As the country faces another national lockdown, one charity in Kendal has been able to transform the service they offer thanks to additional funding for vital technical systems.
Funds made available from Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund has allowed for vital upgrades to be made possible at Bay Trust Radio.
The funding allows the charity’s volunteers to continue their roles from home whilst COVID-19 restrictions are in place. The upgrades focused on the radio station’s systems which are responsible for playing out music, news and interviews and means that presenters can prepare, produce and present programmes from home with ease. It also means that the station is continuing to broadcast local radio programmes all day every day, and volunteers will have the option to continue doing this from home in the future if they can’t travel to the studios.
Additional funding provided by Cumbria Community Foundation brought a new system online – allowing volunteers to control, produce and present live programmes from their homes and will also be used for attending events and creating special programmes in the future – without the need for large equipment.
The funding comes as the station celebrates the highest listening figures in the station’s history, with a huge increase in listeners during the last 12 months.
Station Manager, John Williamson, said: “2020 has been an extremely challenging year for us. Like most charities we had to change the way our service operated during lockdowns, local restrictions, social distancing and everything else that has changed all of our lives. Our aim has been to adapt as quickly and effectively as possible, so our service continues to be the best it can be for local people who have come to us for updates and entertainment. This especially important in the times we find ourselves in, where patients in our hospitals can’t have visitors and all of us are having to stay at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
“The funding we have received will allow our volunteers to conduct as much of their role remotely as they like – whether that is preparing their shows before coming to the studio or going live from their own home studios. It will also allow us to do even more outside broadcasts in the future, so the team will be out in our local community as much as we can when events are able to run again. We are extremely grateful to Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund for making this possible alongside additional funding from Cumbria Community Foundation and our local NHS Trust.”
The Kendal based radio station can already be heard online through their website, apps and smart speakers as well as on Channel 1 of Hospedia units in Westmorland General Hospital, Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Blackpool Victoria Hospital. As part of their upgrade, Bay Trust Radio shows are now also available on demand through Mixcloud.
Bay Trust Radio is also gearing up to launch on digital radio in 2021, when the station will be available across North Lancashire and South Cumbria on DAB+. The station is actively looking for new sponsors who would like to support the charity, click here to find out more.