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Clarion resident keeps local people entertained and up-to-date during lockdown through community radio

Clarion Housing Group

Steve Medlin is the Chair of the Ferndale Community Tenants Group in Plymouth and works with Clarion to address issues raised by local residents and support the community. He is well-known and popular amongst local people having started initiatives such as coach trips for the over 50s, but his main passion is community radio.

In July 2019, Ferndale Community Tenants Group secured funding from Clarion Futures, our charitable foundation, to purchase equipment to start Ferndale Community Radio. Steve runs the radio station with his son, Ryan, and along with eighteen other volunteer presenters entertain and inform local residents through an extensive schedule of programmes.

When lockdown began, Steve understood that they had to find a way to continue broadcasting to ensure local people had something to take their mind off things and stay connected. Unable to use the studio at the community centre, Steve purchased five micro-studio kits to enable programmes to be broadcast over the internet from the presenters’ homes. Since moving to the presenters’ homes, the station evolved, broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with their listener numbers growing and including people from all over the UK and other parts of the world.

In addition to broadcasting, Steve and some of his volunteer presenters made food and medicine deliveries to local people who were shielding and unable to leave their homes.

Steve Medlin said, “Being a good neighbour isn’t just about looking out for those living next door, but the whole community and that’s why I’ve got involved in so many projects and initiatives in my area. The community radio station is my passion and it’s great that we’ve been able to continue broadcasting during the coronavirus outbreak, keeping people up-to-date and entertained. Without support from organisations like Clarion Futures we wouldn’t be able to run many of our community initiatives so I’d like to say a big thank you.”

Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities at Clarion Futures, said: “Residents like Steve make a huge difference to communities, and it’s great to hear that he’s been able to continue broadcasting during these difficult times. We’re delighted to have supported the creation of Ferndale Community Radio and look forward to seeing the station continue to grow, providing information and entertainment to local people.”