Volunteer Roles

Anyone interested in volunteering will be invited to visit the STN premises to see what we do and decide in which area they would most like to help. All volunteers are required to complete a registration form and will receive a letter of welcome. Necessary training will be given. Roles include the following.

Last updated: May 2022

1. Production Roles



Readers read approximately once every four or five weeks, either in the studio with a technician, or from home with their own equipment. Volunteers wishing to read take a simple voice test to test both the quality of reading and, where appropriate, recording. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for Readers include:

  • Receiving and carefully reading general tips on and specific guidelines for reading in both the studio and from home which are provided once a voice test has been approved.

  • Opting to read in either the studio or from home, or both, and in preparation for a new rota submit dates they are unavailable before a new rota is compiled. If circumstances occur where a swop becomes necessary this can be arranged.

  • Receiving scripts by email from the weekly Editor which have been prepared from the websites of the local press.

  • If reading in the studio, ensuring that they either have a device from which to read the electronic version of the scripts, or they have arranged to print out their articles.

  • Meeting the deadlines / timing set out in the guidelines.

  • Informing the Rota Coordinator of any hitches or difficulties in fulfilling their commitment as early as possible



On a rota basis the editors prepare the mainly local news content for readers to record. All material is produced online and most of it is taken from the websites of The Star, Yorkshire Post and Sheffield Telegraph, although other websites can be used. A wide variety of interesting items are selected and sorted into a weekly edition of 24 news items for which a playlist is compiled. The completed material is assembled into 4 packages and emailed to the readers to be recorded.

A weekly information bulletin is also produced, which takes information from many sources, and is aimed primarily at those listeners who are not able to access online information. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for Editors include:

  • On a rota basis, preparing the mainly local news content for readers to record.

  • Sorting items into a weekly edition of 24 items for which a playlist is compiled.

  • Assembling completed material into 4 packages and emailing to the readers to be recorded and to the technician.

Recording Technicians

Home Technicians

Using their own equipment assemble the files submitted by home readers, process them according to guidance provided and save them in a specified format. Files are submitted by readers in several file formats and the vast majority are uploaded to a file sharing site, currently Dropbox. Once processed the files are uploaded to a number of specified sites.

Files are generally submitted by readers over a weekend, including on the Monday, and processing is required to be completed by the Monday evening to be available for the Tuesday duplicating technician.

Studio Recording Technicians

News recording takes place on Monday evenings in STN’s Mappin Street studio. As well as operating the recording equipment the studio recording technician manages the recording sessions.

During recording the technician is expected to exercise discretion in deciding where a retake is necessary due to reader’s stumbles etc., and to check through the recordings after the readers have left.

The edited files are saved ready for duplication and publication on Tuesday morning.

The above description applies to the regular weekly news recordings, but opportunities exist to perform recordings at other times.

Duplicating Technicians

The duplicating technician is required to work in the Mappin Street studio on Tuesday mornings and role comes in two forms. More...

  • Form A: For the situation where the news files have been recorded by home readers. The task is to download the files that have been prepared by the home technician. Follow the guidance provided to generate a master memory stick and to run off the requisite number of copies using dedicated duplicating equipment. Further processing of files is involved and these will be uploaded to a number of specified sites for online distribution.

  • In addition to handling news files, the duplicating technician will handle new magazine editions and ‘Out & About’ items when they occur, as well as occasional one-off ‘specials’.

  • Form B: For the situation where the news has been recorded in the studio. The technician follows guidance to process the files recorded in the studio and add files recorded from home.

  • Once this point has been reached the process will be very similar to the operation described under form A

Duplication and Distribution

On Tuesday mornings a team of volunteers process the previous week’s memory sticks which have been returned by subscribers, copy the latest news onto the returned sticks, and place them into reusable wallets for distribution by the Royal Mail. The listener database is kept up to date to reflect any new subscriptions, cancellations, and changes of listeners’ details.

For full details of Dispatch please see ‘Dispatch Coordinator’ role below.




The Chair takes overall responsibility for leadership/guidance, helps resolve any disputes / misunderstandings. They keep up to date with all aspects of the organisation. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Chair role include:

  • Calling and chairing regular Committee Meetings, AGMs, Working Group and any meetings of Trustees or other groups as deemed necessary for the smooth running of the organisation

  • Working closely with Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer

  • Keeping in touch with all Coordinators, encouraging and helping them to initiate / develop new ideas / technology/ training for volunteers

  • Overseeing policy making and keeping up to date with all legal requirements and regulations with the support of the Vice - Chair

  • Initiating the creation of additional volunteer roles to manage new developments

  • Overseeing advertisements for volunteers / coordinators

  • Taking overall responsibility for the content of website, any outside communications and press releases

  • Carrying out all liaisons with SRSB (or passing to appropriate volunteer)

Administrator / Vice Chair


The Administrator / Vice Chair assists the chair and the secretary and possibly prepares to move into the role of Chair in the longer term. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Administrator / Vice Chair role include:

  • Becoming a Trustee by virtue of office held

  • Working very closely with the Chair, Secretary the Trustees

  • Attending monthly Committee meetings and chairing these in the event that the current Chair is unavailable

  • Helping to compile agendas for Committee meetings

  • Attending less-regularly held meetings such as Trustee meetings and Working Group meetings. Helping with agendas and compiling action points.

  • Assisting with ‘one-off’ administrative tasks.

  • Leading the reviewing of charity policies as and when needed and keeping up to date with regulations e.g. Charity Commission, Talking News Federation and keeping the Chair well informed of these.

  • Helping write any new policy documents, or similar

  • Initiating new ways of promoting and expanding services

  • Helping arrange social aspects of the AGM and other social events

  • Regularly checking website content and facilitating deletions/additions

  • Initiating and assisting the training for volunteers



The Secretary works closely with the Chair, Treasurer, Marketing, Dispatch and Volunteer Coordinators to assist in the smooth running of the organisation and to ensure that it remains compliant with GDPR, the Charities Commission and any other legal requirements. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Secretary role include:

  • Working closely with Chair, Treasurer, Contacts Liaison, Publicity, Dispatch and Volunteer Coordinators

  • Working closely with the Volunteer Coordinator to ensuring that all new volunteers complete GDPR registration forms and that these are suitably stored for easy access.

  • Taking Minutes for and producing electronic documentation for all Committee, AGM, and EGM meetings for approval/amending by Chair. Emailing final documents to all volunteers, storing copies on Admin. computer, and filing hard copies after obtaining Chair’s signature

  • Checking telephone messages (or designating another volunteer to do this) frequently but at least on a weekly basis and distributing messages to the relevant volunteers

  • Ensuring stnmail is responded to by the appropriate volunteers and kept up to date

  • Writing and sending any letters as required.

  • Informing Contacts Liaison Coordinator of any new contacts made

  • Keeping Constitution and Trustee details up to date on Charity Commission website

  • Producing seasonal Volunteer Newsletters when requested (particularly at Christmas/New Year, and Easter/Spring) together with the Chair and distributing to all volunteers (by email wherever possible)

  • Monitoring TNTALK general forum submissions and notifying Chair and relevant volunteers of items of interest

  • Ordering stationary / other items by request from Dispatch e.g. wallets, labels, paper, cello tape etc.( but not technical equipment)



The Treasurer oversees and present budgets, accounts and financial statements to management committee and ensure appropriate financial systems are secure and in accordance with the law and statutory bodies. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Treasurer role include:

  • Overseeing and presenting budgets, accounts and financial statements to the management committee

  • Monitoring and reporting on the financial health of the organisation

  • Becoming a Trustee by virtue of office held

  • Liaising with designated staff, committee members and/or volunteers to ensure financial viability of the organisation

  • Ensuring that appropriate financial systems and effective controls are in place

  • Ensuring that record-keeping and accounts are meeting the conditions of funders or statutory bodies

  • Ensuring compliance with relevant legislation

  • Advising on the organisations’ reserves, expenses, and investment policy

Website and Email Coordinator


The Website and Email Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that STN have a website infrastructure which is up to date, fit for purpose and suitably robust, and that the content can be updated within a reasonable time frame. In addition, an appropriate set of email accounts must be maintained for STN administration, and distribution lists to aid communication with the various groups of volunteers.

Other officers and co-coordinators will request changes to the website content - the role holder may be required to collaborate in content creation. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Website and Email Coordinator role include:

  • Updating the content of the website with material provided by STN officers and coordinators and assisting in presentation – for example by designing online forms and images.

  • Updating the membership of distribution lists as requested by STN officers and coordinators

  • Maintaining the registration of the web domains: sheffieldtalkingnews.org.uk and sheffieldtalkingnews.co.uk

  • Maintaining accounts with the supplier(s) of domain, website, email, and distribution list hosting services.

  • Maintaining a document describing our current infrastructure

  • Maintaining procedural documents explaining how to:

    • Edit website contents

    • Create and remove email accounts

    • Maintain distribution lists

    • Renew Domain registrations

  • Training deputies

  • Maintaining an awareness of technology trends to enable future improvements

Editorial Coordinator


The Editorial Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the editorial team prepare the material for readers to record. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Website and Editorial Coordinator role include:

  • Regularly monitoring all methods and standards of editing.

  • Producing and updating Guidelines for editors.

  • Contacting all new volunteer editors to explain the role and provide training and support

  • Compiling, and regularly reviewing, online training material for new editors and sending this to the designated deputy for information purposes

  • Resolving any issues and difficulties arising within the editorial team, liaising with the Chair, if necessary, and passing feedback as appropriate

  • Resolving any issues arising when accessing editorial material and advising of other sources of material when discovered

  • Reporting monthly to the Committee

  • Attending Working Party meetings

Technical Coordinator


The Technical Coordinator has overall responsibility to ensure that STN has an efficient, robust and cost-effective technical infrastructure for making recordings. The role involves drawing on the expertise of the Assistant Technical Co-ordinator and others with technical knowledge. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Technical Coordinator role include:

  • Having a reasonable level of knowledge and understanding of the technologies used by STN.

  • Recommending and sourcing new equipment or software where needed.

  • Generally providing advice to the committee, other groups and other volunteers about matters that have a technical aspect to them.

  • Having reasonable contingencies in place to cover for equipment failure.

  • Ensuring equipment is safe and is PAT tested on a regular basis.

  • Maintaining an inventory of equipment that is to be maintained along with a log of the testing.

  • Ensuring equipment is insured.

  • Being able to fulfil the following functions, though not necessarily performing them on a regular basis

(i) Home technician.

(ii) Studio recording technician.

(iii) Duplicating technician.

(iv) Other duplicating functions.

  • Ensuring all technicians are trained.

  • Responsible for ensuring technical documentation (could be audio or video) is current and available to those who need it.

Assistant Technical Coordinator


The Assistant Technical Coordinator is responsible for assisting the Technical Coordinator to achieve their tasks. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Assistant Technical Coordinator role include:

  • Working closely with the Technical Coordinator

  • Assisting the Technical Coordinator with their duties

It is necessary both parties work in close collaboration. The way the responsibilities are to be shared will be documented to avoid duplication or areas being inadvertently overlooked

Standards Coordinator


The Standards Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that any recordings produced by STN meet the desired quality. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Standards Coordinator role include:

  • Taking responsibility for the overall standard of production

  • Calling meetings when necessary to review any specific standards and procedures in any area of STN

  • Drawing up and reviewing, through consultation with other volunteers, ‘Guidelines for Readers’ and ensuring that the Chair and all Readers receive a copy

  • Sending a copy of any reviewed documents to the Website & Email Coordinator as a replacement on the website

  • Receiving all ‘voice tests’ (along with other designated volunteers) for consideration

  • Providing prompt feedback on these tests to the Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator

  • Submitting names of newly approved readers to the Recruitment Coordinator and Rota Coordinator

  • Holding occasional workshops for Readers to further improve reading standards

  • Referring any volunteer issues of major concern to Chair / Vice-Chair / Committee

  • Reporting monthly to the Committee

Rota Coordinator


The Rota Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the production, distribution and smooth running of working rotas. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Standards Coordinator role include:

  • Prior to compiling the rota consulting volunteers in advance of available dates and preferences

  • Drawing up working rotas of all production evenings for Readers, Editors and Technicians

  • Ensuring the completed rota is circulated to all volunteers and coordinators concerned and a copy sent to the Chair and STN office

  • Carrying out a weekly check / reminder to all readers and arrange substitutes if required

  • Facilitating the integration of new volunteers through close liaison with the Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator, Editorial Coordinator and Standards Coordinator

  • Acting as liaison person for any emergency changes to the rota

  • Reporting monthly to the Committee

One-off Recordings Coordinator


The One-Off-Recordings Coordinator is responsible for producing one-off recordings. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the One-Off-Recordings Coordinator role include:

  • Liaising with person/s requesting outside recordings as to suitability, cost, number required, invoice and procedure to be followed

  • Referring clients requesting other recordings to the ‘Guidelines for people providing scripts’ on the website and update these when necessary, asking the Website & Email Coordinator to replace any amended version on the website

  • Arranging the recordings with readers / technicians

  • Arranging for recordings to be copied and dispatched

  • Arranging the delivery of such recordings

  • Submitting invoices to the Treasurer a.s.a.p.

  • Submitting a monthly report to the Committee

Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator


The Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator is responsible for ensuring awareness of volunteering roles and the smooth induction and ongoing performance of all volunteers More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator role include:

  • Working closely with Chair, Publicity Coordinator, Rota Coordinator and Standards Coordinator.

  • Working closely with the Secretary to ensure that all new volunteers complete GDPR registration forms.

  • Receiving all offers of help from potential volunteers

  • Keeping VAS (Voluntary Action Sheffield) aware of our current need for volunteer roles via their website

  • Contacting all new volunteers and, when possible, arranging a visit to STN to meet appropriate personnel

  • Ensuring all new volunteers are advised to read the STN website

  • Receiving notification from the Standards Coordinator of new readers who have completed a ‘voice test’ and conveying this to the volunteers concerned

  • Informing Rota Coordinator of new approved readers for integration onto the Rota

  • Ensuring that all newly approved volunteers (in whatever area of STN) complete a GDPR form and returning this to the Secretary / STN Office / Registration & Dispatch Coordinator

  • Discussing with new volunteers their responsibility for adhering to the GDPR policy

  • Providing a monthly report to the Committee giving news of volunteers or those still awaiting integration

Dispatch Coordinator


The Dispatch Coordinator is responsible for overseeing a team of volunteers working on Tuesday mornings to process the previous week’s memory sticks which have been returned by subscribers, copy the latest news onto the returned sticks, and place them into reusable wallets for distribution by the Royal Mail. The listener database is kept up to date to reflect any new subscriptions, cancellations, and changes of listeners’ details. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Dispatch Coordinator role include:

  • Working closely with the Secretary, Technical Coordinator and Website and Email Coordinator

  • Keeping the STN Listeners database which holds subscriber and volunteer contact details up to date. This includes adding, deleting, and amending records

  • Making out new wallets and address labels for any new subscribers and making any changes to existing subscribers’ wallets and labels

  • Overseeing the booking in of returned memory sticks and the booking out of memory sticks with the latest news

  • Monitoring the collaborative email inbox and actioning any messages related to Dispatch

  • Liaising with the Secretary regarding telephone messages relevant to Dispatch

  • Following up any messages and queries relating to Dispatch

  • Passing on any feedback and queries to appropriate volunteers and SRSB

  • Liaising with the Technical Coordinator and the technical team regarding any queries related to hardware (boomboxes and USB sticks) and the recordings themselves

  • Liaising with the Website and Email Coordinator regarding any issues with and required changes to the database and the email system

  • Passing on the email addresses of any new volunteers to the Website and Email Coordinator and Chair after entry onto the database for the generic emails

  • Informing Secretary / Treasurer at the earliest opportunity when orders for equipment (stationary and other dispatch materials) are required

  • Liaising with SRSB staff regarding the STN office and any other room(s) that are being used for Dispatch in the Mappin Street building

  • Taking the wallets to be dispatched to the local post office

Magazine Coordinator


The Magazine Coordinator takes overall responsibility for the production and issue of all magazines. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Magazine Recruitment Coordinator role include:

  • Taking overall responsibility for the bi-monthly Magazines – content, production, format, and standards

  • Ensuring material is submitted to the technician for each edition within a reasonable time scale

  • Liaising with Dispatch Coordinator and Technical Coordinator over dates for copying and issue

  • Giving feedback to magazine ‘teams’ when appropriate

  • Keeping accurate records of all correspondence to ensure continuity

  • Sending copies of contacts made to the Contact Liaison coordinator for records

  • Encouraging listeners to give feedback and make contributions to the recordings by liaising with the Editorial Coordinator

  • Raising awareness of all volunteers about contributing fresh material e.g. seasonal items, features etc.

  • Keeping Committee up to date on any developments

Fund-Raising Coordinator


The Fund-Raising Coordinator works with the Treasurer and Marketing Coordinators to oversee bids, grants and events for funding. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Fund-Raising Coordinator role include:

  • Co-ordinating all fund-raising activities, including making contacts and carrying out the necessary correspondence / permission / thanks

  • Initiating both fund-raising events and applications for grants and other funding, and follow these through

  • Liaising closely with the Marketing Coordinator, Secretary, the Treasurer, the Chair, and the Trustees over requests for donations / grants

  • Liaising with Treasurer and Committee over requirements for funding

  • Attending monthly Committee meetings and keeping members up to date

  • Involving as many volunteers as possible in fund-raising activities

  • Submitting occasional requests on weekly recordings for donations to the Editorial Coordinator, including leaving a legacy in a will.

  • Working with the Marketing Coordinator raising awareness of the needs for funds and welcome donations

  • Attending any relevant training to help with this role e.g. those organised by VAS (Voluntary Action Sheffield)

Marketing Coordinator


The Marketing Coordinator is responsible for enhancing awareness of both volunteering roles and our services throughout all communities in the city. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Marketing Coordinator role include:

  • Working closely with Chair, Committee and Working Group about current marketing needs

  • Keeping all publicity materials up to date both in print and online

  • Attending any useful training events on Marketing that may arise.

  • Taking full responsibility for all publicity / marketing events

  • Actively seeking out opportunities to market STN services

  • Liaising closely with Social Media Coordinator about postings

  • Working with Diversity Coordinator to extend services to other ethnic communities

  • Working with Website Coordinator ensuring the website is kept up to date

  • Attending Volunteer Fairs, networking meetings and other publicity events as required and exhibiting up to date and effective presentations as well as making personal contacts.

  • Passing all new contact details to Contact Liaison Coordinator

  • Attending monthly Committee meetings

Social Media Coordinator


The Social Media Coordinator is responsible for working closely with other volunteers to develop and oversee the charity’s long-term presence on social media platforms. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Social Media Coordinator role include:

  • Working closely with both the Committee and the ‘Working Group’

  • Systematically working towards expanding STN’s presence on the appropriate social media platforms to achieve the following :

  • Enhanced publicity

  • Enlisting new appropriate volunteers

  • Raising funds

  • Extending the range and size of listenership.

  • Closely collaborating and consulting with other relevant volunteers

  • Identifying which social media platforms are most appropriate for STN

  • Creating means (e.g. videos) of helping to publicise the charity on social media.

  • Posting regularly on behalf of STN and monitoring activity on different platforms.

  • Presenting regular written reports in person to both Committee and ‘Working Group’

  • Fully participating in Committee and ‘Working Group’ meetings

Contact Liaison Coordinator


The Contact Liaison Coordinator is responsible for developing and maintaining a list / spreadsheet of contacts made by STN with other organisations and individuals. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Contact Liaison Coordinator role include:

  • Working closely with the Marketing Coordinator and other charity Officers/Coordinators to compile and maintain details of outside organisations and individuals with whom we need to keep in touch

  • Maintaining, updating, and expanding this list to alert other volunteers when links need to be made/renewed throughout the year. (e.g. submitting articles for Newsletters, quarterly recordings on various platforms/radio stations, inviting messages for our recordings as appropriate)

  • Liaising with other volunteers to keep contacts list up to date and keep dialogue open with contacts when necessary at regular specified intervals.Keeping appropriate volunteer(s) informed about each communication

  • Sharing new contacts made at regular intervals with the Committee and Coordinators

  • Being proactive in pursuing new links as suggested by others

  • Attending monthly Committee meetings to keep everyone updated on developments

Diversity Coordinator


The Diversity Coordinator is responsible for ensuring STN reaches out to more communities in the city to expand our services to as many people as possible. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Diversity Coordinator role include:

  • Work closely with Chair, Marketing Coordinator, Rota Coordinator and Standards Coordinator

  • Recruiting both volunteers and listeners from underrepresented groups, such as people with disabilities and ethnic minorities (Visually impaired/disabled people in other communities would be interested in our recordings or supporting us as volunteers)

  • Working alongside other volunteers, particularly the Marketing Coordinator and the Volunteer Registration Coordinator to find ways of establishing contact with diverse communities

  • Communicating with diverse community groups via email

  • Attending community events and gatherings involving diverse community groups e.g. markets, clubs, socials

  • Attending monthly Committee meetings



The Archivist is responsible for maintaining records of key events within STN. More...

Detailed Tasks:

Specific tasks for the Archivist role include:

  • Working closely with Chair and Marketing Coordinator

  • Maintaining records of key events and routine procedures of STN within the archive materials

  • Arranging for photographs to be taken and included in records / on website when appropriate (NB Permission must be sought from individuals for their photos to be publicized on the website or elsewhere)

  • Retaining copies of all relevant press releases for records

  • Displaying archives at key events e.g. Socials, AGM etc.

  • Raising awareness of the existence of the archives so all volunteers can contribute