page looks at Redstone FM's activities during 2009.
saw Redstone FM's 6th temporary broadcast plus the running of a new
radio course for blind and partially sighted people. When the
broadcast was planned towards the end of 2008, two main events were
scheduled to be covered - Volunteers' Week and the Redhill Carnival
weekend. After the license application was submitted to Ofcom,
we received news of funding for a course for visually impaired people
and this became a third activity.
broadcast came from premises in Tower House, part of the Belfry
Shopping Centre in Redhill whilst the training course was based at
the Merstham Community Facility.
achievements from the broadcast were:
Week is a national event organised by Volunteering England and
involving volunteer centres across the country. We worked closely
with Janet Rimmer and the Reigate & Banstead Volunteer Centre and
featured interviews which covered a wide range of organisations and
secured an exclusive interview with the Minister if the Third Sector,
Kevin Brennan (before his move in the recent Government reshuffle)
and worked with the Borough Council in launching the 2009 Mayor's
Community Awards live on air.
with Surrey vInvolved and Reigate College, we welcomed a number of
new young faces (and voices) to Redstone FM who all featured
interviews with young people involved with local voluntary work.
Reigate Carnival took place over the weekend of 12-14 June. Redstone
FM featured interviews with those organising the weekend, some of the
benefiting charities and some of the musicians and performers taking part.
weekend itself, Redstone FM was out and about with a hired 'Vortex'
kit. This box, which was on a free loan from the supplier, enabled us
to send digital quality audio via the G-mobile network direct to the
studio. It was very portable thus not tying us down to a specific
outside broadcast studio unit.
Saturday, we broadcast coverage of the Redhill and Reigate street
theatre activities. On Sunday, we joined forces with Radio Redhill
and rebroadcast their live coverage of the carnival procession. Later
that afternoon, we broadcast live from the Memorial Park Fun Day
event featuring a wide range of interviews.
Opportunities Training Course
bonus was the receipt of a grant from the ESF Community Grants
Programme to run a training course in broadcast skills. The
course, funded by the ESF (European Social Fund) and the Learning
& Skills Council was aimed at those with disabilities and focuses
on training that helps with a return to work. We recruited 8
students, 5 new people and 3 from former RNIB courses. The title of
the course was 'Broadcast Opportunities' and was based on the
training materials developed by Broadcast Training Ltd. The main
course tutor was Des Shepherd with additional sessions from Mike
Gandon (broadcast law), Kate Lee (voice coach) and Lisa Davis (music
presentation). The training took place at the new Merstham Community Facility.
students had an opportunity to broadcast their own shows during the
RSL broadcast, thus achieving one of the main outcomes.
Whilst run by
Redstone FM, the course involved East Surrey College. Under the Adult
Community Learning programme, our learners signed up as East Surrey
College students. This was facilitated by Lynne Pearce (former RNIB
Redhill) and allowed us use of specific access equipment. Part of the
arrangement was that the college would deliver some employment
The course got
some good publicity. Radio 4 broadcast two features on In Touch on
Tuesdays 9 June and 21 July whilst Nick Owen (BBC newsreader and
Reigate resident) wrote
an article for the Surrey Mirror following
his interview on Redstone FM.
play above to listen to the first Radio 4 feature.
play above to listen to the follow up Radio 4 feature.
operated with a record number of volunteers - 37 in total. We had the
benefit of 5 new radio students plus a group of youngsters from
undertaken included presentation and production plus providing
sighted assistance to many of our visually impaired presenters. Of
the 37 volunteers, 27 were involved in presenting programmes. Key
(including our new students) were visually impaired (28% of total
number of volunteers). They presented 43% of live and original
13 of our
volunteers were visually impaired or otherwise disabled (36% of total
number of volunteers). They presented 57% of live and original
daytime shows after breakfast (10am-6pm) were presented from a rota
of 11 presenters, all being visually impaired or otherwise disabled.
Chairman, Mike Ward said,
above facts demonstrate Redstone FM's commitment to offering
continued opportunities to blind and partially sighted persons plus
those with other disabilities. That said, all those who broadcast
were up to the job. If, as has happened when running the course at
the RNIB, volunteers are not capable or ready, they would not have
been put on air.
is important but recognising potential and developing that talent
means that Redstone FM took a calculated risk in the balance between
new, untried broadcasters with those who are experienced. The five
new students on the radio course demonstrated a level of life skills,
personality and a willingness to learn which gave us the confidence
to try them out on air."
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