Newly equipped radio station in Cambridgeshire seeks to give young people a voice
Fenland Youth Radio, who opened a new studio this week (August 1), aim to use the new facility to give young people in the region more of a voice.
The station hit the airwaves in April but thanks to lockdown restrictions, have only just been able to move into a new fully equipped studio in Peel House, Whittlesey.
The project is the creation of Young Technicians CIC, which is a scheme, started by Pino Soccio, that delivers lessons and practical experience to young people in lighting, sound, stage production and management.
The station is powered largely by young people with a few experienced heads to guide things. At the studio launch on Tuesday, the youngest behind the microphone was Lily aged 7, who helped kick off the show with Emilee (10).
Station operator David Carr said: “It’s great to see young people getting an opportunity on our platform. They’re doing what they love and we are here to support them.
“For example, we had an 11-year-old DJ on our show yesterday and for someone of his age, there just aren’t any opportunities elsewhere.
“We’re all about giving a voice to young people and teaching them vital skills such as teamwork and communication, alongside the technology side.
“Our motto is that we are a station powered by young people, providing a voice for your community.”
The service now streams 24 hours, with special shows as and when necessary. Yesterday saw nine shows broadcast, on a range of topics from music, sport and TV, with 19 different people behind the mic, ranging from ages 7-59.
The project first began life in April over Zoom because of lockdown restrictions but those have eased to the point where people can now use the studio while adhering to social distancing measures. The ability to make the move was partly due to Acting Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire Ray Bisby. He awarded Young Technicians a grant from his Youth and Community Fund to pay for the new equipment.
Mr Bisby attended the launch event alongside several other dignitaries, including Whittlesey Mayor Cllr David Mason and The Voice Kids runner-up George Elliott.
According to Young Technicians themselves, the support of so many people has been vital and has helped them revolutionise the content they are able to put out.
David added: “It was initially Pino’s idea and we’d played around with it for a while but we decided to give it a try during lockdown.
“Our first broadcast would have been our Saturday, Saturday show. We encountered a few problems, which is to be expected doing things online but we had a really good response from our students about the idea and soon added a youth show.
“We had an installation day on August 13 and it has transformed the radio station. We can bounce off each other so much better in person, it’s been very eye opening how next level everything has become.
“The response has been fantastic and we’ve had lots of people in the community telling us how professional we sound, it’s very humbling.
“We are always looking out for anyone with a story to tell or a passion for radio who would like to get involved.”
People can listen to the station online at www.fenlandyouthradio.com, as well as on android and the app store and even on Amazon Alexa. Anyone interested in getting involved has been encouraged to get in touch via the website.