13 / 2011-12
£ / £
Membership for the year 2011 - 2012 / 0.00 / 13,097.00
Membership for the year 2012 - 2013 / 12,415.00 / 244.00
Membership for the year 2013-2014 / 168.00
Donations- General / 509.00 / 587.00
Donations- Specific / 0.00 / 0.00
Local Conferences / 492.00 / 0.00
TNF Magazine Sponsorship / 0.00 / 400.00
Other Income
Sundry Income / 120.00
Bank Interest / 245.02 / 255.87
Bank Interest Ronald Sturt Foundation / 144.00 / 166.26
National Conference / 20,218.90 / 26,036.12
Total Receipts / 34,311.92 / 40,786.25


2012-13 / 2011-12
£ / £
Telephone / 500.43 / 700.34
Office heating, lighting & services / 1,218.98 / 2,181.61
Office equipment / 225.85 / 195.50
Office stationery, postage and incidentals / 854.48 / 869.78
Committee Meetings, venues and travel / 1,459.40 / 1,103.20
Insurance / 1,050.55 / 989.58
Bank charges / 90.00 / 90.00
Office relocation / 1,633.23 / 0.00
Expenses / 2,903.41 / 4,913.20
Local conferences / 1,169.89 / 202.46
TNF Magazine / 170.00 / 180.00
Website support and internet development / 727.80 / 962.23
Promotional material / 1,018.77 / 898.73
Training facilities / 441.00 / 0.00
Other Expenditure
National conferences / 19,818.02 / 24,685.72
Health & safety policy / 480.00 / 0.00
Membership other organisations / 180.35 / 290.75
Ronald Sturt Foundation v / 74.90 / 0.00
Total Payments / 34,017.06 / 38,263.10

Talking News Federation National Conference

Preston 5 – 7 October 2012

Accounting Year: 1st April 2012– 31st March 2013

Delegation Fees / 18,937.50
Non-resident Stand Staff / 245.00
Raffle / 331.00
Donations / 0.00
Exhibition Stands / 575.00
Bank Interest / 130.40
Total Receipts / 20,218.90
Hotel Account / 18,563.50
Speakers’ Gratuities / 746.74
Stationery/ Telephone/ Postage/ Travel / 249.65
Reception and Dinner Wine / 258.13
Total Payments / 19,818.02



  1. Membership payments for the year 2012 – 2013 received:
    Membership payments for the year 2013 – 2014 received:
    The majority of membership payments are arriving on time. This makes life easy as these appear on our bank statements for the appropriate year. Thank you.


  1. Donations, General: £509.00
    Donations were received from some of our ‘Life’ member TNs. Also various small amounts were received from over-payments of standing orders.


  1. Local Conferences: £492.00 (and £1,169.89 spent)
    Income from Local Conferences, used to offset costs of these events.

Other Income

  1. Bank Interest: £245.02 (Plus 130.40 to the Conference Accounts)
    Interest paid on all types of Bank Accounts is currently at an all-time low. We do keep a watch for possible higher rates but when the small print associated with these is studied the risks outweigh the possible gains.
  2. Bank Interest – Ronald Sturt Foundation: £144.00
    The Ronald Sturt Foundation Fund is held within the TNF general funds but partitioned from them. A proportionate amount of the interest received is accredited to the RSFF.
  3. Sundry income: £120.00
  4. National Conference: £20,218.90
    Please see separate statement.

Total Receipts of £34,311.92



  1. Telephone: £500.43
    The charge for our telephone service is down compared to last year. Some of this is due to the office relocation and the subsequent changes to the installation equipment, while the general usage has been less.
  2. Office heating, lighting and servicing: £1,218.98
    The relocation of the TNF Office has resulted in savings in our office costs.
  3. Office equipment: £225.85
    Expenditure on office equipment is marginally increased over last year but, in view of the relocation, these costs show prudent management
  4. Office Stationery, Postage and Incidentals: £854.48
    This cost is very consistent with last year.
  5. Committee Meetings – venues and travel: £1,459.40
    Your Committee continued to meet on a quarterly basis in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, which is a central location for Committee members. However, one meeting was held at Swindon so as to allow the committee to appraise both the relocated office and the venue for the 2013 Conference.
  6. Insurance: £1,050.55
    The insurance costs for TNF premises, possessions and liabilities is marginally increased on the previous year.
  7. Financial charges: £90.00
    We did have some minor charges from our bank as a result of returned membership cheques but these were repaid by the appropriate TNs. The charge for the professional examination of our accounts is unchanged from last year.
  8. Office Relocation: £1,633.23
    The relocation of the TNF Office to Swindon incurred some costs but these will be offset by the reduced year-on-year overhead costs.