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Licence Number CR003
Station Name Cross Rhythms City Radio
Launch Date 01/01/2006
Web address where you will publish this report www.crossrhythms.co.uk/radio/cityradio/keycommitmentsreport2010
1.2 Key commitments: programming
The programming will, first and foremost, aim to satisfy the needs of the community for local news and information. It will also air issue-led content that provides opportunities for discussion and interaction, which will address moral, social and ethical issues. Listeners will be encouraged to participate in such discussion-led programming. Music will be predominantly of the Christian genre.
1) Our live programming output has maintained the 75% music to 25% speech ratio.
2) The music we play is virtually always by Christian artists (99%), whether in the mainstream, independent or in the so called Christian industry. We regularly receive feedback from listeners as to the value of the positive lyrics to their lives. Having been running for 8 years now, since the original pilot scheme we have established and maintained many programmes including 13 specialist shows that we produce and syndicate to other stations worldwide, shows such as The Rock & Hard Place (Rock), Soulcure (Urban), Street Flava (Hip Hop), Shekinah Reggae Show (Reggae), Independents Day (Indie Artists), Profile Special (Interview based music profile), CR Top Ten (chart show), CR Experience (flagship programme), and four youth targeted music and Christian teaching shows: Audacious, RockNations, Girls’ Night In and Theshowwithnoname. In addition we have maintained other shows which are produced by us but we don’t offer to other stations. These are a weekly ‘life story’ show called Close Encounters (similar to Desert Island Discs); a weekly 2 hour worship and prayer programme (Tues 10pm to midnight) called Breakthrough Nights (this programme is produced in partnership with certain local churches, the Beacon House Of Prayer, City Vision Ministries and The Saltbox); and Koinocopia (a weekly one hour teaching programme with dance music). We have maintained these throughout the year and seen an increase from 33 to 53 different stations worldwide pick up the syndicated options, totalling 180 weekly programmes scheduled on these stations. 10 of these shows are produced/presenters by volunteers who also promote their shows through their own networks/databases/events. We continue to supply specifically worship music for one and a half hours each day (Verticality). In addition to these programmes we run the daily ‘staple diet’ of traditional breakfast, morning, drive and early evening shows, all of which carry a variety of styles of Christian music – rock, pop, hip hop, R&B, urban, soul, rap etc.
3) Many of the programmes mentioned above carry strong speech elements as well as their music content. For example Theshowwithnoname is theme based every week tackling Christian themes such as holiness, fasting, prayer, church etc; Girls’ Night In tackles typically female topics such as beauty, eating disorders, self image etc; Close Encounters is a one hour interview show where a local guest shares their life story, such as how they coped with losing a spouse, going through cancer etc; RockNations is typically a biblical teaching programme aimed at youth and Audacious carries similar elements as well as lively fun and games interaction. The music shows (Rock, Reggae, Urban, Hip Hop, Independent shows) typically carry regular interviews with music artists and Profile Special is a one hour music artist interview profile show. Outside of the specific programmes mentioned above Interviews come up in pretty much all our daily programmes ie breakfast, morning, drive and early evening. These interviews cover information and relevance for the local Christian community and for the wider community (details given later on). We run IRN news on the hour, plus we produce a local news slot every hour between 7:30am and 5:30pm. We present travel updates during breakfast and drive, an event guide in breakfast and drive, and weather forecasts each hour. We run hourly social and spiritual comments (1 minute features). Audience interaction comes through emails, text messages, phone calls, a special online feature we have developed on our website which we call an E-TXT (which links straight through to the live studio), also through Twitter and Facebook and through our online Live Radio Chatroom.
4) We still broadcast in English only.
5) We have maintained 15 hours live programming on Tuesdays and 13 hours for Wednesdays and Thursdays. Currently on Monday and Friday evenings we are running some of our pre-recorded specialist programmes meaning we are doing 10 hours live on those days at the moment. When we run outside broadcasts this increases the live programming hours. We also occasionally give live on air training to new presenters in the weekday evenings between 10pm and midnight. We were doing 4 hours live on a Saturday in the first part of the year but currently this is on 2 hours; we hope to soon increase this to 6 hours on a Saturday and 4 hours on a Sunday. The average number of live hours each month, based on a 30 day month, is 277. When we run live outside broadcasts during weekends or late evenings this increases. As mentioned in previous years we no longer take the sustaining service from our former satellite radio service. The average number of original hours per month that we generate (excluding overnight automated music and simple features from Midnight to 6am, and excluding repeats) totals 504 hours.
1.3 Key commitments: Social gain objectives (a) The provision of sound broadcasting services to individuals who are otherwise underserved
Our provision for the Christian community of Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme over the year includes:
1) Our continuous Christian music output.
2) Hourly social and spiritual 1 minute thoughts
3) Daily short morning feature sharing individual life stories of faith
4) Each weekday we run Life Chat a ‘Thought For the Day’ type feature with local church leaders.
5) Our Verticality worship programmes provide contemporary worship music that connects with younger Christians as well as old.
6) The early evening show, Rimmerama, specifically does a lot of interviews with Christian music artists. In the year on this show alone there were 92 interviews with UK artists and 110 with international artists.
7) Our later evening programmes are specifically geared for Christian listeners (the daytime is when we feature most of the interviews and features on and with the wider community and as such are accessible for both Christians and the wider community). In the evenings we run Christian lifestyle and teaching programmes such as Audacious, Realtime, RockNations, Theshowwithnoname, Girls’ Night In, Hope In Anguish, Koinocopia (one hour teaching using seminars from Christian festivals) and Close Encounters (one hour life stories from a faith perspective).
8) The Breakthrough Nights programme brings worship and prayer focus from church leaders to the city.
9) Daily we profile local events relevant to Christians in our Event Guide
10) We attend local events and initiatives run by churches and Christian groups doing interviews, reports and Outside Broadcasts, such as: The Embrace worship day; Bethel City Church Bluetree gig; The Gospel Christmas Spectacular live from the Victoria Hall; The Potter’s House Carnival; Interface youth events (a collaboration of local youth leaders putting on termly events, of which Cross Rhythms is a partner); and Adoration 09, a Christian music festival that we were a partner of and attracted a couple thousand people to the town of Burslem in Stoke-on-Trent (we ran a Live Radio Café where we broadcast continuously for two days and also ran a café at the same time).
11) Of special note is the Heart For Haiti event. Organised by a local Methodist Church, over 2000 people turned up to raise £40,000 for Compassion projects in Haiti. We not only broadcast the event live to Stoke-on-Trent, and online, but we built with ten other radio stations who took our feed live and broadcast the concert on their stations. These included other community stations Alive, Revival, Hope FM, Cross Rhythms Plymouth, Cross Rhythms Teesside, Branch FM and Shine FM.
12) We partner with the Beacon House Of Prayer every week for the Breakthrough Nights prayer programme.
13) We partnered with a ‘churches together’, 40 days of prayer and fasting for the city, providing daily updates of churches participating.
14) We run daily interviews with relevant Christian artists, worship leaders, authors, local, national and international church leaders, individuals, organisations and events, both local and wider afield, examples include artists such as Dweeb, thebandwithnoname, Victizzle, Matt Redman, London Community Gospel Choir, Natalie Grant, Ben Cantelon, The Steels, Rob Halligan and hundreds more; leaders such as Dr Joseph D’Souza (Dalit People’s Group), Andy Flanagan (Christian Socialist Movement), Karen Porter (Prayer Walking), Michele Guinness (Author), Eric Delve (Detling Festival), Andrea Williams (Christian Legal Centre), Mal Fletcher (Edges.TV), Steve Clifford (Evangelical Alliance), Lloyd Cooke (Saltbox), Paul Calvert (youth leader based in Israel), Phil Williams (Christian Surfers), Ben Cooley (Hope For Justice), Christine Marshall (Christian Aid), Martin Smith (Delirious?), Timin Robins (Betel Drug Rehab Centre), Care For The Family, Tony Homes (Operation Christmas Child), and loads more; and national events we have broadcast live from including Detling Festival, Audacious and Rock Nations.
1.4 Key commitments: Social gain objectives (b) The facilitation of discussion and the expression of opinion
1) Many of our guests are from the wider local community. Every fortnight we run the Mayor On Air update from the Elected Mayor of Stoke-On-Trent Mark Meredith, inviting opportunity for people to email or phone in questions. From May 2009 the Mayoral system of council governance ended, following a referendum. Instead, we continued our updates with a monthly update from the new Council leader, Cllr Ross Irving.
Regular Slots & Partnership Projects include:
We also regularly touch base with groups such as Staffs Fire & Rescue; Citizen’s Advice Bureau; Learning & Skills Council; Stoke Young People’s and Children’s Services, Regent Theatre & Victoria Hall (local venues); Media Action Group For Mental Health (including profile of their annual Sanity Fair), the Six Towns One City Carnival, City Centre Management Team, North Staffs Regeneration Partnership, YMCA, HM Revenue & Customs, INSTAFFS (Inward business development), Business Brokers, Douglas Macmillan Hospice, ARCH North Staffs, VAST, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Library Services, the Local Strategic Partnership and many others.
There are numerous one off guests, either local, national or international. To give a broad understanding of the level of our local support for the local community here is a rather long selection of examples of interviews with local organisations and people:
1. Melanie Firman from Potteries Museum and Art Gallery shares about what’s on at the museum.
2. Janet Scrivens head of life long learning shares about courses at Newcastle College.
3. Jo Hine from JET share about the project to help people with employment.
4. Dallas Cott from PHMG shares about Staffordshire Hoard.
5. Simon Harris from CAB shares about finance and debt advice.
6. Simon Harris from CAB share about the new Discrimination Service.
7. Mike Broad and Dan Chan share about outreach in Penkhull.
8. Julie Obada from Stoke on Trent Tourism Department tells us about their recent regional award and places that people seem to most want to visit in Stoke on Trent.
9. Denise Deakin from organisation Face to Face shares about supporting parents with disabled children in Stoke on Trent
10. Dr Anne Loweth the Head of the School of Life Sciences at Keele University shares their Silver Swan Award for the recruitment of women to science degree's.
11. Josephine Locke from Mum2Mum shares about increasing breastfeeding in Stoke on Trent.
12. Rachel from WEA shares about fitness training for the Potters Alf Marathon.
13. Alan Baxter from the WEA shares about 10 week health courses in the community for adults.
14. Cassie Weaver from Canals in the Community shares about volunteering to clean up canals in Stoke.
15. Interface gig organisers Amy and Lizzie share about the youth music event.
16. Carol Salt lead for Children’s Centres in Stoke on Trent about children transitioning to.
17. Councillor Robin Studd talks about buildings in Newcastle under Lyme that have been awarded prizes for excellence in design
18. Local Special Education expert Joanne Munro shares about the curriculum.
19. Jade a graduate from Newcastle Under Lyme College shares about upcoming fun-run.
20. Trevor Smith from the Newcastle under Lyme Community Safety team talks about the new talking signs that warn people to keep their cars safe.
21. Mayor Marion Redish shares about her upcoming sponsored walk for Arch North Staffs and the Peter Pan Nursery.
22. Dallas Cott the Culture & Arts Manager for Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council tells us about the present Mattisse art show at Newcastle Museum & Art Gallery
23. Lisa Rilly head of accommodation for Arch North Staffs sharing about issues faced by the homeless over winter months and she also mentioned the domestic violence.
24. Local mum Tracy talks about home birthing and breast feeding experiences.
25. Mani Gupta senior lecturer in child psychology from Staffordshire University shares about how you can support your child in not becoming anti-social in their behaviour.
26. Kate Edwards from Mental Health Improvement from the NHS gives us 5 tips on staying mentally healthy.
27. Kevin Smith the Alcohol harm Reduction Officer from Newcastle Borough Council shares with us about the present campaign on buses about Domestic Violence.
28. Stoke-on-Trent PCT school nurse lead shares about the role of a school nurse.
29. Ben Locke from Traidcraft talks about fair trade.
30. Professor Miriam Bernard from Keele University shares the Ages and Stages project exploring aging and North Staffs theatre.
31. Will Nixon CEO of PM Training tells us about their award and work with young people aiding them into employment.
32. David Eaglestone shares about helping your child to communicate and how to communicate positively to them encouraging their growth.
33. John Gaughan from Herman's Hermitts shares a bit of his story of fame and about local event he is speaking at in Newcastle Under Lyme.
34. Janet Scrivens from Newcastle College sharing about courses.
35. Phil Morris Youth and Community Worker for CGC Stoke at Meir Park shares about a 'Youth with Talent' event.
36. Youth with Talent competition winners Harry Holmes and Samantha Lloyd sing live in the studio and share about event.
37. Julie Russell from Staffordshire Housing shares about fund raising.
38. Dick Hazard the High Sheriff of Staffordshire shares about his job and fundraising.
39. Martin Wilson a local scout leader shares about encouraging young scouts to do charity work.
40. Service user from Arch and staff from Werrington Youth Offenders Institute and Linda Thomas the CEO of Arch share about sleeping out to raise funds for homeless.
41. John Green the deputy Chief Executive at Arch North Staffs sharing their good news of gaining a lottery grant of nearly £1/2 million to support homeless people.
42. Pat Wooly from HUB café at CGC Stoke on Meir Park shares about supporting the community.
43. Emily Ensor from Young Enterprise shares about local young people developing and selling products.
44. Ian Jenkinson from Newcastle-under-Lyme Fairtrade group shares about the progress of Newcastle-under-Lyme in their quest to gain fairtrade boro status in partnership with the council.
45. Tim Carter from St Marks in Shelton & Etrurea shares about the upcoming fair trade event.
46. Caroline Haynes a community member from Stoke on Trent shares about her sponsored food fair trade event.
47. Nicky Twemlow and Mamood Mirza from North Staffs YMCA about the upcoming Youth Hustings event.
48. Jenn (student at staffs uni) about what she is doing for Mothers Day.
49. Carol Gibbs Environmental Services Manager of Stoke on Trent city council shares about the big tidy up.
50. Jayne Stanley the principle librarian for children and young people in Stoke talks about the young poets comp.
51. Abi, Amy and Charlie from St John Fisher Catholic College share about the vote16 campaign.
52. Locals Cathy and Andy Cowell share about their trip to Mozambique working with Iris Ministries.
53. Rebecca Loo a founding member of the North Staffs Orthotics Campaign shares the campaign.
54. Phil Thomas a local from Trentham Running club shares how he is taking a challenge of running 6 half marathons in one week for Donna Louise Childrens Hospice Trust.
55. Jean Stanley shares about the healing rooms in Stoke on Trent.
56. Ian Bradshaw shares about the Dove Service supporting young people with bereavement issues
57. Tom Sherratt from Newcastle Borough Council shares about football sessions that young people can participate in.
58. Prof Chris Main from the Arthritus Research UK National Primary Care Centre at Keele University shares about his recent award for his work in research around pain relief.
59. Mark Hackney and Connie Locker from NSYFC share about the Worth and Rhythm Projects.
60. Gary Thomas manager at the Salvation Army share about about their homeless hostel provision.
61. Liam service user at Salvation Army hostel shares about the new café.
62. Stoke Speaks Out share about promoting language acquisition in children.
63. Swann Bank Methodist Church Youth Pastor Amy and some young people share about what’s going on.
64. Nicola Robinson from Newcastle-Borough-Council shares about mini-tennis sessions for 5-8yr olds.
65. Theresa Mason from Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery will be talks about what's on.
66. Cllr Debra Gratton shares about cycling courses and the Tour Series coming to Stoke.
67. Lucy Taylor from Newcastle-under-Lyme Boro Council shares about opportunities for young people to get some football coaching.
68. Karen Dobson of Newcastle-under-Lyme College shares about the new buildings and course open days.
69. Teresa Foxwell from Newcastle-under-Lyme Museum about a new creative and educational sessions.
70. Andrew Colclough from Staffordshire Buddies talks about local HIV projects.
71. Cllr Debra Gratton about the green paper from the mayor about physical activity.
72. Cllr Debra Gratton about people over the age of 60 years getting free swimming sessions.
73. Chris Simms head of police in Staffordshire and Sharon Moore head of Youth Offending Services in Staffordshire about a new approach to working with young offenders.
74. Trevor Smith from the Newcastle under Lyme Community Safety team about the new talking signs that warn people to keep their cars safe.
75. Louise Ziemann (zeeman) the Sports Manager at Gordon Banks Sports Centre at Newcastle Under Lyme College shares about the new facilities.
76. Interview with Jenna Burn, senior leisure officer at Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to promote their free swimming sessions for children and pensioners.
77. Interview with Pat Shelley, a manager in the Children and Young People's Services department of Stoke-on-Trent City Council. He spoke about the way the council was reshaping the delivery of its series for young people, including the purchase of 5 new buses loaded with IT, music and entertainment technology for young people to use.
78. Interview with Andrew Haigh from Coutts about being an entrepreneur. It followed news that Stoke-on-Trent was the named as the best place in the country to start a business together with the fact that unemployment was rife.
79. Interview with Hayley Kelly, a local college student and Debby Owen, Domestic Violence co-ordinator at Newcastle Borough Council, about a hard hitting awareness campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence.
80. Interview with Sinead Butters, Chief Executive of local housing provider Aspire Housing. As part of Adult Learners Week, she talked about the importance of adults learning and training and their training department PM Training.
81. Interview with local author John Breardon about his book Sugar Coated War. He described his experience working for the an international agency during the Balkan War, which was the back drop to the fiction release.
82. Interview with Ian Austin, MP for the West Midlands following the unveiling of a £25 million plan to boost tourism in the region. He explained more about the plan.
83. Package featuring traders and customers at the visiting Italian market in the city centre of Stoke-on-Trent.
84. Report on the Newcastle Jazz Festival and an interview with Janet Baddeley from Newcastle Borough Council.
85. Interview with Paul Horrocks from Keele University about a course for local students wanting to get into the field of Medicine.
86. Interview with Rev. Anthony Osborne, who walked the Staffordshire Way dressed as a clown to raise money for the upkeep of three local churches in Hartshill, Penkhull and Trent Vale areas of Stoke-on-Trent.
87. Laura Bell, one of the organisers the Stoke’s Top Talent event, told us about the local talent search inspired by the Britain’s Got Talent programme.
88. A report about Stoke-on-Trent’s new Music Technology Suite. The suite gives young people and community groups the chance to learn a range of musical instruments. The report was recorded at the launch of the new suite and featured the city council’s ICT and Music Specialist, Ruth Steele, the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent Jean Bowers and a couple of young people who are learning instruments.
89. Interview with Sam Creavin, the 2009 Student of the Year at Keele University. As well as his academic achievements he talked about the community involvement he also did in the local area.
90. Interview with Kevin Snelgrove, author of new quiz book about local football team Port Vale.
91. Interview with George Moyes from Stoke-on-Trent City Council about the School Crossing Wardens of the Year 2009 award. He encouraged listeners to nominate their local warden.
92. Interview with Gaye Blake Roberts, Director of the Wedgwood Museum, Staffordshire. She spoke about the newly opened museum and ask people to vote for it to win a £100,000 award from the Art Fund. It subsequently did.
93. Rob Foster from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council was interviewed about the latest stage in the authority’s plan to build a new multi-million pound health centre for the borough.
94. Interview with Nick Lancaster about a 24-hour charity broadcast on student radio station KUBE. The student and presenter talked after the mammoth effort on Keele University’s campus and how much money they raised.
95. Interview with Lil L from the locally-based DJ School organisation. He explained the story of how his involvement with the school helped him turn his back on crime.
96. Package recorded in Stoke-on-Trent’s city centre as the city hosted a leg of the Tour Series professional cycling race. It included interviews with cyclist Dan Duguid and local school children at the event.
97. After being in post for a few weeks, the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Jean Bowers, visited the studio to talk about her civic duties and charity fundraising efforts.
98. Interview with Sue Wiper, Manager/Scientific Officer at local tourist attraction Monkey Forest. She explained all about the monkeys that are at the attraction. We also ran a competition for a family to visit Monkey Forest.
99. Interview with Olympic legend Daley Thompson. He visited Stoke-on-Trent as part of a countrywide cycle ride around the country to highlight the problem of gun and knife crime in the country.
100. Vox pops recorded on the streets of Stoke-on-Trent with locals explaining what they like the most about summer.
101. Interview with Val Edmonds, Advice Manager at Stoke-on-Trent City Council about their local Consumer Advice roadshow as part of National Consumer Week.
102. Interview with Mark Ranford, headteacher at Berry Hill High School, Stoke-on-Trent, about the school’s forthcoming open day and its merger with faith school, St Peters CE High School.
103. Interview with Gary Morris from Bethel City Church about a £200,000 community facility they were developing in the community of Meir, Stoke-on-Trent.
104. Becky Bethune-Twigg, a volunteer with the Princes Trust in Newcastle-under-Lyme, was interviewed about their fundraising efforts to renovate youth facilities at St Paul's Church in Middleport.
105. As part of National Older People’s Day 2009, Sue Halestone from local housing provider Aspire Housing, spoke from an event at retirement village, Mill Rise, involving local school children.
106. Interview with Janette McSkinning of Urban Vision North Staffordshire and artist Tony Broomhead. They promoted the ‘Made In Longton’ exhibition in Longton town centre and urged local people to get involved in it
107. Interview with Derek Smith, Principal Environmental Protection Officer at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, about an interactive exhibition to teach children in the city about air quality.
108. We got behind Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s campaign to get locals voting in a regional TV competition. Roger Tait, the council’s head of Operations, explained why he thought listeners should cast their vote for a new play area in the Queen Elizabeth Park, funded by Lottery money.
109. Interview with Matthew Jones about the opportunity for people from Stoke-on-Trent to sing opera as part of a choir in Birmingham. Several locals subsequently joined the choir for the performance in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
110. Interview with local school student Joe Knapper, about a Scrabble fundraising event. The St Joseph’s College student appealed for people to help him raise money for his trip to the World Youth Scrabble Championship in Malaysia.
111. Interview with Jane Sheldon from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council about the formal recognition of the authority’s equality standards.
112. Interview with Andy Arnott, Leisure and Cultural Services Project Officer at Newcastle Borough Council, gave an update on plans for the authority’s multimillion pound health centre.
113. Interview with Elizabeth Lewis and Helen Lock, two directors from charity Gulu Mission Initiative, to promote a Gospel Music spectacular they were organising at one of Stoke-on-Trent’s finest venues, the Victoria Hall.
114. Interview with Charlotte Kay from the Douglas Macmillan Hospice in Stoke-on-Trent. She was interviewed about their annual Light Up A Life ceremony, a chance for locals to remember lost loved ones.
115. Interview with Teresa Elks about the Chernobyl Children charity. She talked about her trip to Belarus with the charity and about encouraged donations of children’s clothes and toys for a relief convoy they were taking to the country.
116. As part of the regional Car Free Challenge, Sarah Grattage, School Travel Adviser at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, spoke about the challenge issued to local school teachers and pupil’s parents to go car free for one day.
117. Interview with Neil, the store manager of the local Thorntons confectioners, about free chocolates they were giving away in store on Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing the day of the year.
118. Interview with Louise Cooke, organiser of the Stoke-on-Trent City Youth Council. She appealed for young people to come forward and find out more about being in the youth council and how they can make a different in the city.
119. Interview with Lloyd Cooke, from the Saltbox Christian Centre, about a gathering of faith leaders to unite against a march in Stoke-on-Trent by the English Defence League. He spoke live from Stoke Minster ahead of the march.
120. Interview with Cllr Joy Garner from Stoke-on-Trent City Council about a special group set up to tackle alcohol related violence in the area.
121. Interview with Cllr Brian Ward, cabinet member for regeneration at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, about plans for a new landmark city centre bus station.
122. Interview with Amy Wyatt, Assistant Pastor at Swan Bank Methodist Church in Burslem, about a new community choir in the north of Stoke-on-Trent.
123. The leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Cllr Ross Irving, spoke about the forthcoming visit by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. It was to be the first of a series of events to celebrate the city’s centenary. He also spoke about the process of selecting a winner for the city’s Citizen of the Century award.
124. Interview with Alastair Kent, the man behind a Facebook campaign which encouraged people to download two tracks by the band Christian rock band Delirious?. The idea was to get them to number one for Easter Sunday. They made it to number 3 in the UK singles charts.
125. Interview with Dave Adams from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council about major changes to their recycling and waste service. As a follow-up the authority’s Trevor Nickel provided an update on how the first few days had gone.
126. Professor Stephen Wilkinson from Keele University on his new book about Selective Reproduction.
127. Local council phone operators taking part in Children In Need.
There would also be lots of individuals featured with local interest stories and we try to help small to medium size businesses with some profile
The Staffordshire Hoard Anglo Saxon Gold Find: This world famous archaelogical find provoked us to run numerous interviews and updates including many with Cllr Ross Irving, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council commented on the council’s efforts in partnership to secure the artefacts for display in the county, and Cllr Hazel Lyth, cabinet member for enterprise and culture at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, about the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition and how it would benefit the city. Also with the National Antiquities Advisor Dr Kevin Leahy. Over 50,000 people subsequently saw the Anglo-Saxon treasure. In addition, vox pops were recorded in the long queues at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, as the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition was opened.
2) Much of the specifically Christian content is covered under point 1.3, but other output includes regular interviews with groups such as Connect (a local network of up to 60 Church leaders), Prayer Walking (a weekly initiative prayer walking the whole city over 40 weeks), City Vision Ministries, Nightchurch (a weekly initiative engaging with clubbers), Saltbox (a networking organisation between the church and the wider community), Youth For Christ, Love Stoke (a social action work run by Bethel City Church), and local church leaders. We look at how the local church should respond to local issues such as homelessness, the recession, regeneration, asylum seekers, youth work, addictions, and engagement with the wider community. Often we offer local church leaders the opportunity to pray on air for these types of areas.
In addition, from wider afield we run interviews with national groups such as Media Watch (Christian group concerned about values within the media), Christian Aid’s My Platform 2 Gap Year programme, Tear Fund (a third world Christian social action group), the Evangelical Alliance, Care For The Family, the Christian Legal Centre, The Leprosy Mission, FairTrade, Toybox (charity helping street children in South America), Foodbank (give food to the poor), Computers 4 Africa. Each month we focus on Israel and the Middle East with a report from a youth worker based in Jerusalem who works with Arab and Israeli young people.
We also discuss the more well known national moral or Christian interest stories such as the pollution, the economy, family issues, embryology, assisted suicide, black mental health, sexualisation of children, racial & religious hatred, giving interviews and feedback from the different positions of the debate.
1.5 Key commitments: Social gain objectives (c) The provision (whether by means of programmes included in the service or otherwise) of education or training to individuals not employed by the person providing the service
1) Many of our work experience people come for training and experience from education institutions. These can be local and from further afield and include primarily local schools and the two local universities Keele and Staffordshire. We have had a number of university students working with us on production, interviewing and presentation skills. Media students at Keele University compete for the annual Cross Rhythms City Radio Award, given to the best student of the year, and we have agreed to provide this award for five years. The university have agreed to bring their students for tours at Cross Rhythms at the beginning of each new year. Out of this some may take up voluntary opportunities with us. Students at other universities do work placements with us during their holidays when they return to the city. We have had returning students from Coventry University and Florida University, plus others from Leeds University, Bristol University, Bournemouth University, Liverpool University and Sheffield University.
Everyone who gets involved in the broadcasting side is trained by our production manager and IT manager dependent on their area of operation. We allow students also to develop certain skills relevant to their courses for example producing news packages featuring local interviews and presenting it as a report. Many are trained in compiling and presenting the hourly local news. Many shows, in particular City Drive and Rimmerama, have sidekick co-hosts who present live on air. These are therefore trained in advance in presenting, and also in programme production/features etc.
Many volunteers and work experience are seeking non-broadcast related opportunities in particular for office skills, reception work and computer based tasks. Again they are trained beforehand and ongoing. Indeed the entry level interview features a task oriented evaluation test to ascertain their strengths and weaknesses.
In addition to university students we see many young and older people join us at a voluntary/work experience level, many are unemployed, some from the local YMCA, some through providers such as Connexions and The Prince’s Trust. The work experience students from local schools have come from Holden Lane School, Abbotsholme School, Blythe Bridge High School, Berry Hill High School, St Thomas More Catholic College, Newcastle College, Sixth Form College, Newcastle-under-Lyme School, Clayton Hall College and St Peter’s High School.
We currently have one person with special needs, two blind people and one man coming off heroin addiction.
We also receive a lot of students who want to interview us as a part of their coursework, both for audio and film. Mostly these are university students, and they approach us from across the UK. Local youth groups also take part in on air live broadcasts, getting trained in basic skills, such as Weather and Travel news and then doing them live on air.
In last years report we said we had “launched our Media Training Academy in our building in the city. We have an accommodation facility, training rooms including a purpose built studio, we have secured the services of up to twelve qualified and experienced professionals to provide teaching sessions, and we have agreed an initial partnership with an accredited trainer to provide diploma level courses. We also received an initial grant from the Churches Media Trust in Oxford to support any students who would come from that region. There are several purposes to the Academy i) to provide accredited media training for local disadvantaged young people (as well as YMCA young people, we are building partnerships with the council youth services and local Duke of Edinburgh groups), ii) to be a centre where anyone from across the country can come to us for media training for 3 months, 6 months or a full year not just getting accredited courses but getting involved with the day to day station responsibilities, getting the much needed hands on experience along with their qualifications to add to their CV, and iii) to be a training base whereby those people looking to get involved with any of the other community stations we collaborate with in the UK (such as Cross Rhythms Teesside and Plymouth) can come and be trained in the various radio skills required, and learn hands on before going straight back, much better equipped to work on that station when they return.” Unfortunately we are still at this stage due to lack of resources to complete the set up of equipment required and wage for employing a project manager. We are not able to do either until we have secured the required funding. We have a dedicated fundraiser approaching trusts for the required funding – a process that can take a long time. We have had success with two trusts to the tune of £10k but we still require £30k+. Once these funds are secured we will be better able to finally deliver the Media Training Community.
2) We continue to work with local groups for training purposes.
We continue a good relationship with the Media Action Group For Mental Health and support them with advice and training as they require it on the use of local media.
Interface is a collaboration of local youth leaders to produce events for school age students. In advance of a proposed schools week they are running we are training some young people to record interviews and reports from each school. Working with Interface we also presented a workshop at Brownhills Maths and Computing College, Stoke-on-Trent. A package on the topic of faith in our culture today was recorded there and later broadcast. It featured all the members of the class. At the end of another school term we trained some of the Interface young people to use our equipment to record and do reports from 4 schools they held events in during the week. We then broadcast these reports.
Different schools and youth groups come and get involved in on air programming.
3) In terms of numbers of people trained we consistently have in excess of 30 volunteers on an ongoing basis. Over the year this totalled 54 individuals. In addition we took in 14 work experience students. In terms of those in the wider community we have delivered some measure of training to at least 25+ people. In addition the editorial side of our website has about 75 voluntary contributors who write articles and reviews for us. Some require more training than others.
1.6 Key commitments: Social gain objectives (d) The better understanding of the particular community and the strengthening of the links within it
Many of these types of events that we promote have been touched on elsewhere in this report. Others include profiling and working with the local council to promote the Christmas Lights Switch On, the Santa Run and the Italian Market. We promote and take part in Sanity Fair and Piccadilly Circus festivals. We supported the Afro-Caribbean style Six Towns One City Carnival. We ran much promotion of the month long World Ceramic Festival, and the month long exhibition of the Staffordshire Hoard. We supported the Young Enterprise Area Finals. We promote events in the local theatres and interview the performers. We pick up on all that is happening in the local museums…
Indeed we promote at some level, even if it is simply in our event guide, but generally in interview, just about any local community events that take place. We are also members of the local City Centre Partnership and also the Cultural Quarter Group (the creative cultural sector in the city centre) and we profile events taking place in this area including the Tour Series bicycle race. We raise awareness of local community initiatives such as the council and Police initiative ‘Respect Weeks’, and anywhere the police are holding their ‘come and see them’ surgeries. We also partnered with the local Scene Mag, a free bi-monthly publication found in local pubs, clubs, tourist information, museums, shops etc.
Every day on the Breakfast Show and on City Drive (drive time) we do the Event Guide feature. This profiles any local events taking place, for the Christian community. We also profile many of the events taking place in the whole community as mentioned above. In addition of course we run interviews with specific local events both Christian and wider community.
Events where the station has been used as a focal point for the Christian community include:
1) We ran an outside broadcast from the Heart for Haiti event, Stoke-on-Trent. In partnership with Cross Rhythms, the organisers NXT Ministries got a number of Christian bands to give their time freely to perform at the event at the city’s Victoria Hall. All proceeds from the event were to go to the international charity Compassion for its work in Haiti, following the country’s massive earthquake at the start of the year. We promoted the event, encouraging listeners to attend. Cross Rhythms also broadcast the event live. In a first for the Christian broadcasting sector, nine other Christian radio broadcasters also broadcast our live programme from Stoke-on-Trent. It involved national DAB broadcaster UCB-UK, satellite broadcaster TWR UK and the following community radio stations: Alive Radio, Branch FM, Hope FM, Revival FM, Shine FM, Cross Rhythms Plymouth and Cross Rhythms Teesside. The outside broadcast featured live music from bands like BlushUK, YFriday and others, interviews with band members, organisers, and the UK head of the Compassion charity. Over £40,000 was raised during the event and broadcast
2) We ran an outside broadcast from the Gospel Christmas Spectacular event, Stoke-on-Trent. The programme came live from the Victoria Hall and featured live music from the London Community Gospel Choir, ACM Gospel Choir, Harlequin Brass Ensemble and two local school choirs. We partnered with the Cross Rhythms Plymouth and Cross Rhythms Teesside community radio stations, who also took our live programmes from the event.
3) We ran an outside broadcast from Audacious conference, Manchester. We work regularly with Audacious, a youth movement and Christian church in Manchester. We broadcast 3 nights live from their annual conference at the Manchester Central venue. It featured live music and talk and interviews with those involved in the event, which was attended by 2000 people. We partnered with the Cross Rhythms Plymouth and Cross Rhythms Teesside community radio stations, who also took our live programmes from the event.
4) We ran an outside broadcast from Rocknations conference, Bradford. We work regularly with Rocknations, the young people’s department of Abundant Life Church. We broadcast 3 nights live from their annual conference. The programmes featured live music and interviews with those involved in the event, which was attended by 2000 people. We partnered with the Cross Rhythms Plymouth and Cross Rhythms Teesside community radio stations, who also took our live programmes from the event.
5) We ran an outside broadcast from Adoration music festival, Stoke-on-Trent. Adoration featured a host of Christian artists/bands from around the world. It was organised by a local organisation called NXT. The radio station practically relocated out of our studios for the weekend of the festival. We set up a radio café in the heart of the Burslem area where the festival was located in a number of venues. We broadcast live from the café, interviewing the artists and those attending the event/café.
6) We ran an outside broadcast from Potters House Carnival, Birches Head, Stoke-on-Trent. We broadcast live from the community carnival for a couple of hours with competitions, and interviews with the manager of Kingsley Bird of Prey centre, local police officers, organiser Paul Nixon and a few of the hundreds of people attending the carnival.
7) We promoted and reported from a music event at Bethel City Church in Stoke-on-Trent. It featured an interview with the Christian rock band Bluetree and vox pops from those who attended the event.
8) 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting (started March 1st) – local churches held 24 hour continuous prayer for the city and the region, doing one day each over a full month. Every day in breakfast and drive the station has done updates and reports from the churches.
9) We support and partner with various Christian music events in the city including: LCGC; Philippa Hanna; Lifecolour (local Christian rock band); The Steels(UK indie band as part of Interface).
10) Connect – A monthly event that brings together Christian leaders across the city for prayer.
11) We promoted the Embrace worship day – a day long worship initiative with many local churches taking part. We ran special relevant worship programming that day to join in.
12) We promoted and organised a special guest speaker, Tony Fitzgerald, and filled the St Andrews Church, with people coming from across the city.
13) We promote the Healing On The Streets initiative. This is a weekly team from different churches who offer prayer in the city centre.
14) We promoted and partnered the Detling Festival.
15) We promoted and the CEO was a speaker at the Police organised United By Faith event.
16) We promoted the Greenbelt Festival and recorded a Girls’ Night In Show from it for broadcast the following week.
1.8 Key commitments: Access and participation Cross Rhythms City Radio will encourage and promote access to the service as follows:
This has been covered more extensively in section 1.5. Additionally:
1) For our employees most training and equipping for their roles is delivered in house. Where required we send them to outside courses. Our core team is quite established now so we tend not to have much need to do so at the moment,
2) We consistently have over 30 volunteers at one time. In the last year we have had 54 different volunteers work with us, and 14 Work Experience.
3) Since the Key Commitments were agreed the names of the organisations we link with have changed from the above ones mentioned. Currently some of our stronger links would be with YMCA, various local schools and the two Universities, Media Action Group For mental Health, Saltbox, the local council (we have entered into an agreement to allow the local council to hire our studios one day a month to train their officers and cabinet members in media), and Interface (see 1.5 for more detail). We cannot respond to the level of interest in people joining us however. Our goal for school work experience students for example is to take on one young person at a time. For people with a longer commitment than a one week work experience as we build them into the team and they get trained up then we can take on extra people.
4) We run a radio advert for volunteers which goes out several times a day. Many of our volunteers enquire because of this. Additionally if we have room for more volunteers we use our monthly local email newsletter to mention it. We also put fliers in a local mailing that goes to all the local churches and many local Christians (a mailing of about 1000). We also work with larger groups of people to get involved with certain shows. For example schools and youth groups occasionally bring in their students to take part in live programmes.
5) The idea of ‘Taster’ courses has been superceded really by the demand we have found from all the other avenues mentioned. We couldn’t respond at this stage to an increased level of demand.
1.9 Key commitments: Accountability to the target community The station will aim to:
1) We continue to play an active part in these monthly meetings of local leaders, regularly sharing at these events with the church leaders about how the station is doing. As well as the monthly leaders meeting the CEO is part of a group of twelve local church leaders who meet regularly to discuss more specifically the role of the church in the community. Our part in that is as a valued participant. We also attend twice yearly retreats with up to 25 local leaders of churches.
2) A number of our employees have spoken at their local churches, giving updates on the station and being available for feedback. The CEO continues to meet with many local church leaders in the city to get their specific feedback on how they see the station and effective partnership with it. The CEO speaks regularly at local church meetings. We also encourage email feedback through our website – responses to which are scrolled along the front page on our website. Every month we send out an email update on all we are doing (which goes to 29,000 people) and every two months we send out a local email newsletter in which we regularly ask for response on topics. We also ask for feedback from those listening online and in our chatroom. Every quarter we write to any financial supporters with an update and offering them opportunity to make contact. We regularly ask for feedback on our monthly or bimonthly email newsletters (we have different versions). In addition, this year we have set up calling our financial donors, having contacted about 700 within the year. We ask for their feedback.
3) We have not yet issued a specific audience questionnaire for this year.
4) We keep a record of all feedback both positive and negative. Primarily it comes through emails and E TXT (a facility on the front of our website where people can email directly to the live on air presenter in the studio, or the web editorial team or the web technical team). Also we log on computer all the feedback we get from phoning our financial donors.
5) We now have 6 key local leaders on a ‘board of reference’ for the local station. Meetings take place three times a year. As we also work closely with them on many projects the accountability for our activity is very strong.
6) We are still members of CBC and, as with most years, the CEO spoke at last year’s CBC conference giving an update on our Community station.
1.10 Volunteer inputs (see guidance notes on page 2)
As mentioned over the year we have had 54 different volunteers with about 30 active volunteers in any quarter. In addition we have had 14 work experience students averaging 1.5 weeks each.
Of the 54 volunteers the breakdown of their primary roles is as follows:
On Air Presenters 15 Off Air Production 7 Editorial Dept for website 8 Administration/Reception17 Cleaning/Odd jobs 2 Marketing 4 IT 1
We tend to standardise that most volunteers join us for up to six weeks in one go. This gives opportunity for more people to get a ‘taste’ of media, and also if some find it particularly difficult to connect with the working environment then the short term nature is not too burdensome for themselves or us. Some volunteers connect well with the work and we offer them the opportunity to continue their term with us on an ongoing basis. Generally these volunteers would do about 14.5 hours a week on average. We have several ongoing volunteers who do half a day or one day per week eg cleaning or reception. Occasionally when students join us they do so for a full time period, such as a summer holiday or a work placement. That then is 5 days a week, but generally their capability means they fit in well. With the current recession we have several quality volunteers who are with us three or four days a week.
The total hours we receive from our volunteers comes to well over 40000 a year, the equivalent of 4.4 full time employees. In terms of an average number of hours per volunteer per month this comes to about 14.5 hours per week or 60 hours per month.
1.11 Significant achievements
Significant achievements outside of any mentioned in the above would be:
1) We now offer 13 of our weekly programmes to other stations for syndication. These programmes now go out on more than 50 stations worldwide, 180 times a week.
2) We had an outside contractor who historically we had employed to do about 2.5 days production work a week. This contract was terminated last year and we took the work in house. Volunteers now do this work.
3) We won a silver CBC award for best Podcast for our Girls’ Night In show, and a CBC Gold Exploit Award for our founder Chris Cole’s contribution to media.
4) We won two Jerusalem Trust Media Awards for our Audacious Radio show and it’s presenter Deanna Fletcher.
5) We have continued our collaboration with Cross Rhythms Plymouth and Teesside, as well as supporting the proposed Coventry station. Other groups have approached us to explore collaboration, particularly one on Sunderland who recently sent in an expression of interest to Ofcom. We met with the trustees from all stations in December to help build better understanding and support.
6) We are supporting a young man who is presenting a radio show in Bethlehem in Israel. We send him a music show each week that he then presents and makes local for the Palestinian listeners. The show is called Nagam Al Haya, (Rhythms Of Life in Arabic).
7) Our Target 400 scheme to find more monthly donors at £10 per month has secured another 43 since last year. Although slower than hoped it means we are maintaining our donor income during a recession when other charities are seeing a decline in giving.
8) The local Stoke-on-Trent Council have started using our facilities one day a month to train their officers and cabinet members in media. This provides valuable extra income, but also gives us good awareness within the local council.
9) The industry’s Radio Magazine has started taking our playlist additions.
10) We produced a new DVD to promote us at events and presentations.
11) The CEO was invited to run a day of training seminars at fellow community radio station Revival Radio in Cumbernauld.
12) We invited the local manager of the North Staffs Regeneration Partnership to inform our team about a new campaign called ‘Makde It Staffordshire’.
13) We partnered with a national Gospel Talent Search event.
14) We held our first two Friends nights, giving presentations and tours to our financial supporters.
15) We brought together 12 local professional counsellors. These have agreed to help us should we have listeners who need help. There are occasions when young people contact us about issues such as self harm, eating disorders and addictions.
16) One of our producers participated in the partnership of Faith Communities to tackle Crime in City Centre, led by police.
1.12 Significant difficulties
To be honest the significant difficulties tend not to change from year to year. As with previous years the main difficulties are finance related. We have plenty of vision and feel we could be much more effective however we have to work within our budget. We only have two full time employees and one self employed who present shows – one who is also the CEO and the other who is the head of the production department.
With more finance we would employ some extra core team. We could then better coordinate volunteers to manage and develop them more effectively. Sometimes we can be spinning too many basic plates between us.
Finance has also inhibited our ability to market the station, relying mostly on in-kind contra deals, and postcard flyers.
Having been one of the original pilot stations we have a perspective based on 8 years broadcasting in an area. We feel we are a recognised, established part of the local community but we desire to move up to a new level, because the expectations of listeners on the station grows. To maintain listener connection we need to add more to what we have ie more presenters bringing more creativity, more awareness out in the wider community through participation in city initiatives etc. To do this properly, without running around like headless chickens, requires putting in solid management processes, requiring finance to do so.
However, saying all that, we have sustained the service for 8 years and are confident we can continue doing so into the future. Significantly we have also just completed our brand new Business Plan, setting out our vision for the next three years. With it we hope to secure increased investment into our vision to enable us to grow, at a time when we hope we will have just received a new 5 year licence renewal.
The challenge to get the Media Training Community going has proven harder than we anticipated. A combination on accessing funds and trying to develop it whilst maintaining the current operation has limited the speed with which we can implement this strategy.
1.13 Audience research
We have not joined up to Rajar due to costs and have not undertaken our own concerted audience research outside of the ways mentioned above ie in the due course of our accountability and interaction with our community. Whenever we speak at churches or events we ask who has heard or listens to the station (generally for a broad congregation we would see about 30%-50% positive response).
We run annual research on our website with a professional group called Netobserver, but this is primarily for our website. Our online stats show we have about 10-12,000 unique listeners online every month.
Our website receives just over 800,000 unique users each year.
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