Medal for theatre volunteer

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A Theatre Royal volunteer who has helped blind and visually impaired audience members to enjoy shows for over 10 years has been recognised for her work.

Pam Sparks joined the theatre’s volunteer team in 2000 as an Audio Describer, someone who speaks through a headset to blind or visually impaired patrons to help make sense of what is happening on stage. This is done by describing how the set is constructed, the style of the production and what is actually taking place on the stage during the performance.

Then in 2002, Pam trained with STAGETEXT to become a captioner, someone who transcribes scripts so they can be displayed on a screen for deaf and hearing impaired audience members.Pam also trains new captioners and co-ordinates the volunteer team.

As a result of her dedication, she was nominated for the Inspiring Volunteering Awards and received a medal during a glittering evening ceremony at the Roland Levinsky Building in the University of Plymouth.The awards are organised by a partnership of The Herald, Plymouth Guild and the University of Plymouth.

She was nominated by Theatre Manager Jack Mellor who said, “Although it is said that no one is indispensable, to replace the unique skills necessary to fill this role combined with the voluntary nature of the work would be impossible.The provision of this service is of course a team effort and I’m sire Pam would assert that she is ‘just part of a team’, however her contribution to the Theatre Royal and to the community is priceless.”

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