Rendlesham leads the way with innovative ways to keep our community connected
For those of you who follow social media, you will have noticed a lot of buzz and chat about Rendlesham Community Radio. If your reaction was ‘I never knew we had a community radio station’, you would not be alone, as the creation of this new initiative has happened at breakneck speed over the course of two weeks.
It started with a Saturday evening lockdown disco, broadcast by our resident DJ, Steve Calver from his home in Redwald Road. Locals were able to hear the music whilst those further afield could tune in via an internet link and join in the fun of a real live disco in their own homes. This proved so popular that another was planned for the following week.
We started to think about the ways in which an internet-based radio station could benefit our community. The Good Neighbour Scheme had already mentioned the benefit of reaching out to residents in this way but we also started to see the many other possibilities…regular entertainment shows, community issues, live broadcasts from our events. And so the idea took fruition.
We were then approached by Mark Isbister of Team Audio who very generously offered to sponsor a fully equipped recording studio from where we can broadcast live or make pre-recordings of shows. Mark and Steve have been hard at work making sure the new studio is set up within all Covid-19 social distancing rules and offering training and IT support, even to presenters who need to record from home.
Any community radio station needs a lot of good content so we tentatively asked on social media if anyone in our community would like to be involved….the results were amazing and our first live broadcast from the studio was on VE Day when our new presenter, Peter Osborne, aired his first live show ‘Best of British’ which included an interview with Trevor Coult MC.
We are currently applying for a temporary Covid-19 emergency licence from Ofcom which will enable us to broadcast on FM. The possibilities of this are exciting and endless as we can then reach a wider area and connect with people who are perhaps not familiar with the internet, such as our elderly community. At the moment, we are busy recording new shows which will be scheduled among the streamed music content. As we grow, the ‘homegrown’ shows will replace the streamed content. A ‘live lounge’ has also been set up, within social distance rules, to allow local artists to perform live on air. This is part of our wider ambition to become a seedbed for local talent who can have their music heard to a much larger audience.
Our aim is that Rendlesham Community Radio will by a radio station FOR the community run BY the community. Since its conception just a few weeks ago, we already have several volunteers in place to help manage it, present shows, promote it and source extra funding to allow us to buy more equipment. However, we need YOU.
The content and success of the station will depend on volunteers and good quality content that reflects the diversity of our community. Whether it is a gardening programme, local sports news, youth club news, an hour of your chosen genre of music, a history programme or something completely original, we want to hear from you. Additionally, if you have good organisational skills and would like to be involved in a non-presenting way, we want to hear from you too.
This really is an amazing opportunity for Rendlesham to blaze a trail yet again in East Suffolk. Our events throughout the lockdown period have attracted the attention of BBC Radio Suffolk again and again, who are closely following all the ‘good news’ stories that our village is generating during this uncertain time. Rendlesham Community Radio is another opportunity for us to demonstrate to the rest of Suffolk (and beyond) what a resilient, happy and caring community we live in.
If you would like to be involved in any way, contact: email@example.com.