Every morning on our way to work or to drop off the kids we turn on the radio to put that extra pep in our step. It’s no secret that music helps us get through the day – but the radio has those extra perks; from traffic reports ensuring you aren’t late to incredible DJ’s and presenters giving us those laughs we need, especially in the morning. There are a range of different stations with something to suit everyone.
East London Radio is an online radio station, run entirely by volunteers from East London with an emphasis on talk radio and giving a voice, and radio experience/training to local people. They’ll be four years old in 2017 and, having had studio bases in four other boroughs of East London, they’ve now come to Redbridge! Their local base is in the beautiful location of The Cranbrook Centre in Valentines Park.
East London Radio (ELR) wants to give Redbridge a voice, without party politics or religion, a way to share the news of what’s really happening in our area. They are seeking major local sponsors and advertisers to help fund the community project, as well as giving local people the chance to volunteer a few hours week to learn and make some great local radio.
We managed to have a sit down with the Managing Director of ELR, Ian Chambers, for more information on this great idea.
- What inspires ELR?
East London Radio is a social enterprise set up in 2013 to give a voice to all East Londoners, to positively promote the area and give volunteers training to help their employability, including wishing to pursue a media career. A team of over 70 volunteers currently run the station.
- What makes you unique from any other radio station
We have a focus on talk radio, so that we can promote the amazing things happening across the area, which no-one else is talking about in the media. We are working on improving the whole image of the area, which until now has typically been too negative in mainstream media.
- What sort of training is provided?
We offer whatever training people need to make radio shows on East London, which can include technical, planning, communication skills, team working, voice coaching and much more. Through partners we work with groups from East London schools to make radio shows, and have introduced over 1,000 children to making radio so far.
- What other boroughs are you set up in?
We currently have studios in Waltham Forest, Newham and Tower Hamlets, and previously were in Hackney. We are excited to be launching in Redbridge in 2017.
- Do you play any music, if so what genres?
Overall, we aim to appeal to a broad range of East Londoners. We try to make our music selections different to what can be heard elsewhere, and have built up big followings for particular shows, such as a Drum n Bass show which is regularly in the Top 20 of such shows worldwide, Kizomba shows and Vintage music shows. If anyone wants to suggest an unusual music format needing an audience, we’re happy to see if it would work.
- Can you tell us how many presenters you have / a little bit about your presenters?
We have a team of over 70 volunteers, from all backgrounds and a wide range of ages, from our minimum age of 18 to those aged in their 70’s. Everyone is welcome. Some of our volunteers have moved onto employment, including placements with the BBC and radio production companies. One has moved on to a show on Virgin Radio.
- Plans for the future?
We want to continue to grow and spread across East London, and are always happy to work with local organisations and businesses in terms of joint activities, sponsorship and advertising. We want to make East London Radio the number one media choice by and for East Londoners
- Any other information you have about the radio station that you may feel is useful?
For the past year or so, we have had a good working relationship with Enterprise Desk in Redbridge Library, building a very popular business show. To start at our new Redbridge base, we need a small team of volunteers to make radio once every week or so.
If this sounds of interest, they’d love to hear from you.
If you’d like to find out more about the various roles available for volunteers – technical, presenting, reporting, behind the scenes work, just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Please include that it’s the Ilford studio you’d like to volunteer at, and that you heard about it here.
And give them a listen – www.eastlondonradio.org.uk and via free iPhone and Android apps