On Friday 15th August United Response held an awards ceremony to recognise the invaluable work of the UR Consultants, who are the backbone of the hugely successful easy read magazine Easy News.

In June Easy News beat off strong competition to win the prestigious National Charity Award in the Education and Training Category. The bi-monthly easy-read news magazine Easy News is produced by a team of people across the country but the driving force are the UR Consultants.

Friday’s awards were opened by Ali Bishop, United Response Employment Development Manager who welcomed the invited audience including Altrincham and Sale West Councillor Mark Young, Disability activist Kaliya Franklin, UR Consultants and United Response staff.

Following the welcome address, Kaliya Franklin took to the microphone to remind everyone how back in 2012 following United Response’s work to create an easy read format of the Spartacus Report it became clear that people with learning disabilities needed access to news at all times in order to fully engage with current affairs.

Diane Lightfoot, Director of Communications and Fundraising expanded on the growth of Easy News and the contribution of UR Consultants. 

“Our UR Consultants have worked incredibly hard to create such a varied and relevant bi-monthly resource and this award ceremony is an opportunity to recognise their great contribution and say thank you for all their hard work.”

The highlight of the awards ceremony came when three UR consultants explained how each of their groups – from Trafford, York and Knowsley – select the various news articles. Following selection, they then create smooth, flowing, quick news articles by removing the jargon and changing big words to smaller words that mean the same, along with selecting supporting pictures to explain the important points of each news piece.

The UR Consultants demonstrated that they are clearly continuing to develop their skills as they went on to explain how helpful Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow advice had been during his interview for the last issue. The UR Consultants now brain storm ideas, just like the Channel 4 News Team.

UR Consultant Danny said “I am really interested in politics and I like to make short and easy to understand stories that are clear and get straight to the point”.

Each UR Consultant received an individual personalised certificate of achievement presented by Bob Tindall, United Response’s Managing Director who also presented them with the official the golden crown National Charity Award.

The award winning easy read newspaper Easy News has created a meaningful news service for people with the learning disabilities, as well as providing 30 paid jobs for the UR Consultants. The consultants are continuing to develop their skills and confidence in bringing easy read news to over 2,500 regular subscribers.  Why not sign up to Easy News and check out the work of the consultants for yourself?

Xanthe Breen, senior press officer.