St Albans talking newspaper receives highest award in the country

Robin Christoforou (SADTN treasurer) and Sue Fennell (SADTN secretary and also chair of St Albans Ma

Robin Christoforou (SADTN treasurer) and Sue Fennell (SADTN secretary and also chair of St Albans Macular Group). - Credit: Archant

A St Albans audio news charity has been royally awarded the MBE equivalent for volunteer groups.

St Albans and District Talking Newspaper (SADTN) has received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service after 45 years serving the community.

It is a charity which produces a weekly audio programme with 20 key stories from the Herts Advertiser, features from Hertfordshire Life, interviews, event previews, and book reviews.

Established nearly half a decade ago by a St Albans couple, SADTN is sent on a memory stick to about 100 local residents and posted on its website.

The service is designed for visually impaired people who would like to engage with local news.

SADTN chairman Rob Pearman said: "[Thanks to] the many hundreds of volunteer readers, programme producers, copying and distribution teams and other supporters who have ensured, over the past 45 years, that this vital link for local visually impaired residents has held to its original aim while expanding its content and outreach."

He said SADTN is now delivered to stroke survivors and people with other limitations who want to "keep in touch with their local community".

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Rob added: "Our listeners will be as delighted at this great honour as we are."

Representatives from SADTN visited Buckingham Palace in May to celebrate the award along with the other recipients.

There are 280 other charities who also received the award this year. It was introduced in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee Coronation.

Other recipients include an organisation helping people with mental health problems, a mentoring group for children with parents in prison, and volunteers driving caravans to geographically remote locations to be used as a mobile café.

SADTN will formally receive the award this summer from the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss.

Find out more about SADTN at