Internal blog post
Operations Manager Update #22

Afternoon everyone,

Less than five weeks 'til Christmas!

The Festive season is well and truly upon us with the Christmas Cracker Street Festival a great hit last Sunday. Big thanks to Clive, Ed, Dave A, Peter G, Gemma, Amy, Daniel, Klaudia, Ren and Sara for making this outside broadcast happen. Also, our Uni of Herts work experience students: Roxanna, Daniel, Gabby and Jordan and the St Albans Museum for letting us set up inside. There are some lovely images on the volunteer group and throughout social media. If you missed it (like me) the Harpenden Christmas Carnival is this Sunday 24 November. Radio Verulam will be inside the Methodist Church on the High Street, be sure to pop down and say hi if you are around!

COMMUNITY RADIO UPDATES

Community Radio and prison radio: On Friday 1 November, Steve Shrimpton (St Albans Drive presenter, and also a volunteer at Gateway 97.8) and I were invited to Radio Wanno at HM Prison Wandsworth. Held as a collaboration between the Community Media Association, Local Radio Alliance, Community Radio Awards and Riverside Radio, the day was designed to bring the sector together to explore partnerships and pathways. Radio Production NCFE Qualifications (Level 1 & 2) are proving to be positive methods to help rehabilitate individuals and make them work-ready. And, one of the best things I heard from the tutors is the 12-week radio production course for offenders has a profoundly transformative effect.

Grant applications: In the last six weeks, the board, Andy and I have applied for a number of grants and funds. This is time-intensive work and if successful, will help us in delivering different strands of programming and create options for volunteer and community involvement: Women and Girls' Fund (Tampon Tax Community Fund) – we have proposed women’s programming, Police & Crime Commissioners Fund – for community bulletins, crime and safety programming, Audio Content Fund – for locally themed dramas and also, the Ofcom and Council Community Funds. Watch this space for updates.

Valuing Volunteer Management Six-Point Promise: over the last few months, I have been working on a project to accredit Radio Verulam as a best practice volunteer organisation in Hertfordshire. I am pleased to say, Communities 1st are reviewing our application at present. Once approved, we will be awarded a certificate and recognised throughout the sector.

Mental Health First Aid England training: Last week I attended a two-day course to gain certification in this area; as there is a significant need in tv, film and radio production to ensure producers are equipped in this area. I am grateful to have been offered a place by the organisation holding the course, in my capacity as a radio producer. As a volunteer organisation, Radio Verulam is committed to ensuring we can help identify, understand and help people access support who may be experiencing a mental health issue. If any of you are interested in attending, you can contact Mental Health First Aid England.

Hertfordshire Police community bulletins: I'm pleased to say an initiative we kicked off last month, to have regular police-community bulletins, has now found a home on Friday Verulam in the Morning with Steve Simpson. Every 2-3 weeks, members of the Hertfordshire Constabulary will provide our audiences with updates on crime, safety information and community events. Many thanks to Steve for helping to get this community segment going.

Toilet Twinning: Big thanks again to Steve Simpson and everyone involved for getting the Radio Verulam toilet on the map. A number of us donated £60 towards the Toilet Twinning charity which helps build basic toilets and provide access to clean water in poor communities. This concept was started by the St Albans Soroptomists, and I believe St Albans now has 19-20, of which 30 toilets will make St Albans an official 'toilet twinned city'.

RECRUITMENT

Breakfast presenter roles: I have shortlisted candidates and am in the process of finalising successful applicants. New presenters will start their training next week from Monday 25 Nov.

Community Circle manager: We’d love to hear from someone who is enthusiastic about helping not for profits and charities become a part of our community programme. It is a great way to develop relationships and be the person who enables their  important work to be shared in the wider community: https://radioverulam.com/team-role/community-circle-manager/

Other volunteer roles: If you or someone you know has skills in the following areas, please get involved or direct them to the website: https://radioverulam.com/volunteer/. We are an award-winning community station, brimming with local content, supporting our community everyday and always need committed passionate volunteers to help us grow our local footprint.

Studio bookings

Firstly, thank you to everyone who books their studio time when needed. Unfortunately, I am still receiving messages weekly of studio clashes when people have either not booked or overstayed their slot. As a consequence, we will be introducing a new policy as of next week.

It disappoints me that this still happens. We are a radio station and studio bookings should be one of the first things you do. Double-check and triple-check if needed. This is a standard industry practice and part and parcel of presenting or pre-recording content.

As I’ve mentioned before, engineering needs to know who is in the studios and when. As do other volunteers. 55 people are engaged in shows and some people are travelling from home or work, only to turn around and go back again. Please be respectful of fellow volunteer’s time too.

If you need the process here it is. Or, better yet, bookmark it or do repeat bookings. There are many ways to manage this – plenty of volunteers are doing so already. Talk to others and share knowledge. We are a volunteer team and depend on each other to do the right thing.

 You need to book the studio for live shows and pre-records.

  1. Log into RV Inside
  2. Under the Operations tab – click Bookings
  3. Choose Book Studio Time
  4. Select the relevant day, timeframe and studio (either A or B)
  5. Complete the form, including your name and reason
  6. Check your email for a booking confirmation

As always, feel free to drop me a line with any feedback or suggestions: leona.fensome@radioverulam.com