Since our conception we have had multiple presenters going on to work at various stations (BBC London, Viking FM, Aire FM, The Pulse and Galaxy in New York) and one of our former Breakfast presenters Andy Kelly keeps cropping up on a variety of TV programmes from Mastermind to Heaven And Earth.
We had 6 successful broadcasts over the years on restricted service licences with an aim to become a fully licensed 24/7 community radio station; a goal that we achieved in December of 2006. Our aim for the future is to develop further as a station and proving roadshows across the area.
Radio can be a far more potent force than television for getting messages across to people. Phoenix is a committed member of the Community Radio Association whose code of practice is to take positive action to ensure that the needs of the listening audience is met through selective program scheduling and by listening and acting on what our audience tells us they want!
Phoenix FM allows local talent the ability to show Calderdale what they can do, featuring local musicians, comedians, bands, poets, actors, writers and businessmen and women, as well as highlighting issues which affect the local community such as housing, education, sport, disabilities and local recruitment availability.
With support from the European Social Fund and the Learning + Skills Council we were able to set up a radio based training scheme for young people aged 16-25, the Phoenix Radio Empower Project offering the Youth Achievement Award. Through this training we went from being an unknown quantity to gaining much support and interest both locally and nationally. We have been recognised as the first in the country to develop CD-ROM-based portfolios for this Award. The Phoenix Radio Empower Project was the result of a dream to support the community of Calderdale, in particular the younger people who make up our future, when we were off-air. It hasn’t only been about empowering it has also been run in the spirit of inclusion. We have since contracted with e2e (entry 2 employment) to continue this programme.
Our learners have all come from different backgrounds and had different abilities but all have worked together to create successes for themselves and their colleagues.
Everybody can benefit from a radio station with a community basis. We aim to build bridges and bridge gaps throughout Calderdale.
We are always looking for dedicated volunteers who are committed to supporting Calderdale’s very own radio station.
Phoenix is staffed by volunteers, mainly from in and around Calderdale but with some from further afield. Some have previous broadcasting experience, others do not, but all have a commitment to providing Calderdale with interesting and topical chat alongside local news, views and events, including a vastly diverse range of music to suit any ear.
It allows people the opportunity to work in the medium of radio and to develop skills that may be transferable to other areas of work and social outlets.
The station serves as a voice for community groups to be promoted throughout the area, and runs training for people who are not familiar with technical skills on radio equipment as well as developing their IT skills – this increases communication skills as well as building confidence.