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For Derry volunteer, community television is an outlet

DERRY — Derry Community Television recently offered residents a chance to learn about the facility and meet some of the staff members and volunteers during an open house.

For volunteer Tom Wood, the television station has helped hone his television production skills while providing an outlet for his creativity. Wood, who has autism and cerebral palsy, has volunteered at the facility since 2003.

He has produced television shows on autism and developmental disabilities. He said he is visually oriented and enjoys photography and videography.

“I get to use a lot of my creative skills,” said Wood, who has freelanced for a number of years.

After shooting video, Wood said he comes to the television studio to do all of his post production work, such as editing and graphics and burning a master disc. Once a project is finished, it is aired on Derry Community Television.

A graduate of the Wentworth Institute in Boston, Wood’s latest effort was a special report on an issue involving a group home, not in Derry, but in Somerville, Mass. Wood said he covered a zoning board meeting in the town that included a discussion of the group home for people with developmental disabilities. The home would be located in a more upscale neighborhood in the town. The proposal has drawn a lot of resistance from some residents, said Wood, who helped produce the television show.

In addition to volunteering at Derry Community Television, Wood also volunteers at his church, First Congregational in Pelham. Wood is regularly behind the camera recording the church’s worship services. He has been recording the services, which are broadcast live over Pelham Community Television, since 2001.

Wood’s body of work is appreciated by the television station, said Chris Martin, cables systems coordinator for the station.

“He’s very productive, and we are really thankful we have him on board,” said Martin.

As for the open house, Martin said a number of residents and local officials turned out for the event.

Town employees and some Pinkerton Academy students also stopped by to check out the studio in the basement of the Derry Municipal Center at 14 Manning St.

“It’s going really good; we’ve had a strong turnout,” said Martin, near the start of the open house.

Martin also mentioned that the station is offering training classes on video equipment and invited all Derry residents to attend.


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