More free audiobooks for visually impaired Havering residents

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 April 2019

A resident using a Daisy. Picture: RNIB

A resident using a Daisy. Picture: RNIB


Havering residents with visual impairments will have more access to talking books thanks to an £82,000 cash injection.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) already produces audio complications for 88 people in Havering and hopes to produce more after a donation from the City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation's charitable funder.

The new funding aims to help the service reach even more blind or partially sighted older people across the city in an effort to reduce social isolation.

Participants will be able to listen to audiobooks on CD, USB stick, or as a digital download free of charge.

RNIB's book service manager, James Bartlett said: “Reading for pleasure often tops the list of things people tell RNIB they want to continue doing when they first lose their sight.

“Sight loss can be doubly isolating for older blind and partially sighted people, who frequently live alone and can find it harder to leave the house due to mobility issues.

“RNIB Talking Books is a free service and demand for it has never been higher.

“The books make such a positive difference to the lives of thousands of blind and partially sighted people who tell us how reading helps lift their spirits and reconnect with the world.

“This grant from City Bridge Trust will help ensure the service continues which is fantastic.”

RNIB added over 2,200 new talking books to its library during 2018.

Talking Books are produced digitally in 'DAISY' audio, a solution designed for blind and partially sighted people, where huge volumes of text can be compressed onto a single CD.

These CDs can then be played on specialist players which cost as little as £30.

The charity uses more than 174 professional narrators, plus some of the world's finest authors and acting talent to ensure the highest quality of the recording.

Titles are available in many languages including Bengali, French, Gaelic, Gujarati, Spanish, Urdu and Welsh.

Alison Gowman, chairwoman of the City of London Corporation's City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “Many people rely on RNIB's Talking Books service, and it is very clear to us that it plays an important part in their lives.

“Our funding will help ensure that even more people with sight loss can access these audio books.

“Tackling disadvantage across the capital is essential to making London a fairer and better place in which to live.”

For more information call RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit

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