Vintage Radio is a community radio station aimed mainly at the over 50s and run entirely by volunteers. The project was conceived in 2008 and set up as a pilot scheme with the help of a grant from Help the Aged, now Age UK, to show how older people still contribute to society and in doing so can help others of like mind.
The concept they chose was that of a radio station broadcast to older people listening in their homes and cars.
The emphasis was to be on how the more mature sections of our community could learn the mechanisms of programme preparation and production with some of them actually broadcasting ‘live’ on air. The procedure was initiated by an advertisement in a local paper and resulted in a substantial response from people of widely different backgrounds.
Suitable training was provided and the result was a short spell on the air in February 2009 with a nine-day restricted service licence (RSL), broadcasting to parts of Wirral and central Liverpool. Content included interviews, discussion, information, advice, history, stories, poetry and drama much of which was original and music for all tastes with some very knowledgeable presenters.
Clearly this was a winning formula because soon afterwards Vintage Radio was runner up in the National Counsel and Care Awards in 2009 for portrayal of older people in the media. The winner was the BBC but then they are a bit better resourced than us!
With grants from Wirral Borough Council, Riverside Housing and the Media Trust and the continuing support of Birkenhead YMCA, it was possible to run a second successful RSL in November 2009, this time for 22 days.
Between RSLs we have maintained a presence on the internet broadcasting every day. The station is now broadcasting on the internet between 9am and midnight each day and new programme content is being created on a regular basis.
Some of our Vintage Radio volunteers, as part of a project in conjunction with the Media Trust, recorded on-site discussion material with elderly residents from Abbeyfield home, Birkenhead, which were then broadcast by the station.
In June 2011 Vintage Radio scooped the ‘Community Voices’ category award – one of eight categories contested by 250 nominated projects across the UK – at the Technology4Good (T4G) awards in London. Volunteers from Vintage Radio were presented with their award by TV and radio star Mariella Frostrup.
Our objective is to get a permanent community licence and to involve more people as listeners and give them a chance to broadcast. We hold open days, run outside broadcasts from community events and encourage people to come along and have a go. We offer practical advice to those who want to join us and contribute.
We are just about to complete our brand new studio at the YMCA which will give us a lot more space for our operation.
Nearly all of our members were new to radio in 2009 and now really enjoy it so if you fancy listening to our broadcasts and maybe joining us, please drop us an email at email@example.com or ring 0151 601 7636. The station is always pleased to receive offers of help, financial and content as well as being open to new members.
Click on the ‘listen live’ button on the station website at http://vintageradio.org.uk to listen to what we broadcast.
While Vintage Radio is studio based in Birkenhead, there are a number of programme producers from the CH64 area and local projects within the area are often produced, including for those Age UK National, in Neston, and The 2012 Willaston Festival.