When community radio station Awaaz FM started they had no listeners and just £50 of funding available.
But thanks to their mix of talented volunteer presenters and their commitment to their community the station now regularly broadcasts to more than 15,000 people, helping them feel connected to their community and inspired to get involved in their local area.
Run entirely by volunteers, Awaaz FM is open to anyone, but particularly focuses on the Pakistani, Indian, Malayalam, Greek, Spanish and Pesian communities in and around Portsmouth and Southampton.
They aim to offer shows featuring music, chat and phone-ins but Ali also makes sure members of their target audience are informed on a range of local news and issues.
Project manager and presenter Ali Beg explained: “We offer a wide range of shows including a weekly programme where members of our community are encouraged to come to the studio and participate in a discussion on local issues with local councillors and other representatives.
“We also arrange regular activities such as workshops, seminars and training. Each workshop helps to upskill participants while the seminars inform them on issues to do with health and social welfare.”
Felix Pastor is one of the station’s volunteer presenters. He found that his experience of volunteering changed his life. Felix said: “Awaaz FM helped me when no-one else would and if it wasn’t for the radio project, I would still be having no social life.
“I don’t have friends or family here and before joining Awaaz the only thing I would do is go to work, finish late, come home, eat, sleep and go to work again next day.
“Today, the success of my own community project lies with the fact that I got confidence and inspiration from Awaaz.”
Now the station want to reach an even bigger audience, especially the elderly and other vulnerable people. To achieve this they need people to follow them on social media and spread the word, and they also need donations of computing equipment to support their volunteer presenters.
Ali explained: “As a community project, we are always looking to improve and technology is changing fast.
“To be able to keep up with this, we need to keep in-house technology updated. We are always looking for laptops and PCs to help support our presenters, especially the disabled, who can sometimes find it difficult to come to the studio so a laptop makes it easier to work from home.”
If you think you can help then visit awaazfm.co.uk or find them on social:
Original Article by Jenna Sloan