VOLUNTEERS are launching a community newspaper in Fishersgate in a bid to give people a voice in the area.
Fishersgate Voice co-ordinators Jill Lennon and Maria Stewart pointed out Eastbrook was among the poorest wards in the country and said they were ‘trying to make a difference’.
Organisers and volunteers gathered at the Second Chance Community Shop, in Laylands Road, Fishersgate, on Tuesday to begin the process of distributing the new community paper.
The trial issue of the Fishersgate Voice was being delivered to 1,500 households from Wednesday.
As well as the printed newspaper, the project will include a Voice website, Facebook page, Youtube channel for budding local filmmakers and a mobile app.
Jill and Maria said: “We are very excited and proud to be taking part in this brilliant community project.
“Fishersgate Voice will be just that, a voice and opportunity for residents to have a say and be involved – so watch this space.”
They want to encourage as many people as possible from the Fishersgate community to share information and tell their stories via the newspaper.
The aim is to help encourage community pride, put Fishersgate on the map, and develop the talent and skills of local people by offering free training in journalism, design, social media and photography.
The project is being largely funded in its first year by Action Eastbrook, which brings together public services, agencies and community groups, co-ordinated by Adur District Council.
Jill said a public meeting at the Fishersgate Centre in March, which was organised to discuss setting up a community paper, was well-attended.
A small committee was then formed to put together a 12-page trial edition.
The Voice committee is now appealing for more people to get involved, with the first ‘proper’ issue planned for October and more to follow every two months.
Jill said the Voice would raise advertising revenue from local businesses.
Schools were also involved, having pledged to donate use of their media facilities and to involve pupils.
Two of the Voice committee have successfully undergone an intensive professional journalism training course in Brighton.
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