An MDM volunteer technician at the mixing desk managing a recording session for the messenger.
An MDM volunteer reading at a recording session for the Mid Devon Messenger.
An MDM volunteer using the admin software to manage duplicating and send out the USB recordings to listeners.

The work of Mid Devon Messenger relies on volunteers.

The Messenger has a team of around 55 volunteers.  Each week 8 volunteers gather at the recording Studio to edit, read, record, copy and despatch the weekly recording of talking news, information and entertainment to our listeners. 

If you think you might be interested in joining our team, please contact Sue Herniman Team Co-ordinator, to arrange to come along to a recording session before committing yourself.

Volunteer Roles

  • Editors – the editor of the week takes copies of the Tiverton and Culm Valley Gazettes, the Mid Devon News and other local publications, and selects local news, letters, announcements, sport, what’s on, community news, and other local material of interest.  They collect the mailbag of returned wallets from the Security Gate at Heathcoat Fabrics before recording begins.
  • Readers – there are six teams comprising an editor and three additional readers; each team reads once every 6 weeks. The editor circulates a running order of track numbers, article titles, and readers to the team by 12 noon on the day of recordings.  Readers buy a copy of the Gazette, cut out their allocated articles and read aloud into individual microphones.  Arriving at the Studio at 6:45pm every Tuesday, the recording session lasts for approximately 90 minutes.
  • Recorders – there are four recorders/technicians who therefore record on average once a month.  They are responsible for the quality of the sound, continuity and the overall recording.  They use a mixer desk and laptop to produce a master file on a memory stick which is then ready for copying.  They arrive at the Studio by 6:30pm on Tuesday and are there for about three hours.
  • Copiers – working alone, firstly erase the previous recording from the returned memory sticks, and then copy the new recording from the master file onto the cleansed memory sticks.  This is a very simple process requiring memory sticks to be slotted into a copying machine.  One of the newly recorded memory sticks is checked on a player.   This process takes about an hour from 9:30am on a Wednesday morning, once a month.  The copier takes the mailbag to the Security Gate at Heathcoat Fabrics for collection by the Royal Mail.  Each copier works regularly with a despatcher.
  • Despatchers – working alone or as a pair, empty the mailbag of returned wallets, reverse the address labels and remove the returned memory sticks.  The number of each returned wallet is checked off in a register of listeners, and the wallet number of the current week’s recording is noted: a simple In:Out system.  This process takes about an hour and a half from 9am on a Wednesday morning, once a month.