MP Alan Mak joins celebrations to mark refurbishment of Havant Borough Talking Newspaper HQ

MP Alan Mak has joined celebrations to mark the refurbishment of Havant Borough Talking Newspaper's studio frontage.
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The public face of HBTN, which operates from a listed building in East Street, Havant, has been transformed by contractors working for landlord Vivid Homes.

The occasion was marked by Mr Mak and Havant Mayor Rosy Raines cutting a cake and guests raising a toast.

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HBTN was set up in 1993 as a registered charity with the aim of bringing local news to blind and visually impaired adults in the Havant area.

Alan Mak MP (second right) with guests at the celebrationsAlan Mak MP (second right) with guests at the celebrations
Alan Mak MP (second right) with guests at the celebrations

Statistics from the Royal National Institute for the Blind show that in 2020, 3.88% of people in Hampshire were living with sight loss, equating to about 4,900 people in Havant borough - about 18% more than in 2011.

HBTN's aim is to reach out to those people and offer them a service so they can keep up-to-date with what is happening locally and hopefully entertain them as well.

News stories are selected from local newspapers such as The News and the Hayling Herald. Producers then arrange the articles into audio scripts to be recorded and distributed on memory sticks.

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Last year Mr Mak visited the studios to record a summary of his work in Parliament for the talking newspaper. He delivered an update on the Dunsbury Park Freeport, which had received the final green light from the Government and was due to get £25 million of seed funding.

Mr Mak said: "Havant Borough Talking Newspaper does a fantastic job keeping the blind and visually impaired informed and I have supported Peter Loveridge, Alan Hakim and the team ever since I was first elected in 2015.

"It was great to catch up with them again, see how the shop frontage has been transformed and thank them for all the work they do."

For more information on HBTN, go to