An award-winning weekly newspaper set up by a group of former Johnston Press staffers is celebrating its first year in business.
The initial quartet – editor Rachel Mayfield, sports editor Andrew Clucas, photographer and advert designer Nikki Clucas and production editor Tracey Sweetland – decided to go it alone after facing voluntary redundancy or role changes at their previous titles.
It has since become a 10-person operation and to celebrate the anniversary last week’s edition of the newspaper included a special feature marking the fact more than 500 different businesses and individuals have advertised with the Voice since its inauguration.
It also featured a reader competition to win a television and the launch of a new charity, The Voice Community Fund, to help deserving groups and people on its patch.
The first edition was delivered to 10,000 homes in Spalding as well as being stocked in outlets across the South Holland area of Lincolnshire, whereas now less copies are delivered door-to-door and more stocked in central outlets.
In November, the paper won the best small/new business of the year prize at the South Holland Business Awards.
A digital edition of the Voice is also now available online.
Said Andrew: “Deciding to launch our own newspaper was both the scariest and best thing we’ve ever done professionally. It’s been an eye-opening experience for us all with plenty of ups and downs, but we’re all very proud of what we’ve achieved so far.
“We’re very much newspaper people, so to have total control of what the paper looks like and feels like is a real buzz. It’s great to enjoy being a journalist again.
“Our plan is, and will always be, to be a free publication with a strong digital presence.
“We’ve been very fortunate to enjoy great feedback from our readers and amazing support from a growing list of advertisers. Without that, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”