2020 Gold Entries

Here are the Gold entries for the Community Radio Awards 2020

Podcast – Primrose and Terry: in the shed – Radio LaB 97.1FM
Innovation Award – Switch Radio’s News Hub – Switch Radio
Newcomer – Sponsored by The Radio Hub – Isabel Ellis – Ribble FM
Sage Person (Over 60) – Tony Barnfield – Cambridge 105 Radio
Young Person of the Year (under 25) – Johnny Jenkins – Gateway 97.8
Volunteer of the Year – Steve Fox – Red Kite Radio
Sports Show of the Year – Switch Radio Sport – Switch Radio
Specialist Music Show of the Year – Priya Matharu – Switch Radio
Arts & Creative Radio of the Year – Sponsored by the Audio Content Fund – Virtual Strawberry Fair – Cambridge 105 Radio
Speech & Journalism of the Year – Basildon Question Time – Gateway 97.8
Special Coverage: 2019 General Elections Coverage – All Out Election – Gateway 97.8
Entertainment Show of the Year – Vibe Breakfast – Vibe 107.6 FM
Live Event or Outside Broadcast of the Year – Sponsored by In:Quality – Northern Pride Festival 2019 – Pride Radio
Female Presenter of the Year – Fiona McNeill – Dunoon Community Radio
Male Presenter of the Year – Luis Wyatt – Andover Radio
Community Show of the Year – Trevor Blackman Now – Maritime Radio
Community Development Project of the Year – The Radio Plus Community Advent Calendar 2019 – Radio Plus
Digital or RSL Station Of The Year – Riverside Radio
Station of the Year – Sponsored by Playoutone – Bro Radio

Podcast

Primrose and Terry: in the shed – Radio LaB 97.1FM

‘Primrose and Terry: in the shed’ is a podcast series hosted and created by 7-year-old Primrose Lee. It is edited by her Dad, Terry (who is Senior Tutor in Radio & Audio at the University of Bedfordshire). It has had over 1000 downloads and is available on all major podcast apps.

As the reality of being locked-down in the rural Central-Bedfordshire village of Clophill struck, Primrose’s parents explored how they were going to approach home-learning. Only-child Primrose has always loved listening to radio and podcasts, so when she asked about making her own programmes her Dad thought it would be a fun experiment. Nearly 20 episodes in, the podcast is looking set to remain a regular fixture in their lives.

Before any microphones were turned on, the duo sat down (and bounced on the trampoline) to discuss some key positions: who was the podcast for & what would make it unique.

Being unable to see her young friends and family, Primrose was initially keen the podcast would appeal to them. But in order to appeal to a wider audience, the duo decided that every episode would focus on Primrose’s distinctive take on a variety of different topics. Later this would incorporate book reviews (to encourage both Primrose and her audience to read more), riddles & special features about geocaching, lock-down haircuts and allotments.

Primrose wanted to interview somebody on the phone in every podcast. The interviewees have ranged from family members, to University of Bedfordshire staff, to school friends of Prim’s. She prepares bespoke questions for everyone (although she will almost always ask if they have any pets!) and has been developing her speaking and listening skills.

The duo also wanted to include Mummy, an outdoor learning practitioner, in each episode. ‘Mummy in the Garden’ has become a regular fixture, where Primrose (armed and dangerous with a wireless microphone) fetches Mummy (who is usually working on her laptop in the house) and talks with her about the outdoor learning they have undertaken that week.

Primrose was keen that the podcast included music – much like her favourite podcast series ‘The Story Pirates’ (Gimlet Media). So, she located her keyboard, guitar and harmonica and began practicing the music that would go on to become the podcast’s distinctive and original imaging.

The title of the podcast was inspired by the desired recording location. The ‘shed’ is actually Mummy’s outdoor office, and has electricity, but it is made of wood and is inhabited by spiders.

Above all, what Primrose wanted from the podcast was interaction – and to date she has received hundreds of messages from listeners via email & the dedicated Facebook page. Listeners are invited and encouraged to correspond about all the topics that come up – some even send voice messages. As a result, Primrose has engaged in further discussions about dozens of topics, such as hamsters, toys that were popular in the 1990s & even Sir Keir Starmer (whose middle name is Rodney).

After the first episode was downloaded hundreds of times, Radio LaB 97.1fm’s student managers asked if they could broadcast the series on the station. This promoted the series to a wider audience, leading to interaction from parents and others from nearby Luton.

The podcast caught the attention of Luton Today, Bedford Today & BBC 3CR. When the local BBC invited Primrose and Terry on as guests on their evening programme, Primrose talked about asking Alexa to play the song ‘Poo Poo Head’ much to the amusement (and probably mild horror) of the production team.

Read the press release about the podcast here: https://www.beds.ac.uk/news/2020-archive/april/bedfordshire-lecturer-launches-daddy-and-daughter-podcast-from-their-shed/

Primrose and Terry: in the shed – Written entry

Innovation Award

Switch Radio’s News Hub – Switch Radio

Innovation_entry

Newcomer (new to radio in last 12 months) – Sponsored by The Radio Hub

Isabel Ellis – Ribble FM

Isabel (or Izzy as she is known at the radio station!) joined Ribble FM recently in March 2020. She’s recently been studying at Newcastle University and when her studies were cut for this academic year due to COVID-19 – she decided to approach her home radio station in Clitheroe to get involved and to develop her presentation and production skills!

At just 20 years old, Izzy mixes her time at Ribble FM continuing studies
for her degree at Newcastle University. As the COVID-19 outbreak
started, her first-year studies come to an abrupt break. She moved back
home and continued her part time casual work locally at Browsholme
Hall.

Izzy also decided to gain experience from Ribble FM when she moved back
to Clitheroe for the early Spring/Summer Break. She came up with a show idea called “All Mixed Up” which included music from all decades that Ribble FM cover – from the 60s right the way through to the 2000s. We decided to give Izzy a chance – not only as a co-presenter on the Breakfast Show – but also her own show on Tuesdays between 12pm-1pm.

After training in Presenting and Producing her own show, Izzy has now gained a good following for her show on Tuesdays – but has also brought a new audience for the current Breakfast Show presented by Mark Blackman.
Izzy’s passion and determination to succeed in the radio industry really shows, she lives and breathes radio and the management of Ribble FM know that she would like to make a long career out of her experience from Ribble FM.

When one of our longest serving presenters went off air for 4 weeks due to an operation in hospital, he asked Izzy to cover his well-established show
out of all presenters as “he loved her style, and music taste too! Very eclectic like me!” Izzy also is training to be a journalist – and recently has reported on the reopening of McDonalds in Clitheroe and the #LoveRibbleValley launch across town centres getting the answers from those who matter the most!

Izzy now is a huge part of Ribble FM – and her next task designated by Station Manager Lee Roe – was to organise and get publicity and prizes for the upcoming 4th Birthday of the Radio Station.

She – like other volunteers – is also working through our music database on Myriad, making sure that all the songs have the correct intros, extros and hooks to the songs. Izzy also takes part in any outside broadcasts we take part in – and has helped to promote the radio stations in our towns across the Ribble Valley

Izzy shows her passion through her work – and this clearly shows both on and off air in whatever task we set her. She always wants to help others at the radio station in any way, from setting up meetings in our new Studio 3 to jumping in to cover other shows on the station such as ‘Brunch’ and ‘The Grand Radio Show’

Ever since she has joined Ribble FM in March 2020, Izzy has really developed to become one of our most popular presenters, and has really worked hard to promote her local radio station – becoming a real asset, and has proved in her short time with us to be extremely versatile doing any task.

She is a hardworking and wonderful member of the Ribble FM team and the management team here at Ribble FM believe she has nothing but an excellent future in either Television or Radio Production as a full-time career.

Isabel Ellis – Written Entry

Sage Person (Over 60)

Tony Barnfield – Cambridge 105 Radio

“Hello there!” With his cheery greeting and fondness for a bow tie, Tony is instantly recognisable and brings a smile to everyone at the station – and our listeners too. 

He joined in 2016 at the age of 67, presenting his weekly one-hour show Roundabout, which has now run to more than 220 editions and has
featured an impressive array of household names, including:

Sir David Attenborough, Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger, Michael Crawford
Barry Cryer, Jeremy Paxman, Terry Waite and Dr Rowan Williams.

Beginning on Radio 1 aged 20 and broadcasting on every national, regional and local network as an announcer, presenter and producer (Today, Woman’s Hour, Friday Night is Music Night and Round Midnight), Tony has decades of experience and knowledge to share with his colleagues at Cambridge 105 Radio.

An OU course in Digital Audio refreshed his tech skills, enabling him to present Roundabout uninterrupted from home during station lockdown – using Zoom to interview people around the UK, in New Zealand, Istanbul and Luxembourg.

He’s also one of a handful of volunteers scripting and reading the news during the covid-19 period.

What they say about Tony

I had to bring my son to the station due to a childcare issue. He’s 6 years old and autistic.
 
The first person we met upon arriving was Tony Barnfield who although only a brief exchange was wonderful with him.
 
First impressions and new places play a huge impact on my son and what could have been an awful situation was brilliant.
 
He loved looking around and on the way home told me sleepily that one day he will work there too but only play David Bowie ❤️

Michelle Davey, presenter

Tony brought a wealth of broadcasting experience to Cambridge 105 Radio. His many years working on BBC Radio, across all the networks, means he has a range and depth of skills that we use to mentor and train our other presenters, whether new to broadcasting or a bit more experienced.
 
He has taught several of our teams advanced editing and production techniques, giving the programmes, trails and promos a much more polished and professional feel.
 
He has been instrumental in mentoring some of our youngest and newest presenters, some of whom have special needs. His patience is legendary, and the resulting programmes are entertaining and thoughtfully constructed.
 
Tony is keen to push our new presenters to try their hand at all the different aspects of programme production but he is always there to encourage and guide.
 
His friendly, polite approach has brought high level guests to our airwaves; and we know that he is held in high regard by our audience.

Neil Whiteside, daytime presenter

I am autistic and struggle with communicating.
 
I met Tony 4 years ago whilst on work experience at C105R and we had an instant connection.
 
He began to see in me his teenage self with an insatiable appetite to discover tuneful and entertaining music of all genres.

I spent many hours observing and assisting Tony during my school holidays and was so pleased that he came, impeccably dressed, shirt and tie as always, by bus, to interview me and my teacher for Roundabout at sixth form college, where I set up my own radio station.
 
Tony continues to be very supportive and we have since worked on two shows together, both my ideas, but Tony, being Tony, was
very enthusiastic about helping me to produce and present them.

If I achieve half as much as him in my career, I will be delighted.

Presenter Ross Watchman, aged 19

Tony Barnfield – Written Entry

Young Person of the Year (under 25)

Johnny Jenkins – Gateway 97.8

Johnny Jenkins is a young radio presenter and journalist from Essex. At just 19 years old, he has already racked up 5 years of experience in the community radio sector. Whilst Johnny mainly focuses on news coverage, he is a flexible presenter who has covered everything from Big Brother to political debates. Now in his role of Editor, he is responsible for content on 48 hours of airtime a week and provides daily political (and now coronavirus) news updates on air. He also presents one live and one pre-recorded show per week. Johnny conducts all of this whilst studying at university for a politics degree.

Johnny’s work has a real impact on every area of the station – on air and off air. No matter if he is at university or at home, he books around 20-30 interviews each week, all contributing to the station’s community centric output. In this role, Johnny utilises his ever-growing contact book and spends a lot of time meeting new people and developing good relationships with the area.

He is a passionate and energetic person, both in his job role and when presenting on air. As you can hear in the audio entry, he has the ability to cover light and shade – to move from a positive upbeat song to discussing serious newsworthy topics with a journalistic approach. Johnny devotes a lot of time and energy to ensuring Gateway 97.8 has the best coverage every single day. From his 8am morning email to the 6pm live political update, Johnny’s enthusiasm for proper community radio is electric.

As you can hear in the audio attachment, Johnny is able to report from location, and has even presented a live radio link on the fastest Tuk Tuk in the world!

Johnny is also a team player. As well as managing content for existing presenters, he regularly devotes time to training new presenters and passing on some of his journalism skills to the next generation. He oversees our Saturday youth group, where 11-16 year olds are trained in radio broadcasting, and teaches some of our older presenters how to use social media and engage an online audience. He looks after the station’s social media presence, which has around 25,000 followers on all platforms. By encouraging presenters to develop digital content and skills, Johnny boosts the station’s status in the community.

Johnny is responsible for leading our political coverage, which can include conducting exclusive interviews with MPs and councillors, chairing political panel discussions and producing our 12-hour live election programmes. In the past year, Johnny has been granted two exclusive interviews with the council leader, and with community figures, such as an exclusive interview with the Chief Constable in the Essex Police control room. As well as conducting these interviews, he ensures that he keeps one eye close on politics, so that he is ready to react to breaking news stories immediately on air.

This has been prevalent throughout the coronavirus crisis, where Johnny has had to adapt his skills to a developing health story, providing daily coronavirus news updates on air for over 3 months. This includes watching almost 100 government briefings and providing analysis on air afterwards.

Johnny embodies community radio, where you cannot focus on just one skill. Whether he is presenting, editing, interviewing or training, Johnny’s passion for radio and the local community shines through. Because of this, he has been asked to host two events for the Community Media Association in the past two years. His commitment to proper local radio should be commended.

Johnny Jenkins – Written Entry

Volunteer of the Year

Steve Fox – Red Kite Radio

Steve joined Red Kite Radio just over two years ago to present the Saturday afternoon show, then moving onto the Breakfast Show, bringing a new and vibrant way of engaging with the listeners. Steve began to see that this community radio station which launched less than a year ago had lots of potential which he could help with.

After a meeting with the Board of Directors to discuss his ideas he was naturally asked to join the Board, soon after he then became station Manager due to his hands-on approach and knowledge of how to implement his ideas.

Steve’s vision was to become THE local Community Radio station and the only way to do that was to get out and meet the community. With that started a busy schedule of obtaining interviews with local groups, schools and charities, together with attending local Fetes, Events, Hospice Lottery, opening of a Charity Shop and even reporting and taking part in walking across burning hot coals, all for charity! and of course, the local annual Beer festival. Come rain or shine Steve was there with his recording equipment, and when possible broadcast live, which would be particularly challenging not only in treacherous rain (Kop Hill Climb) but also due to the dated equipment he was working with.

All this was showcased after he had edited the interviews for the website which he later helped to completely rebuild to engage new listeners and to provide local information and stories to encourage a new audience and actively engage with the community.

Steve personally took on training for the team and keeping in touch regularly by either email or face to face meetings and held an evening out at his own expense to celebrate volunteers’ week. Steve advertised for new presenters and a team of news readers, whilst putting together specialist shows for evening listening and encouraging the use of social media which drives traffic to the website.

With all this in place 2020 was set to be a remarkably busy year and then COVID19 brought us all new challenges. Our tiny studio had to be closed and Steve’s quick reactions and planning ensured presenters had all the correct equipment to be able to broadcast from home together with last-minute on-site training and home training where required.

Advertisers were cancelling and the future looked very bleak, we also within days lost virtually all the outside fundraising possibilities that outside broadcasts would have provided. The problem became so severe that, a few months before our 3rd birthday on 18th June, there was a good chance we would have to close. Steve went into overdrive and personally set about contacting all the local authorities, councils and searched for grants and funding to help us through this challenging time.
Owing to Steve’s passion and energy and going above and beyond all expectations we celebrated our 3rd birthday, however not before Steve had to take some weeks off due to all the hours and commitment he put in whilst still running his own business causing a nervous breakdown.
Upon his return he made the very brave decision to record why he was off due to his mental health and spoke openly about being Bi-Polar and how lockdown had affected him. This was played throughout the week of his return and was very emotional to hear however, we had an amazing response during this very unique time for us all, helping many of our listeners and presenters to also speak out about their own feelings and problems.

The future for Red Kite Radio is looking better than ever due to the role model we have whilst he also continues to present on the Breakfast Show and his own specialist show and therefore acknowledging presenters’ concerns whilst working from home and literally on call 24/7, even going back to the studio during a storm to re position the mast in the early hours of the morning to ensure the news went out.

We never say it … “Thank you Mr Fox, we truly appreciate all you have done”

Steve Fox – Written Entry

Sports Show of the Year

Switch Radio Sport – Switch Radio

Switch Sport is Switch Radio’s flagship sports programme broadcast each and every Saturday from 2pm-6pm. On the programme we present a weekly live match commentary from one of our local non-league teams in the FA pyramid. The show, hosted by Kevin Moore, also includes recaps of all the games from the previous week from all the teams covered by Switch Sport including recorded highlights, manager and player interviews, and previews of upcoming fixtures. Local sports results are reported by our dedicated team of reporters during the show, and our live commentary team opt to other games that are covered by our sports team during the show.
We also on occasion present the entire programme from one of the West Midlands local football grounds, whilst live match commentary comes from another. At the end of the live commentary, Switch Sport stays on air for reaction to all our featured games, and then present the Women’s Football Podcast, which has been a game-changer from Switch Sport. Here we interview big names players from the Women’s Super League, and grass roots members of local organisations who are fostering and promoting the women’s game within our community. We also present a non-league review show in the close season where we review each of the “Switch Sport” non-league team’s season with that teams manager or captain, and discuss their hopes for the new season.
Our sports team has worked really hard to develop relationships with the majority of the local teams in our area, and attempt to provide live commentary on these teams on a regular basis, as well as following our Vanarama League Team Solihull Moors around the country for home and away fixtures. We were the only broadcaster to broadcast live as the Moors went international as they took on Kelty Hearts in the third round of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Scottish Challenge Cup at New Central Park in Scotland! Most weeks, whilst we are commentating live on our FM channel, we’ll be also broadcasting another game on our DAB channel called Switch Sport 2. On one occasion we have actually had three live games being broadcast at the same time, one on FM, one on DAB, and one on-line!
The Sports team also report on local cricket teams, and basketball which is extremely popular in our community. We’ve built up a great on-line following and have a very active online profile. Our Twitter and Facebook feeds post daily local sports news, previews of upcoming episodes of our podcasts and live comms, and run local result services for all local sports. We’ve developed excellent on-going relationships with most of the sporting organisations in our community, and have be able to partner with three local higher education establishments to offer practical, hands-on experience for potential journalists whilst they are carrying out their studies.
We’re very proud of the relationships we’ve developed in the community and the friends we’ve made through our sports coverage. We hope to develop our output even further with live Women’s football commentary on a Sunday afternoon, and live cricket commentary. Exciting times!

Switch Radio Sport – Written Entry

Specialist Music Show of the Year

Priya Matharu – Switch Radio

Hello! My name is Priya Matharu and I present and produce a Desi Beats show on Switch Radio. I play many types of Asian music, including Bhangra, Bollywood, Urban Desi and Old School classics. I also interview Asian artists and discuss new releases from established singers. Having grown up listening to Asian music, I’m passionate about dedicating a show to it and allowing other people to enjoy the songs with me!

It’s important to discuss the Desi music scene on an Asian specialist show and an important aspect of this is upcoming artists. These artists are the future of music, so I promote upcoming Asian artists on the show and on social media to highlight their talents. I’ve interviewed several local artists and producers such as: 2NV, Raul Ray, D’Stil, Kaz, Aaron AK and Parry J. After interviewing them, I continue to play new music they release to show my continued support of their work.

When interviewing upcoming Asian artists, we discuss their projects, latest singles and about the representation of Asians in the music industry. We talk about how Asians are featuring English lyrics in their music more. This is because us British Asians have grown up on both Western and Eastern genres, so want to incorporate that in our music. For example, we are currently seeing more Pop, Soul and RnB influences in Asian music.
British Asians are my show’s target audience, therefore this is something they can relate to and identify with when they listen to the music I play. It’s also an interesting point for discussion when having conversations about the industry and how it might evolve in the future.

On the show, I talk about collaborations between Asian, UK and US artists and wanting Asian music to become more mainstream, as there’s so much talent! With increasing global popularity for Latin American music and K-Pop, it proves language isn’t a barrier.

Therefore, I’m passionate about seeing Desi music appealing to a mainstream audience.

Regarding UK Asian artists, Jay Sean was the last person to make it big, so I’m looking forward to seeing who matches his success! Recently we’re seeing artists like Joy Crookes and Steel Banglez doing well in mainstream charts, so I like to showcase their success too.

One feature on the show is song and album reviews. I reviewed Jasmine Sandlas’ album ‘What’s In A Name?’ and I feel it’s a groundbreaker for Asian music. This album features taboo topics that have never been discussed in Desi music before, so it was important to include this on the show. It would enable listeners to appreciate the music and to be
exposed to songs that will ultimately change the industry.

As well as presenting on community radio, I’ve also covered shows on BBC Radio. I presented BBC Radio 1’s Asian Beats and BBC WM’s Midlands Masala show. It was an amazing experience to celebrate Desi music and culture on these big platforms and to interview established artists and key people in the Asian community.

During lockdown I’ve been lucky enough to record my shows from home and it’s been great to see how music and radio has helped unite people during this time. I’m happy I’ve used this platform to showcase Asian music in Birmingham and to introduce people from other cultures to Desi music! Although there are Asian radio stations that do a great job of supporting Desi music and culture, I feel there isn’t many Asian voices on UK radio as a
whole. Therefore, it’s an underrepresented part of society and is something I would love to help change.

Priya Matharu – Written Entry

Arts & Creative Radio of the Year – Sponsored by the Audio Content Fund

Virtual Strawberry Fair – Cambridge 105 Radio

VIRTUAL STRAWBERRY FAIR

12 hours of broadcasting

400 presenters, performers and producers involved

One very special festival brought to life – under lockdown conditions

When Strawberry Fair was cancelled due to covid-19, we wanted to bring all the fun of the fair to the thousands of people from Cambridge and beyond who were lamenting the loss of this much-loved music and arts festival.

That we were able to bring so much joy to the local community during lockdown, and pull off such an ambitious and memorable feat of broadcasting as a small community station makes us hugely proud.

The energy and commitment shown by volunteers led to an incredible team effort that had listeners dancing in their living rooms, in empty pubs, and in care homes across the county.

Featuring music from artists booked to perform, interviews with organisers, archive footage, and contributions from nostalgic festival-goers, the 12 pre-recorded shows were linked live from regular presenters to add that special festival vibe throughout the day.

The planning
We wanted to create an enticing mix of programmes to truly reflect the variety and magic of the festival.

Each show was allocated at least one producer, who was responsible for researching, compiling and mixing the final shows for broadcast.

Headed up by Greg Butler, we worked in partnership with organisers to make sure we captured the essence of the 40-year-old festival, rather than just reported on it.

Executive Producer Trevor Dann hosted weekly Zoom meetings so we could stay on schedule with the complex production, answer editorial queries, and ensure a consistent sound on the day.

What was the impact?
The success of the broadcast can be seen from the demand placed on our web stream, and subsequent Listen Again, and social media chatter.

There was clear support from listeners, interviewees and Strawberry Fair, and we were able to give a very positive report to the Audio Content Fund, who had supported the broadcast.
 
For the station itself it opened up a world outside our own stage that will hopefully be reflected with better coverage of the Fair next year.

The production process gave insight and discipline to those more used to presenting a regular music show, and valuable experience to younger members making their early steps into a career in broadcasting.

***400 people involved
***12 hours of programming
***Content shared with 4 sister stations
***40-year-old festival
***5 x increase on online listeners
***3000 social engagements
***100 to 120 on RadioPlayer thoughout & 170 to 200 connections to our stream
***2.5 x increase in website unique users
***Website crashed!
***38% of website hits from Cambridge and surrounding towns

Virtual Strawberry Fair – Written Entry
0:00
0:00