Internal blog post
Weekly update – 8 May 2020

Another busy week for many of us.

On air this week you might have heard a man who is cycling 1000km virtually for Rennie Grove and other charities, Wagada on digital marketing for businesses in difficult times, the Pioneer Club, a shout to look out for a missing cockatiel, previews for a new short series drama from the Company of Ten airing next Monday to Friday at midday, the airing of an original drama about a weight-loss club, a series of pieces on carares and acring for people narrated by Giles Bramdreth, a local business which has won a Queens Award, Liz Marcy from the Council on the virtual VE Day celebrations, the Parents Show on Covid lockdown for separated families, and that only scratches the surface.  Amazing.

If that looks busy on air, it is even busier off air.  A short power cut at the studios and the associated work getting things back up and fully running, a couple of internet issues, a Board meeting, a virtual quiz raising money for us and the St Albans and Hertsmere Womens Refuge, the signing off of our company accounts, managing programming in the drama items, running the Myriad logs again for another week, making two advertising sales and invoicing for them, reaching out to BBC Three Counties to collaborate, and I've probably missed a bunch of stuff.

All of which says we are really punching way above our weight right now...well done to us all.  It also says we need to build teams to sustain and grow our activity.  Too much rests on a few people and Elly Parselle our new volunteer manager has been quick to identify that and start forming teams.  Many of you should now know who your team leader is and some team meetings have already taken place.

I know many of you want to know when we will be returning to normal.  None of us knows for sure, and the Government is also being careful to not set expectations on what will be relaxed when.  We do know, though, that we are very unlikely to be back in the studios soon and we won't be back to anything like normal use probably for the rest of this year.  We might be proved wrong, but our premises are small and don't lend themselves to the kind of safe working practices which are going to be required.

We are looking at ways to widen the number of people who can contribute on air but please don't expect this to be a quick thing.  You can probably imagine the amount of work required to train and help us to get the necessary software working and used at home and it will require people to have suitable microphones and environments to work in.  This is going to be a phased thing and we will be guided by Andy on the priorities, and it won't all be full programmes; it might be reports, interviews, podcasts or short features.

On finances, there is a lot to be done.  We do have some good news; the latest cashflow forecast which the Board reviewed this week shows an improved position and we are not going to run out of money (probably) before the end of the year.  BUT that assumes that on average we raise £300-400 each month from fundraising activities like the virtual quiz held this week.  So, please put your thinking (and doing!) caps on.

Speaking of which, well done to the team who put together and ran the quiz today.  It was a tremendous success with 45 people or teams attending.  We don't have the money raised total yet, but this smashed through our defined success criteria of 20 attendees for our first quiz.

As always, ask if you have questions.