2011 Annual Report

1.1 Community Radio Annual Report Form: Year Ending 31 March 2011

Station details

Licence Number

Station Name
Cross Rhythms City Radio

Launch Date

Web address where you will publish this report

1.2 The year in numbers

  • Average number of live hours per week: 63
  • Average number of original programming hours per week (this may include pre-recorded as well as live material but should not include repeats): 118
  • The percentage of your live daytime output that is speech: 25%
  • Number of people trained over the course of the year: 81 at varying levels
  • Number of volunteers involved over the course of the year: 66 + 15 Work Experience
  • If appropriate, a list of languages you have broadcast in: English

1.3 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.

  • Live programming output will typically comprise 75% music and 25% speech (‘speech’ excludes advertising, programme/promotional trails and sponsor credits, and may be calculated over any four hours).
  • The music output will be comprised predominantly (at least 90%) of contemporary Christian tracks, and maintain a positive theme. Specialist shows on genres such as rock, music related to the black church tradition, new independent music and contemporary worship will feature in the evenings and at weekends.
  • Speech output shall consist of interviews, audience interaction, topical features, public service announcements, news, weather and travel information, as well as some bible teaching and contemporary worship programming. Local current affairs will generally be covered from a Christian perspective.
  • Language of broadcast: English, though the station may consider broadcasting in other languages if a demand is identified.
  • Live programming (which may include pre-recorded inserts, if applicable) will typically comprise 15 hours a day from Monday to Friday; some live output will also feature at weekends. A sustaining service will be taken from the Cross Rhythms satellite radio service (licence number SA142).

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 9 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 53 to 65 different stations worldwide pick up the syndicated options, totalling 176 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). Rimmerama is our evening show and is a strongly Christian music focused show dealing in brand new releases and ‘golden oldies’, and loads of interviews with artists. 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. Rimmerama is very jusic focused and features generally three serialised artist interviews each evening with artists from the UK, USA and beyond. 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), and we produce our own ‘Stagers’ – production pieces which carry spiritual inspirational messages. 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, Facebook, website comments and through our online Live Radio Chatroom.

4) We still broadcast in English only.

5) This has not been a year where we have been able to expand our live broadcasting, but simply to maintain the level we had come to. Instead we have focused more on the quality of the existing live programming by having more volunteers working in news, interviews and production elements. Thus there has been no change to our broadcast output since last year. We have maintained 15 hours live programming on Tuesdays and 13 hours for Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Monday and Friday evenings we are still 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 currently only run 2 live hours on a Saturday and none on a Sunday. However we are continuing to develop our voluntary base of quality young people and hope to progress some into live weekend presenters over the coming year. The average number of live hours each month, based on a 30 day month, is 270, or 63 per week. 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.

1.4 Key commitments: Social gain objectives

“(a) the provision of sound broadcasting services to individuals who are otherwise underserved”

  • There is no service available in the area that caters for the Christian community. The station aims to provide content and programming with specific relevance to the Christian community.

“(b) the facilitation of discussion and the expression of opinion”

  • The station shall invite guests to the studios for discussion topics on local issues and current affairs such as community relations, health, law and order, child welfare, consumer issues and open the discussion to the listeners to participate to express their opinions.
  • Some output will address theological, philosophical, moral and spiritual themes relating directly to those adhering to the Christian faith. This will include studio discussion and interviews.

“(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”

  • The service will combine training with local training providers such as Stoke on Trent College and YMCA, with courses that are broadcasting related and open to the community as a whole.
  • Furthermore they will collaborate with on-going training with local community on projects such as drugs awareness to develop appropriate programme material for broadcast.

“(d) the better understanding of the particular community and the strengthening of the links within it”

  • The station will promote events that will bring the whole community together and also use the station as a focal point for bringing Christian groups together.

Ai) 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, and hourly spiritually inspiring production pieces called Stagers.
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. This year we had 28 different local church leaders contribute to these representing Church of England, Methodist, Baptist, AOG, Elim, CGI churches, and included the Bishop Of Stafford and the Archdeacon of Stoke-on-Trent.
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 178 interviews with UK artists and 255 with international artists, of which 160 were signed to labels and the rest were independent 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). Topics covered by Close Encounters guests include for example: Unemployment, Drug and alcohol addiction, Struggles with self confidence, Crime, violence and gang culture, A local response to the earthquake in Haiti, Depression, Looking after a child with Brittle Bones, Coping when your husband has a life threatening illness, Family reconciliation, Fostering and adoption, Bullying, Coping with health issues like infertility, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, Divorce, Modelling and working as a style coach, Eating disorders.
8) The Breakthrough Nights programme, in partnership with the Beacon House Of Prayer brings worship and prayer focus from church leaders to the city, and also interacts with those who pray online during the show.
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: Bethel City Church Tommy Tenney gig; The Potter’s House Carnival; Longton Elim Fun Day; Casting Crowns Concert Live broadcast; launch of the St Albans Community centre; Brenton Brown live gig;Civic Prayer Broadcast live broadcast (this event was a collaboration between the council and local Christian organisations at which CR broadcast live); live broadcast from Archbishop of Canterbury civic breakfast; reports from the visit of John Sentamu, Archbishop of York.
11) We supported a ‘churches together’, 40 weeks of prayer walking across the whole city, providing weekly updates.
12) 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 After The Fire, Gary S Paxton, Dorothy Morrison (singer of Oh happy Day), Katy Perry, Stryper, Chris Eaton, Rob Halligan, Jocelyn Brown, Toby Mac, Israel Houghton and hundreds more; leaders such as Philip Yancey and William Young (well known authors), Cyrille Regis (Christian footballer), Norman Stone (well known Christian filmmaker), President of the Methodist Council, Street Pastors, Andy Flanagan (Christian Socialist Movement), Zoe Dixon (Lib Dem Christian Forum), Elizabeth Berridge (Conservative Christian Fellowship) - these three contribute together both on radio and online showing how faith transcends political persuations - Karen Porter (Prayer Walking), Andrea Williams (Christian Legal Centre), Mal Fletcher (Edges.TV), Lloyd Cooke (Saltbox), Paul Calvert (youth leader based in Israel), Charlotte Marshall (Christian Aid), Care For The Family, and loads more; and national events we have broadcast live from include Harvest Festival, Audacious and Rock Nations.

Bi) Many of our guests are from the wider local community. We run many one off interviews and reports, and also a number of regular slots as follows:

Regular Slots & Partnership Projects include:

  • Mick Warrilow from Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service gives a monthly interview on fire safety tips and projects in the community.
  • Council Leader Mohammed Pervez or deputy Leader Ross Irving give a monthly council update.
  • Inspector Shaun Kerrigan about city centre policing issues and successes.
  • Ray Elkes from Arch North Staffs gives quarterly updates about fund raising opportunities for the homeless in Stoke and Staffs.
  • Ann Chatwin from PhoneLink shares about supporting older people
  • Delyth Copp from Newcastle Museum gives school holiday interviews on what’s on
  • Staffordshire Connexions Service staff give tips on employment and education.
  • Lloyd Cooke from Saltbox shares about city development with LSP.
  • Local Museums provide interviews for half term holidays on what’s on
  • Care for the Family – team members share pointers on family life and parenting.
  • A number of faith leaders share a thought for the week ‘Life Chat’ and about connecting to the community.
  • Fair-trade Fortnight was covered with national and local contributions
  • Domestic violence awareness week by interviews with range of service providers and local film makers
  • Interviews at Potteries Museum regarding the Staffordshire Hoard with key councillors and historians
  • Covered the ‘on yer bike’ exhibition and promoted cycling successes and opportunities in the City with Burslem Art Gallery

We also regularly touch base with groups such as: 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, 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:

General Interviews:

1. Chief Executive of Stoke-on-Trent city Council John van der Laarschot, a one hour special serialised.

2. Prof Michael Gunn the new Vice Chancellor and CEO at Staffordshire University lets us know about the changes in HE and student fee situation

3. Helen Barnett a researcher for Liveability tells us about her research into how accessible shops are for the disabled

4. Mick Warrilow from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service talks this month about 'stand by your pan' their new campaign and the work they do in training scout groups to be fire safety aware in the home and when camping.

5. Rev Lee Plummer the new curate from St James in Packmoor talks about his upcoming sponsored challenge of abseiling off a rather large tower in London to raise funds for street children in Uganda.

6. Kate McCracken one of the students and Creative Directors for the Diversity Fashion Show 2011 at Staffordshire University.

7. Helen Wright from Cancer Research UK on the 'Race for Life' at Trentham Gardens and Staffordshire Show Ground

8. Julie Davies Business Crime Manager for the Daytime and Night-time partnership in Stoke on Trent tells us about the Tackling Business Crime Through Joined Up Thinking Conference taking place

9. Tony Philips from Keele University tells us about the new Staffordshire Atlas that he has been involved in writing which has now been published giving a thorough account of Staffordshire history

10. Jenny Passman from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council lets us know about how they have been rated highly by satisifed customers of the Blue Badge scheme allowing disabled drivers a better service for parking locally

11. Elise Butler from the Stadium Communities tells us about healthy walks

12. Trevor Humphries from Newcastle-under-Lyme College tells about how they have achieved 'Get Set' status for the preparations of the Olympics.

13. CEO Stuart Poyner from the new organisation Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent NHS Partnership Trust shares about setting up the new organisation and plans to improve health and well-being for local people.

14. Cllr Mervin Smith tells us about how the former Ensor works in Longton is being regenrated into the CoRE project a cutting edge project to train and equip people in the skills and knowledge of sustainable building developments.

15. Vicky Boulton-Clarke from Newcaslte-under-Lyme College shares about national apprenticeship week.

16. CEO Diane Lea from Staffordshire Housing Association shares about their new West End Village in Stoke and how new residents are finding community spirit in their new homes

17. Ray Elkes from Arch North Staffs shares about the Big Sleep Out to raise funds for tackling homelessness in the City and Domestic Violence.

18. Andy Boyle the manager of North Staffs Prison Chaplaincy project shares about their recent award from the police

19. Sandra shares about the CCS a christian counselling service here in Staffordshire offering support for a range of issues

20. Delyth Copp from Newcastle under Lyme Museum talks about The Cultural Grants offering community groups up to £1,500 to run cultural events in the Boro.

21. Rob Avan from the Community Safety Partnership talks about Community Sanctions and how offenders pay back hours of work to the community

22. Janet Hansen from the WEA shares about a series of 10 week kit classes that are open to people for free across the City starting this week

23. Peter Keller from the Douglas Macmillan Hospice talks about how people can loose a few of the Christmas pounds gained from eating and raise some extra pounds for the Dougie Mac by running the Potters Alf.

24. Simon Harris the CEO of CAB gives some Christmas spending tips in order to help people not to get into debt

25. Ann from Saltbox shares about gift ideas for older people this Christmas

26. Becky Wardell VE&Keele Project Leader for Keele University Students Union shares about how they have given a gift of groceries to ASHA to help asylum seekers in this City

27. Paul Bridges the new CEO at Arch North Staffs talks to about homelessness over Christmas

28. Ian Bradwell from The Dove Service offering young people support about bereavement

29. Interview with Menna Davies the fostering manager at Stoke on Trent on fostering opportunities in the City

30. Ian Hookway from Newcastle Under Lyme College shares about this Thursday evenings open evening for people interested in studying both short and long courses as well as traditional academic courses and vocational courses and apprenticeships

31. Yvonne Colclough from the Douglas Macmillan Hospice shares about the new Curiosity Shop at the Trentham Gardens shopping area.

32. Delyth Copp the Culture & Arts Manager at Newcastle Under Lyme Museum shares about this weeks festivities at the museum.

33. Sophie Street from Cauldwell Children's Charity shares about how people can volunteer to help wrapping Christmas presents as of the 6th December in the Potteries Shopping Centre to raise money for children with disabilities.

34. Darren Teale and Suzanne James directors from Junction 15 on the movie BREAK and the issue of domestic violence

35. David Matthews from Newcastle Under Lyme College shares about how this week is enterprise week and how they are giving students taster sessions to get them thinking creatively about the future and the community

36. Sarah Keach from the British Heart Foundation talks about how bogus charities that offer home pick up on clothes is impacting upon real charity work.

37. Rebecca Patel from Newcastle Under Lyme Borough Council shares about the 'Get Connected' project where young people and older people have been coming together to input into the future plans of North Staffs.

38. Patrick Hanfling from Beth Johnson Foundation shares about the 'connecting communities' project.

39. Joy from Tearfund TRANSFORM team shares about short term trips overseas working with the poor and how people can get involved.

40. Owen Powell MBE and chair of the Keele World Affairs Series at Keele University shares about their upcoming lecture series on world issues

41. Debbie Lightfoot from PM Training shares about an art exhibition of the work of young people in this city on the PM training project.

42. Nicky Robinson the Community Recreation Leader for Newcastle Borough Council shares about the Fit For Living project.

43. Anna Lloyd from Stoke on Trent Library services about the Young Poet competition.

44. Cllr Carol Gibbs about the cleaner and greener Stoke-on-Trent plans and opportunities for community members to do litter picks

45. Rebecca Loo from North Staffs Orthotics Campaign share about how people can support them in getting better services

46. Phil Thomas from Donna Louise Trust talks about doing a 6 town run for the charity

47. Ian Bradshaw from The Dove Service talks about bereavement support available for young people

48. Tom Sherratt from Newcastle-under-Lyme youth services talks about a new football initiative for young people

49. Louise Zieman sports manager at Newcastle-under-Lyme College talks about their new sports facilities that community members can access

50. Connie & Mark from NSYFC talk about the work they do with young people in the City to help raise self esteem through Worth & Rhythm

51. Justin Bailey and actors in the production ‘Much ado about Nothing’ at Trentham Gardens talk about making Shakespeare accessible to today’s culture

52. Maureen & Peter Worman local hero’s in fostering talk about their experiences of fostering over 100 children

53. Holly Williams from Keele University talks about their medical school summer school

54. Kate Beer sports development officer for Stoke on Trent council talks about the ‘little strikers’ football course running for 3-6yr olds in Trentham

55. Navarda Garside from Newcastle College talks about their healthy eating promotion

56. Janet Scrivens from Newcastle College talks about Adult learning and HE courses

57. Steve Adams from VAST talks about funding opportunities for the voluntary sector

58. Jo Blagg talks about dancing yourself healthy and how young people can go to the Regent Theatre over the holidays to participate

59. Vicky Hudson from Newcastle-under-Lyme College talks about apprenticeship opportunities through the college

60. Lucy Challinor talks about the FIT (future industry training) project

61. Barbara Bloor talks about the new Street Pastors project and how people can volunteer to reduce crime in the City Centre

62. Lindsey and Lucy from Burslem Gallery talk about the work their and open event ‘on yer bike’ coming up to raise funds for charity

63. The Duck Man talks about his fundraising through cycling in a duck suit

64. Local young athlete Kian Emadi-Coffin talks about his recent cycling success and Olympic 2012 hopes

65. Vanessa Darlington from Stoke Council talks about ballroom dance classes being put on to support the build up to the Olympics

66. Daniel Tatton talks about winning this years Young Poet Lawrett

67. Interview with local band Lifecolour.

68. Dr Mary Sinnott from NHS Stoke-on-Trent spoke about bowel cancer as part of an awareness raising campaign in the city.

69. Keith Bloor, head of Stoke-on-Trent’s museum’s service, spoke about recent successes at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, including a massive increase in visitor numbers caused by the display of the Staffordshire Hoard.

70. Tim Kieley was interviewed about expansion plans for regional water attraction Waterworld.

71. Cllr Randy Conteh was interviewed about investment in a park in his ward and a forthcoming family event at it.

72. Cllr Ross Irving, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s deputy leader, was interviewed about his part in a new coalition at the authority and about latest plans to regenerate the city.

73. Rev. David Lingwood, rector at Stoke Minster, explained about the theft of lead from the church’s roof and a fundraising campaign undertaken to repair the damage.

74. Sam Burgess, a restaurateur in Newcastle town centre, was quizzed about her part in the town’s Oatcake Festival.

75. With bold plans for a new city centre bus station for Stoke-on-Trent, we recorded a report at a consultation event for the station. It involved interviews Duncan Matthieson from developer Realis Estates and Simon Houriham from Stoke-on-Trent City Council

76. We broadcast special programming on the day that the Tour Series national cycling event came to Stoke’s city centre. There were reports throughout the day’s programmes with cyclists, race sponsors and the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent. A report on the main race was broadcast the following day, which included an interview with the race winner.

77. Local artist Anna Francis visited the studio to talk about ‘Common Ground’, a contemporary art event at a local park.

78. 9 year old Matthew Lea was interviewed about taking part in the 2010k run, a 10k running event in Stoke.

79. Cllr Denver Tolley, the newly-appointed Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, visited the studios for an interview.

80. Rev. Canon Geoffrey Annas, the new Bishop of Stafford was interviewed about his move to the area.

81. With the Staffordshire Hoard gold officially owned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Birmingham City Council, we recorded a report at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery about the future plans for the Hoard. It featured Cllr Hazel Lyth, the city council’s cabinet member for culture, and Sue Taylor from the Art Fund, which led the fundraising campaign for the Hoard.

82. Three years on from the national smoking band, Michelle Ellis from NHS Stoke spoke to us about reductions in the number of locals smoking and advertised their ongoing smoking cessation service.

83. Cllr Debra Gratton, from Stoke-on-Trent City Council was interviewed following news that the council’s children’s services had successfully come out of a season of national Government intervention.

84. Nerys Williams from Gladstone Pottery Museum was interviewed about an event to mark Stoke-on-Trent’s centenary year at the museum

85. Tony Fletcher from Tesco gave an update on the forthcoming opening of a new supermarket in Stoke’s city centre.

86. We broadcast a report from the Penkhull Jazz and Blues Festival which included an interview with event organiser Barry Carver.

87. Fiona Wood, president of the Students Union at Staffordshire University, told us about a partnership project between the union and the city council to renovate a park lodge

88. We reported on the opening of a new community centre in the Blurton area of Stoke-on-Trent. It included comments from the centre’s Peter Teggin, local Rev Peter Mockford and Cllr Brian Ward.

89. Fresh from being best man at Robbie William’s wedding, Stoke actor Jonathan Wilkes talked about his part in the region’s biggest panto.

90. Neil Clifton from Newcastle Borough Council gave an update on the building of a new multi-million pound swimming pool and health centre.

91. Keith Byrne from Newcastle Borough Council was interviewed about a week of targeted action to clean up some of the borough’s residential areas.

92. Tim Edwards from one of the area’s leading housing operators Aspire, visited the studios to explain about a consultation event open to thousands of local residents.

93. With pending local authority cuts, we interviewed Cllr Hazel Lyth from Stoke-on-Trent City Council about the proposed closure of a city heritage site, Ford Green Hall. Also Paul Reid from the local resident’s association who was very against the proposals.

94. David Pott visited the studio to talk about the Two Saints Way project, the creation of a path of pilgrimage between Chester and Lichfield, passing through Stoke.

95. With news of massively-rising increases in university tuition fees, Janet Scrivens from Newcastle-under-Lyme College was interviewed about the possibility of studying Higher Education courses at college for a cheaper rate. One of the college’s Foundation Degree students was also quizzed about it.

96. With the Norovirus causing the closure of some wards at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Kim Gunn from NHS Stoke gave health advice for anyone suffering from the virus.

97. Pam Pott was interviewed about a giant Christian Advent Calendar in Stone town centre.

98. Simon Sutcliffe from Christian initiative VFX was interviewed on location at their city centre exhibition of the Nativity, set in 2010.

99. Dr Rafael Hirschi from Keele University promoted their participation in the BBC’s Stargazing event and invited listeners to the university’s observatory.

100. Ben McManus from local arts group B-Arts promoted DATfest, a festival of new media in Stoke’s city centre.

101. Chris Lawley, North Staffordshire’s area manager for the 2011 Census, explained about the process of taking part in the census.

102. A report on the Arch Charity Sleep out – interviews included with the then Lord Mayor Denver Tolley, Cllr Ruth Rosenow and Yasmin Cooper from Vodaphone

103. Kevin Byrne from local organisation ‘Chatterbox’, talks about a free financial advise event in Newcastle

104. Mohammed Pervez – Why he and other local MP’s went to Westminster to appeal to the government to reduce budget cuts in Stoke-on-Trent

105. Mark Randford, head teacher at Berryhill High, tells us why they’ve given free bikes to pupils

106. Jennifer Ellison, who is playing Pretty Polly in the Panto ‘Robinson Crusoe and the Carribbean Pirates’ at the Regent Theatre talks about the show

107. Mark Stewart, who is a local BBC Journalist at Radio Stoke, tells us why he was taking part in the Journalist Strikes over pensions

108. Jeanette Hilton from Newcastle Borough Council, tells us about a visit by Princess Anne to the new Citizens Advice Bureau offices in Kidsgrove

109. Artist Tom Marshman talks about the Catwalk clotheswap project taking place at the new SHOP exhibition space in Stoke town

110. Tony Armstrong, CEO of Living Streets talks about Walk to School week

111. Verity Rushworth, playing Maria in The Sound Of Music at The Regent Theatre.

112. Dick Steele, chairman of Portmeirion Group.

In addition 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.

Bii) Much of the specifically Christian content is covered under point 1.4 Ai, 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), and many local church leaders across all denominations. 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 Open Doors (charity that raises awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide), Christian Medical Fellowship, Evangelical Alliance, Samaritans Purse (who run Operation Christmas Child), Care For The Family, Gilead Foundation (Christian addictions rehab centre), Mercy Ships, Christian Concern, Christian Aid, Tear Fund (a third world Christian social action group), The Leprosy Mission, FairTrade, YMCA, Christian Financial Advisors, Black Mental Health, Barnabus Trust, and many others. 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 environment, 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.

Ci) 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. Students do work placements with us during their holidays. We have had students from Keele University, Staffordshire University, Guildford University, Leeds University, Sheffield University and Stok-on-Trent College.

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. One such student for example has recorded over 100 interviews and reports for the station. Many are trained in compiling and presenting the hourly local news. And many go out getting vox pops. 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, journalism editorial work, marketing 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 St Joseph’s High School, Haywood Engineering College, Blythe Bridge High School, St Peter’s High School, Newcastle College, Manchester College, Congleton High School, Biddulph High School, Newcastle High School, St John Fisher High School, Fallibroome High School, Clayton Hall College.

As evidence of our quality work experience we won an Employer Engagement Partnership Award for Staffordshire in recognition of the work we do with students.

We currently have one person with special needs, one asylum seeker, one who is partially deaf and autistic, 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 and on email. 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.

We have had to keep our plans for a Media Training Academy on hold. However in reality although we have not been able to establish the Academy yet, in reality we are already training many young people in media through their everyday involvemement in the station.

Indeed In terms of numbers of people trained we consistently have in excess of 40 volunteers involved per quarter on an ongoing basis. Over the year this totalled 66 individuals. In addition we took in 15 work experience students. 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.

Saying that, recently we have taken another step towards the Academy as we have reached the third phase of an application process to secure £60k for training eqpt and to employ two people to run our in house production training and to build partnerships with local schools and young people’s groups. Our existing resources for the Media Training Academy in our building in the city includes: training rooms with purpose built studio; 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. There are several purposes to the Academy i) to provide accredited media training for local disadvantaged young people, 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.

We have also started work on a new initiative called MyVoice. This project will empower young people across the UK to share something of their story in two minutes and get it packaged up so they can use it on their Facebook pages etc. We are planning to set up a website to host thousands of these such clips. Different aspects will include MyStory, MyEvent, and MyWord.

Cii) We continue to work with local groups for training purposes.

We started working with the local Council to provide use of our studios for training of their councillors and officers in media interviewing skills.

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.

Different schools and youth groups come and get involved in on air programming.

In terms of those in the wider community we have delivered some measure of training to at least 25+ people.

Di) 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 Tour Of Britain, and The Tour Cycle Series. We promote and take part in Sanity Fair and Piccadilly Circus festivals. We supported the Afro-Caribbean style Six Towns One City Carnival. We run much promotion of the ongoing exhibition of the Staffordshire Hoard. We promote events in the local theatres and interview the performers. We pick up on all that is happening in the local museums, art galleries, libraries etc.

To boost the attraction of the Christmas lights switch-on in Stoke, Light Night took place. The initiative involved lots of the city centre business and organisations opening up their spaces. Cross Rhythms City radio ran a café in our reception with live reports from there sent to our studios. On the morning of Light Night, we broadcast interviews with some of the participants of the event telling more about their involvement. They included: Alison Morgan, Dudson Museum; David Bethel, Airspace Art Gallery; John Booth, Bethesda Chapel; Tim Wedgwood, BBC Radio Stoke.

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). The Cross Rhythms CEO became Chair of the Cultural Quarter Group and is currently actively involved in trying to bring regeneration into the sector.

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.

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 targeting.

Events where the station has been used as a focal point for the Christian community include:

1)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.

2) 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.

3) Our breakfast show broadcast live from the King’s Hall in Stoke to coincide with the Civic Prayer Breakfast taking place there. The broadcast included interviews with local faith leaders such as the Bishop of Stafford, plus Assistant Chief Constable Jane Sawyer from Staffordshire Police and Mike Sassi, editor-in-chief of the local paper The Sentinel.

4) A number of events took place in Stoke during the year to celebrate the city’s centenary. In July, we broadcast from the Centenary Faith Celebration at the King’s Hall. It included the live transmission of the message given by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

5) A special live weekend broadcast took place from the Birches Head Carnival in Stoke-on-Trent. Cross Rhythms City Radio was asked to run the carnival’s main stage. In our live broadcast from the event, we interviewed some of the people involved in the event.

6) Casting Crowns are one of the biggest Christian bands in America. As part of a limited European tour, they sold-out the Queen’s Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent. We interviewed frontman Mark Hall live at the venue and also did live interviews with the assembled crowd.

7) A report was created on the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury to Stoke-on-Trent. It included interviews with pupils and teachers from St Peter’s High School, who were visited by the Archbishop.

8) We reported on a show of unity between faith leaders, following an arson attack on a Stoke mosque. The report included interviews with: Rana Tufail from the mosque, the Bishop of Stafford, Lloyd Cooke of the Saltbox Christian Centre, Chief Inspector Wayne Jones from Staffordshire Police.

9) We ran an outside broadcast from Harvest youth and music festival in Teesside. It featured a host of Christian artists/bands and speakers from across the UK. We set up a studio for the weekend of the festival in a field near Teesside.

10) We promoted and broadcast a well known international speaker, Tommy Tenney, speaking at Bethel City Church in Stoke-on-Trent.

11) 40 Weeks of Prayer Walking across the city – In drive we ran weekly updates.

12) We support and partner with various Christian music events in the city including: Brenton Brown, Casting Crowns.

13) Connect – A monthly event that brings together Christian leaders across the city for prayer.

14) We promote the Healing On The Streets initiative. This is a weekly team from different churches who offer prayer in the city centre.

1.5 Key commitments: Access and participation

Community Radio Order 2004: “It is a characteristic of every community radio service that members of the community it is intended to serve are given opportunities to participate in the operation and management of the service.”

Cross Rhythms City Radio will encourage and promote access to the service as follows:

  • Offering on-going training by the group for those employed by the station.
  • Training at least 15 volunteers per quarter.
  • Developing linked training and projects with local educational establishments and other local organisations, such as Groundwork, Stoke on Trent College, Millennium Volunteers Project, Blackfriars School, New Deal and Mickelson House, YMCA.
  • The group shall actively promote on air the services that it offers and invite the community to participate.
  • ‘Taster’ courses to be advertised in publications to encourage participation from the community.

This has been covered more extensively in section 1.4. 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.
2) We consistently have over 40 volunteers at one time. In the last year we have had 66 different volunteers work with us, and 15 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). At present we cannot respond to the level of interest in people joining us however. For example our goal for school work experience students 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. Also this will change once we secure funding to employ 2 specific Training positions – one in production, the other to build relationships into schools, youth groups, council youth services etc.
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. Saying that we are about to run a media training day with people coming to us through Staffs University voluntary sector initiative. If successful we are considering offering day sessions to local voluntary and charity organisations.

1.6 Key commitments: Accountability to the target community

Community Radio Order 2004: “It is a characteristic of every community radio service that, in respect of the provision of that service, the person providing the service makes himself accountable to the community that the service is intended to serve.”

The station will aim to:

  • Be an active participant in monthly meetings of local Church leaders (typically 30 to 70 local Church leaders attend).
  • Encourage direct listener feedback is via on-air promotions, letters, e-mail shots and public meetings.
  • Issue audience questionnaires every six months (e.g. through local united Christian meetings in the area or through local Christian mailings),
  • Log relevant feedback via a number of different channels, for example email, phone calls, text messages, e-text via the website, website guest book and message board comments. In addition comments book in studio reception.
  • Formalise its relationship with representatives of local Churches and other interested groups through a quarterly 'board of reference' to receive feedback on the station.
  • The group is a member of the Christian Broadcasting Council (CBC) and has agreed to abide by its code of contact

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. We also run a yearly mailing to all the local church leaders to update them.
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, for example this year at St Andrews, St Martins, The Galley, RCCG, CGC, Madeley Parish Church and The Beacon. We also encourage email feedback through our website – responses to which are scrolled along the front page on our website. We get loads of comments from our Facebook pages and we log the relevant ones. Every month we send out an email update on all we are doing (which goes to 30,000+ 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 our 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, we also call all our regular financial donors, having contacted about 700-1000 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 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.

1.7 Volunteer inputs

Number of volunteers:
As mentioned over the year we have had 66 different volunteers with about 40-45 active volunteers in any quarter. In addition we have had 15 work experience students averaging 1.5 weeks each.

What roles are performed by volunteers:
Of the 66 volunteers the breakdown of their primary roles is as follows:

On Air Presenters 18
Off Air Production 11
Editorial Dept for website 10
Cleaning/Odd jobs 4
Marketing 3
IT 2

Approximate number of hours worked on average per volunteer per week: The total hours we receive from our volunteers comes to over 12300 a year, the equivalent of 6.7 full time employees. In terms of an average number of hours per volunteer this comes to about 3.6 hours per week.

Additional information:
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.

1.8 Significant achievements

Significant achievements outside of any mentioned in the above would be:

1) We won two runners up Jerusalem Media Awards for best Podcast for our Girls’ Night In show, and best under 25 presenter for Shell Perris.

2) We have continued our collaboration with Cross Rhythms Plymouth and Teesside. Other groups have approached us to explore collaboration, including ones in Manchester, Sunderland and Chelmsford.

3) We have continued to support a young man who is presenting a radio show in Bethlehem in the Palestinian Authority. 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). In March 2011 this has developed to an invitation to visit 11 leaders in Bethlehem to explore a possible community radio station in that city. We plan to progress this opportunity in the coming year.

4) We relaunched our Facebook, Twitter and Myspace pages as well as a specific Facebook page for our Girls Night In programme.

5) We launched a new Sunday afternoon show called The Week That Was, which recaps the highlights of the previous week and forward announces coming highlights.

6) The CEO and his wife were interviewed by the local newspaper about IVF and also by BBC Radio Stoke.

7) The CEO has appeared on the BBC Sunday Club programme.

8) The CEO also spoke at the ECG conference in Llandudno, and with his wife to a local 18-30’s group called The Foundry.

9) Heather Bellamy and Sarah J write for a regular column in the local newspaper called Yours Faithfully.

10) We launched a monthly team get together we call Feast & Fellowship – loads of food and chat which builds team.

11) We produced a charity CD on behalf of Farm 2 Grow, which was presented to Downing Street.

12) We joined the Stoke-on-Trent Business Crime Initiative.

13) The CEO was elected Chair of the city centre’s Cultural Quarter Group.

14) We held a movie night for the movie Expelled, a docudrama about Intelligent Design.

15) We opened up opportunity for local churches to offer Prayer for healing at two city festivals – Sanity Fair and Piccadilly Circus.

16) One of our presenters sits on the Partnership Of Faith Group to tackle crime in the city centre, led by the Police.

17) We managed to secure a Future Jobs Fund placement for an editorial assistant position for 6 months.

18) We have been approached by a small TV production company to produce some online TV shows.

19) We launched a new idea for selling advertising on the radio station. Adbay runs along similar lines to Ebay whereby people bid for certain advertising slots based on what they think the value of it is to them. This has helped bring in a little more advertising income.

20) We launched Artist Partnerships, a new department aimed at building better collaboration with UK independent artists.

21) We launched a web app so people can listen to the radio on their smartphones.

22) We have begun negotiations with Vodafone to rent roof space on our building, which will bring in a valuable income.

23) We started our new 5 year licence on Jan 1st 2011!

1.9 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 9 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 9 years and are confident we can continue doing so into the future.

We have also seen a marked decline in sales from our online shop. We attribute this to the recession and also the change to music downloads, which we are not able to offer online.

1.10 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).

Data from our website usage shows:
1) An average of 3723 people opened the live radio stream in each month of the year. They listened for an average of 4.5 minutes.
2) 7198 podcasts were download from our site and iTunes over the year.
3) Each month an average of 368 people streamed a programme using our Listen Again service. They listened for an average of 6 minutes.
4) In total, 72,063 live radio streams were started by users in 2010

Overall for our website, we had over 700,000 unique users according to Google Analytics and over 900,000 visitor sessions. We had over 100,000 unique users a month according to AW Stats.

 More in Community Radio Annual Reports..


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