Gill Fone, Chairman of Frome Talking Newspaper, has been volunteering for Frome Talking Newsapers for 40 years where she has been helping to provide this service, along with the other members of the team. This March sees Gill finally hanging up her microphone when she steps down from this role, on her 40th anniversary.
The Frome Talking Newspaper is a service where news from the Frome Standard and the Frome Times are recorded weekly by Frome people. Run by volunteers, the recordings are put on a Memory Stick, and then sent free of charge by post to people who are Registered Blind and Partially Sighted. It is also broadcast by FromeFM every Saturday at 12-1pm.
Gill grew up in Suffolk and following a nursing career in London, she along with husband Alan moved to Frome in 1977, where she still lives with her family and grandchildren nearby following Alan’s passing in 2019.
Gill has played an important part in many organisations in Frome over the years and has overwhelmingly contributed to the community. From serving on the PCC of St. Johns Church and being a Governor at St. John’s school, Gill also worked for many years as a night nurse at St. Aldhem’s hospital. Gill was a traffic counter for the bypass association and helped to compile a photographic record of Frome which is now in the Museum. She volunteered for the TIC and was in the kiosk for many Operatic Society performances, she was also on the committee of the Horticultural Society and sold Cards for Good Causes.
Over the years Gill has taken an interest in the news and events in Frome and regularly attends and speaks at Council meetings and she is still an active and enthusiastic member of the Frome Knit and Natter group.
Forty years ago, Gill and Alan became involved with the Frome Talking Newspaper for the Blind. Together they organised the recording, duplicating and distribution of tapes and later memory sticks to listeners in Frome and the surrounding villages. It was a huge commitment, involving an awful lot of work and giving up all their Thursdays. Adding a personal touch, Gill kept a list of the listeners’ birthdays, so they always got a mention on the tape and during lock down she had been ringing listeners to see how they are.
Gill is about to step down from her role as Chairman and Frome Town Council and the community as a whole would like to thank her for all her efforts across the years.
Cllr Mark Dorrington has known the family for years and said: “I got to know Gill at least 25 years ago when she and my late father read the Talking Newspaper together. At that time, they recorded it onto tape, and this was distributed around Frome by our postal workers. She always took an interest in my work in London as that was where she had trained and practised as a nurse.
As a councillor I always look forward to seeing Gill at council meetings as I know she will let us know what is going on in her part of Frome and will not be shy in holding us to account!
I would like to thank Gill for the many years of voluntary service she has provided to Frome and hope to see her out and about for many years to come.”
Frome Talking Newspapers will continue to be hosted on Frome FM, for further details please visit their website.