Volunteer Roles

1. Production Roles


Recordings take place at between 6:30pm and 8pm every Monday except bank holidays. Each team of 4 readers is scheduled to record roughly once every 4 weeks. At the start of the evening each reader is given a set of newspaper clippings prepared by the editor and the team members read their peices in turn until enough material has been recorded. New readers are asked to take a voice test to ascertain the suitability of their skills.


Editors prepare the material for the readers to record. They must select an interesting variety of articles from The Sheffield Star, The Yorkshire Post, and the Sheffield Telegraph and assemble them into 4 packages which will take approximately 80 minutes for the reading team to complete.

Recording Technicians

As well as operating the recording equipment to ensure that good quality results are captured, the recording technician manages the recording session. This includes ensuring that the readers have their scripts and know when to begin reading. When all the reading is done, the technician remains to tidy up the recording ready for duplication and publication on Tuesday morning.

Some technicians also make one-off recordings for organisations on their home equipment.

Duplication and Distribution

On Tuesday mornings volunteers use specialist equipment to write the recording to several hundred USB sticks which are then placed in reusable wallets for distribution by the Royal Mail to our registered subscribers.The recordings are also published on this website.


On Mondays a team process the wallets which have been returned by subscribers so that they and the USB sticks can be re-used.

2. Officer & Coordinator Roles

As with any organisation there is a need for volunteers to manage and administer the activities, resources and personnel. STN is run by a management committee with various officers responsible for particular areas of the operation. The following roles (Revised February 2019) have been identified to enable STN to run as smoothly as possible and several make reference to others in order to facilitate this.


    • Overall responsibility for leadership / guidance

    • Help try and resolve any disputes / misunderstandings

    • Call and chair regular Committee Meetings, and the AGM

    • Approve all Agendas for meetings with the Secretary

    • Liaise closely with Vice-chair, Secretary and Treasurer

    • Oversee routine running of organisation and policy making

    • Enable / initiate / develop new ideas / technology / trainings for volunteers

    • Keep up to date with regulations / Charity Commission / Talking News Federation

    • Be responsible for the editorial content of the STN website

    • Carry out all liaisons with SRSB as and when required by anyone in STN (or pass the matter to another appropriate volunteer)

    • Communicate with any volunteers who are indisposed / bereaved and send appropriate cards / emails.


    • Deputise for Chair whenever necessary

    • Work closely with Chair and Secretary

    • Share responsibility for editorial content of STN website with the Chair

    • Help oversee special events e.g. Social or AGM

    • Assist in the organization of Training for volunteers

    • Along with the Chair enable / initiate / develop new ideas

    • Keep up to date with regulations / Charity Commission / Talking News Federation


    • Work closely with Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer

    • Keep volunteer database up to date

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

    • Take Minutes of all meetings – send to Chair for approval / editing. Send these to all volunteers / put on admin. Computer and file hard copies as necessary

    • Check all telephone messages / emails / mail (or designate another volunteer to do this on a weekly basis) and distribute messages to the relevant volunteers.

    • Write and send any letters as required.

    • Keep Trustee details up to date on Charity Commission website

    • Produce an occasional Volunteer Newsletter, particularly at Easter and Christmas / New Year

    • Advise Chair of the need to contact SRSB management about any issue that may arise

    • Order stationary / other items by request from Dispatch i.e. wallets, labels, paper, cellotape etc.( but not technical equipment)


    • Work closely with Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Fundraising Coordinator

    • Oversee all financial transactions / budget

    • Submit monthly Financial Report to the Committee

    • Seek Permission from Committee / Trustees for any additional expenditure (other than routine invoices, expenses etc.) EG Major equipment purchases or items in excess of £200

    • Have accounts independently examined annually and submit report to Charity Commission

    • Organise / review any insurance policies which may become due in conjunction with Committee / Chair / Technical Coordinator

    • Raise awareness of our willingness to pay volunteer expenses

    • Where permission has been given by the donor submit a quarterly list to Editors of all Donations for inclusion on weekly recording


    • Regularly monitor all methods and standards of editing

    • Liaise closely with Rota Manager and draw up and issue a working Rota for all Editors

    • Once complete ensure a copy of the rota is sent to all the Editors and a further copy emailed to the Chair and STN office

    • Draw up (and review as necessary) ‘Guidelines for Editors’ as agreed by common consensus. Ensure all new Editors (including new volunteers) receive a copy and that the current one is sent to the Website & Email Coordinator for inclusion on the STN website.

    • Hold occasional workshops for Editors to improve standards of efficiency and the appropriate nature of items selected for reading

    • Troubleshoot any difficulties encountered by the Editorial Team (if necessary in conjunction with Chair, Vice-Chair or Committee)

    • Induct new Editors and provide support as necessary

    • Receive quarterly list of donors to STN from Treasurer and pass to the appropriate Editor for inclusion on the weekly recording

    • Report monthly to the Committee


Oversee all STN equipment to ensure it is serviced, fit for purpose and insured. Make sure that as far as possible measures are in place to cover equipment breakdown or malfunction.

    • Acquire and keep up to date appropriate software and back-ups. e.g. firewall, virus protection etc.

    • Check / order stock as necessary for recording and duplication – namely USB memory sticks, CDs, CD labels and CD envelopes. This requires anticipating up-coming demand to ensure sufficient stock is in hand.

    • Bring to Committee any requests for single item expenditure. (This does not include ordering stock as above) All expenditure to be notified to the Treasurer along with invoices, receipts and delivery notices where they exist.

    • Submit a monthly report to the Committee about the condition and performance of the recording equipment as well as usage of ‘other ways of listening’ (i.e. non memory stick) such as the telephone service, access via BWBF, and statistics on any other channels where they exist.

    • Work closely with the One-Off Recording Coordinator and Magazine ‘team’ to ensure technical support is available for studio and home recordings. This includes oversight of the recording, duplication, labelling and packaging as required.

    • Inform the One-Off Recording Coordinator and / or Treasurer when invoices need sending out following recording / dispatching / delivery.

    • Oversee the training and supervision of new volunteer Technicians who undertake recording work and duplication work (including Home Recordings). This also includes keeping written instructions up to date regarding the operation of the equipment

    • Work closely with the Rota Coordinator about the placing of Technicians on the Rota

    • Help create opportunities for ‘Out & About in Sheffield’ interviews and either carry them out, or delegate to another member of the Technical Team

    • Alongside other volunteers, especially editors, keep listeners informed about ‘Other ways of Listening’

It is generally recognised that the Technical Coordinator will normally work as one of the recording technicians and / or be a key member of the duplication team.

In fulfilling these responsibilities the Technical Coordinator will look to enlist the help of others within STN where they can bring specialist knowledge, and if necessary to seek help from outside the charity.


The Assistant Technical Coordinator will liaise with the Technical Coordinator to agree how the assistant can best help the Technical Coordinator with his/her 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.


What 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

    • The content can be updated within a reasonable time frame

    • The necessary set of Email accounts are available

    • Appropriate distribution lists are maintained

    • Documentation exists to enable a deputy to carry out necessary actions if the Website and Email Coordinator becomes unavailable.

Specific tasks for the Website and Email Coordinator include:

    • Maintaining the registration of the sheffieldtalking.org.uk & .co.uk web domains

    • 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

    • Train deputies

    • Maintain an awareness of technology trends to enable future improvements


    • Responsible for overall standard of production

    • Call meetings when necessary to review any particular standards and procedures in any area of STN

    • Draw up and review through consultation with other volunteers ‘Guidelines for Readers’ and ensure that the Chair and all Readers receive a copy

    • Once reviewed a copy should be sent to the Website & Email Coordinator as a replacement on the website

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

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

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

    • Hold occasional workshops for Readers to further improve reading standards

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

    • Report monthly to the Committee


    • Draw up in advance a working rota of all production evenings for Readers and technicians.(Liaise with Technical Coordinator about availability of technicians for each rota) Note: no recordings on Bank Holidays)

    • Once complete ensure the rota is circulated to all volunteers concerned and a copy sent to the Chair and STN office

    • Where necessary consult volunteers re their particular requests / requirements

    • Carry out a weekly check / reminder to all the ‘team’ due to read/record the following week and if possible arrange any substitutes

    • Facilitate integration of new volunteer readers through close liaison with both the Standards Coordinator and Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator

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

    • Report monthly to the Committee


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

    • Refer 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

    • Arrange the recordings with readers / technicians

    • Arrange for recordings to be copied and dispatched

    • Arrange the delivery of such recordings

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

    • Submit a monthly report to the Committee


    • Receive all offers of help from potential volunteers

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

    • Contact all new volunteers and arrange a visit to STN to meet appropriate personnel

    • Ensure that all new volunteers are advised to read the STN website

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

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

    • Ensure that all newly approved volunteers (in whatever area of STN) complete a GDPR form and return this to the Secretary / STN Office

    • Send new volunteer email addresses and their role in STN to Website & Email Coordinator and Chair for inclusion on the generic emails.

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


    • Keep the STN Database up to date with subscribers contact details, including any that need deleting or adding

    • Monitor and check weekly receipt / dispatch of all recordings to listeners

    • Send introductory recordings to all new listeners

    • Check office / ask Secretary for messages regarding Dispatch

    • Follow up all queries, messages, overdue returns

    • Pass on any feedback / queries to appropriate volunteers

    • Inform the Technical Team of the number of copies required each week

    • Through liaison with the Technical Coordinator ensure administrative volunteers are kept up to date with how to use the current computer facilities

    • Ensure a foolproof message system is used so no information is lost

    • Inform Secretary / Office well in advance when orders for wallets, labels etc are required


    • Overall responsibility for the bi-monthly Magazine – content, production, format and standards

    • Establish a ‘team’ to assist with editing, preparing readers, technical assistance, copying etc. This may vary from edition to edition.

    • Liaise with Dispatch Coordinator / Technical Team over dates for copying and issue

    • Keep accurate records of all correspondence to ensure continuity

    • Send copies of correspondence to the Secretary for records

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

    • Raise the awareness of all volunteers for the need of fresh material / items for the Magazine, including someone to contribute a Quiz, Recipe, seasonal features etc.


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

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

    • Liaise closely with Secretary / Treasurer / Chair / Trustees over requests for donations / grants

    • Work closely with Treasurer over requirements for funding

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

    • Submit occasional requests for donations to the Editorial Coordinator

    • Work with Publicity Coordinator raising awareness of the needs for funds and welcome donations

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


    • Take the lead responsibility for all publicity, engaging as many other volunteers as possible

    • Oversee the production and distribution of publicity materials including leaflets, posters, cards and registration forms etc. ensuring these are always up to date

    • Arrange copying of publicity materials either through SRSB or elsewhere

    • Submit articles for publication in local magazines / TNF – Parabola

    • Give talks to groups and undertake media interviews, delegating this task to other volunteers where appropriate

    • Seek opportunities to promote the work of STN at events throughout the city

    • Liaise with Editors, the Technical Team and others in relation to the publication of events

    • Work to a budget negotiated with the Treasurer and agreed by Committee, seeking permission for any overspend

    • Make links with other voluntary and statutory bodies, especially SRSB where joint initiatives may be productive

    • Organise participation in Volunteer Fairs / Recruitment Events

    • Act as liaison person between STN and the media and submit press releases as appropriate

    • Liaise with the local press wherever possible

    • Give regular reports on progress to Committee

    • Attend any relevant training e.g. as arranged by VAS (Voluntary Action Sheffield)


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

    • Arrange 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)

    • Retain copies of all relevant press releases for records

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

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

Mary Callaghan


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: