A CHARITY that records audio versions of The Bolton News for the blind and visually impaired is to benefit from a share of a £9 million community fund.

Bolton Newstalk has been awarded more than £2,600 to buy new equipment as part of the Co-op Local Community Fund.

The organisation, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, records audio versions of the week's local news every Sunday and sends it out on memory sticks to more than 200 people across Bolton and the surrounding areas.

The money will be used to help fund USB sticks and USB speakers, provided free of charge to visually impaired listeners of Bolton Newstalk.

Michael Tatman, chairman of Bolton Newstalk, said: “As well as the Bolton News we also provide audio forms of other information for blind and visually impaired people who can’t read the printed word.

"Thanks to the Co-op membership scheme and members shopping in their local stores, we have been given a wonderful sum of money which will enable us to keep up the supply of equipment so we can give our listeners the equipment needed to listen to the broadcasts in their own home.”

A total of £40,000 will be shared between 16 good causes in the region, while 4,000 charities nationwide will share the total pot of £9 million.

Co-op members raise the money by buying own-brand products from stores or a funeral plan or funeral from Funeralcare, earning them a five per cent reward for themselves and a further one per cent going to local good causes.

Chief membership officer at the Co-op, Rufus Olins, said: “The Co-op has always been community focussed. The original Rochdale Pioneers were motivated by the need to improve the living conditions of those within their local community and they also understood that values were just as important as value.

“By listening to our members we are able to identify what communities care most about and then offer support that really makes a difference, and by working with and supporting local good causes great things are happening.”