One of Richmond Talking Newspaper's listeners has become the first visually impaired person to be appointed its Chair.

Jackie Venus, who has listened to RTN for many years, took over from former Chairman Alec Thomas, who had held the position for around 20 years.

With the talking newspaper having celebrated 40 years since its found last year, Jackie recalled how it had always been a part of her life.

She said: "My father was registered blind, and would have been an RTN subscriber right from day one.

"I suppose I may not have been concentrating much as a child, but the yellow postal pouches still being used today were a familiar feature in our house.

"I was brought up in West London, and so I had to start watching EastEnders to try and tune in my ear because I needed to be on the ball with what the kids were saying in the classroom.’

"I always knew that one day I would have a problem with my sight, as it was clear I had inherited the same condition as my father."

She previously trained to be a primary school teacher and worked in schools in Forest Gate and Woolwich.

Jackie said she would like to establish a relationship with celebrities living in Richmond as well as dignitaries living in the borough so that they could potentially feature on RTN as guest readers.

She also hopes RTN's Roadshow Team will be able to visit groups and societies in Richmond in a bid to raise the publications profile.

RTN is run by volunteers, and is a unique source of local and community news in audio form.

It’s offered free of charge to anyone in Richmond who is finding it difficult to read a newspaper.

Residents who may be interested in helping RTN or may wish to obtain a copy of the paper should contact Vice Chair Valerie Munro at