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New regional paper Torbay Weekly launches despite pandemic

Posted on: April 14, 2020 by Mariella Brown

The Torbay Weekly, a new free weekly newspaper published by Archant, has launched on schedule despite the Covid-19 emergency with a focus on celebrating its local community.

The 24-page publication has adopted the slogan ‘Naturally Inspiring’ to act as a voice of Torbay area of Devon.

Editor Jim Parker praised the spirit of his readers. Writing in the new publication he said: “What has kept me going is a six-letter word. Torbay. Torbay and its people. The theme of the new Torbay Weekly is ‘Naturally Inspiring’ — celebrating and recognising all that is good in the Bay where naturally inspiring people are doing naturally inspiring things. None more so than now.”

The paper’s latest edition carried a front cover showing ‘Our Heroes’ – illustrating the Mubashar family, a father and son team, who are both doctors working on the frontline of Torbay Hospital against the coronavirus pandemic.

The paper launched in partnership with Torbay Council with a special edition to reach all 65,000 homes in the Bay. Its subsequent print runs will be delivered to 20,000 homes.

Parker, a former Reach editor, spent 40 years at the Torquay Herald Express before stepping down last year.

The special edition provided information to residents and businesses about local council helplines and essential services such as food banks and delivery firms for vulnerable people.

Writing on the front page, Torbay councillors Steve Darling, Darren Cowell and Dave Thomas said: “This special edition of Torbay Weekly means that we can share with every household in Torbay the critical information you need in order to keep yourself and your family safe.”

The councillors went on to explain the aim of the partnership was to reach out to members of the community who may not necessarily have access to the internet or have heard of the services available to them during the pandemic.

Despite not yet setting up an office due to lockdown, the newspaper’s two editions have been produced from the team’s homes, with full digital editions available on the Torbay Weekly website.