Allander Rotary sponsors new Talking Book

Allander Rotary Club in Bearsden has raised £2,000 to sponsor a new Talking Book title by national sight loss charity RNIB.

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Colin Robertson is pictured in the centre of the photo between local RNIB Scotland volunteer Derek Goodwin (left) and club president Stuart Sharkie, who was presented the cheque along with other club members.
Colin Robertson is pictured in the centre of the photo between local RNIB Scotland volunteer Derek Goodwin (left) and club president Stuart Sharkie, who was presented the cheque along with other club members.

More than £1,000 of this donation was received thanks to readers of 'A Restless Spirit', an autobiography that was published for his friends and family by Colin Robertson, a Rotarian and founder member of the Allander club.

Colin said: “One of the reasons why Allander Rotary chose to support RNIB was that I had wonderful support from them during the recent severe deterioration of my vision.”

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A further donation came from club president Stuart Sharkie who had sold off items from the estate of his mother, a long term RNIB supporter.

Stuart also has fond memories of how RNIB supported his grandfather when he had lost his sight, including with Talking Books.

The remainder came from the club’s charity account.

RNIB has been recording Talking Books since 1935, opening up the world of reading for blind and partially sighted people.

There are currently almost 37,000 Talking Books in the charity’s library, which are enjoyed by approximately 62,000 people.

The free service has been described as 'a lifeline' in reducing loneliness and isolation.

RNIB’s Amazon smart speaker Talking Book skill, which launched in August 2021 and to date has had 1.8 million utterances from users.

Conor Joseph, community connection coordinator for RNIB, said: "It costs £1,500 for RNIB to produce a professional Talking Book, and once produced it will remain in RNIB’s library for years to come.

"So we do very much rely on the support of the public and bodies like Allander Rotary Club to add new titles.

"Our Talking Book sponsors receive a recording of the first chapter of their sponsored book, including their dedication which is played at the start of the book, and a certificate."

The cheque was presented at the Roman Bath House, off Roman Road, with Allander Rotary Club members, club president Stuart Sharkie and Derek Goodwin, a RNIB volunteer.