I hope you all enjoyed Christmas with family, friends and loved ones. It was such a magical, sunny day in St Albans and surprisingly quiet (except for the shops on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day!). As we inch closer to New Year’s Eve on Tuesday 31st December, I’d like to wish you all the best for 2020 (quite incredible to believe we are descending upon a new decade). Thank you for your continued support of the station and giving up your time to do something worthwhile for the community.
On that note, I’m not one to set new year’s resolutions anymore, however, I’d like to put a volunteer challenge out to us all. At last count, we were around 90+ volunteers. Here’s my quick question for you – how many people have you met face-to-face and know personally? Looking through the names, I’ve met around 80 of you, with the other 10 still pending. In 2020, I’d love to see us get to know each other more, not just through social media chats or emails, but be able to put faces to names and increase the collaboration that goes on already. We have SO many talented people in our fold and it makes me really happy when people finally get to meet each other.
My suggestions – please try and meet someone new at least once a month (or more!):
- Drop into the station if you are around St Albans on a Saturday, you’ll meet a number of the weekend team and the buzz they create.
- If you are new, book your studio practice time when other shows are on, you’ll get to meet other presenters/producers and see how they do things.
- Observe a show or offer to help one of your fellow volunteers with show prep, research, tech-ops … it’s a great way to exchange tips and grow your skills
- Come along to a volunteer social gathering or, organise a coffee or pub catch up with other volunteers through the WhatsApp or Facebook group
- Mentoring – so many volunteers I know of have helped train people this year: Andy Waterfield, Darrell Andrews, Jonny Seabrook, Ed Barradell, Dave Neal, Dave Adcock, Tony Rice, Nick Hazell, Kerry Cobb, Steve Simpson, Richard Edwards, Robbie Dove (well, the whole Drive team to be honest!), Dereck Staines, the Parents Show team and Bouche A Oreille team, plus more. This is an area I’d really like to see develop and sincere thanks to everyone who has helped another volunteer on their journey.
- Volunteer at one of our planned external events in 2020 – a great way to meet listeners and other volunteers!
Some highlights of 2019
- In February we held the first of one of our volunteer-led training sessions, with a group of us learning how to use Audacity for production of shows.
- In March, we welcomed 10 new volunteers who went through a Bootcamp weekend training session and then on air as St Albans Drive presenters the following week. Over the last couple of months, they have been training Uni of Herts work experience students, with Robbie Dove stepping up as team leader and lead producer.
- During May – July over 35 daytime presenters had one-on-one mentoring and training with a radio industry professional. They gained insights, tips on areas for improvement and positive feedback on aspects of their show’s production. Also, Sara Garcia Moran joined as our Marketing manager.
- During July – September Faye Penford and Steve Simpson joined the Verulam in the Morning team. Both had only been with the station for a few months and are now solo presenting Thursdays & Fridays.
- In October, Verulam Sports and our Radio Verulam website were recognised by peers in the Community Radio Awards. Both won silver and this really highlighted how Radio Verulam is respected by other community stations and colleagues. Also, in other award-winning news, Ed Barradell became our Volunteer training coordinator.
- In December, we invited 4 new volunteers into new roles as GMSA breakfast presenters alongside Kerry Cobb. This was the third round of ‘team’ recruitment and shows we are well and truly on the way to enabling more community members to get involved in local programming. Including, a Digital media coordinator role seeing Callum Marius join us as the last (and crucial!) volunteer; helping Ren to take on a broader role as Digital media editor.
Over the course of this time, we also inducted over 50 new volunteers (some have since moved on), held over half a dozen training sessions (social media, traffic & travel, legal & regulatory, webinars etc), participated in numerous external events in St Albans and Hertfordshire and applied to become an accredited volunteer organisation (through Communities 1st). On another note, we are pending charitable status as a CIO. It’s been a big year – challenging and rewarding, with a lot of hard work from many, many people.
In saying all that, here’s to the next year – with a focus on training, fundraising and empowering more volunteers to deliver on social gain for St Albans & beyond.
"I get a lot of letters from people saying, 'How do I get into radio, how do I get into telly?' and I wish there was an answer because there's no ladder. There are no parameters. You've just got to go in wherever you can, make the tea, and slowly make your way up the ladder."
Marketing roles and volunteer coordinator roles: During January, I will be focusing on marketing coordinators and volunteer coordinators. If you or anyone you know has a marketing or volunteer management background, I would love to hear from them.
Other volunteer roles: 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: https://radioverulam.com/volunteer/.
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/
If you present, produce or do pre-records, you ALWAYS need to book the studio to do so.
- Log into RV Inside
- Under the Operations tab – click Bookings
- Choose Book Studio Time
- Select the relevant day, timeframe and studio (either A or B)
- Complete the form, including your name and reason
- Check your email for a booking confirmation
As always, feel free to drop me a line with any feedback or suggestions: email@example.com