ConnectTransmit survey

June 5, 2014 in Project News by Cormac Lawler

We’d love to know how useful you’ve found the Connect:Transmit site to be. If you have 5 minutes to spare, please fill out our survey!

See the survey at:

Thank you!

Connect:Transmit gets mention in House of Commons

March 4, 2014 in Project News by Cormac Lawler

Connect:Transmit has been held up in Parliament as an example of the great work being done by community radio stations around the country. It was mentioned by Ed Vaizey MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, as part of a debate about community radio licensing in the House of Commons on Friday 28th February.

Ed Vaizey’s comments were in response to a question by Ian Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes, who asked about Ofcom’s licensing timetable and its impact on MKFM, a local digital community radio station which is currently trying to obtain an FM licence. During his response, Mr Vaizey described community radio as an “astounding success”, before citing Connect:Transmit:

“The recent connect:transmit project is a good example of how community radio comes together to support skills and training for young people. It was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and co-ordinated by Radio Regen, a charity supporting the community radio sector. It worked with four community radio stations: Shmu FM in Aberdeen, BCB in Bradford, Future Radio in Norwich, and Preston FM.”

He went on to say that: “community radio has grown and established itself as part of the UK’s diverse and vibrant radio ecology.” However, he also acknowledged the difficulties faced by the sector, saying that: “a number of community radio stations are reporting problems and struggling to remain viable, with some stations reporting a decline in income and difficulties in accessing funding.”

Connect:Transmit is certainly a good example of community radio in action and in support of social gain. It is an innovative example of different community radio stations and organisations working together to deliver social outcomes, and to access funding in support of that objective.

Connect:Transmit is a national project to evaluate and increase the capacity of community radio to develop young people’s speaking and listening skills, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. It has engaged around 100 young people aged between 11 and 18, from a range of backgrounds across the UK, and trained them in community radio skills in a variety of settings – including GCSE delivery, extra-curricular activity, and informal drop-in sessions.

Connect:Transmit has had a positive impact on young people. 90% of the participating young people reported an overall improvement in their speaking and listening skills, with an increase in confidence being the biggest reported change across all of the young people at the different stations.

The young people who participated have cited the strong motivating factor of being on the radio – “Thirteen and you’re going to be on the radio. That’s pretty cool.” They have also commented on the benefit of this project on their personal skills in everyday life, as well as their enhanced employability prospects. A young person at Preston FM said: “I think what we are learning is that preparation and teamwork are important… when you’ve got something that’s ‘going live’ you’ve got no room for mistakes so you’ve got to know what’s coming next; that running order is really important.”

Their trainers have also been enthusiastic about the impact of Connect:Transmit: “Our kids have said things [like]: ‘nobody listens to us.’ Well, this gives them a chance to have a platform where people potentially will listen to them. And it will give them more of a motivation to say it right, to say it properly, to do it well.”

In addition to the beneficial impact of Connect:Transmit on the young people, the participating community radio stations have forged successful partnerships with local schools and youth and other organisations, increasing their capacity to deliver services and projects of benefit to their communities.

Additionally, as part of Connect:Transmit, a survey was undertaken of youth learning opportunities in community radio in the UK – the first survey of its kind. This survey report found that UK community radio organisations (81% of respondees) are delivering valuable social gain by providing learning opportunities for young people, and can create a unique learning culture that is ‘different to school’ in a number of ways. However, echoing the minister’s remarks, it found that the sector is under-resourced and warned that, without better resourcing, more stations will risk closure and the ability to deliver these benefits will be lost.

See videos and other resources around the rest of this site – – including a 4 minute overview video of the project. Read the full report of the Connect:Transmit project here.

MKFM’s write-up of the House of Commons debate is here.

Transcript of the debate (from House of Commons Hansard) is here.

Connect:Transmit regional seminars in Preston and Norwich

November 7, 2013 in Project News by Cormac Lawler

Layout 1

Connect:Transmit, the national project to develop young people’s speaking and listening skills through community radio, is hosting a number of seminars around the country over the next few months. These seminars will highlight the successes of the Connect:Transmit project in working with young people in different contexts, and aim to build links between community radio stations and educational and youth organisations. They will be run by the Connect:Transmit partner stations: shmuFM (Aderdeen), Future Radio (Norwich), BCB (Bradford) and Preston FM.

The first of these seminars, for the Lancashire/NorthWest region, will take place in Preston on the 14th November. The event “is aimed at teachers, creative practitioners and community radio practitioners and will offer ample opportunity for networking and questions.” Register for this seminar at: and for further details contact Darren Jenkinson:

The second seminar will be hosted by Future Radio in Norwich on the 29th November. If you work in East Anglia, this is “your chance to form partnerships and learn the power of community radio”. Register for the event here: and for further details, contact Terry Lee:

Norwich regional seminar flyer webIf you are in the region of either of these seminars, and work with young people or community radio, you should strongly consider participating.

In addition to the above, there will be at least two more regional seminars, in Aberdeen and Bradford – though there may well be others too, so watch this space! If you are interested in attending or even helping to organise a seminar in your region, please get in touch with Cormac in Radio Regen:

Details of the recent Connect:Transmit national conference can be seen here, and you can find many more resources from Connect Transmit around the rest of this site.

Community FM ‘Connect:Transmit’ conference – a boost to the community radio sector

November 7, 2013 in Project News by Cormac Lawler

The first national community radio conference for many years – the Community FM ‘Connect:Transmit’ event – took place in Manchester on the 5th October 2013, hosted by Radio Regen. Over 100 people attended the conference, coming from as far afield as Aberdeen, Newry and Bristol. Delegates included four groups of young people from across the country who had participated in Connect:Transmit, a two year project funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to develop young people’s speaking and listening skills through community radio. There were also workshops on a variety of subjects, including the current funding landscape, gleaning ideas from social enterprises, working with young people, and project monitoring and evaluation.

As anticipated, the conference proved a great opportunity for people involved in community radio across the country to get together and share ideas about how to make best use of community radio, and overcome the challenges currently faced by the sector.  Delegates told us that they were very happy with the event and called for a repeat – one saying it “MUST be an annual event”.  They said that outstanding sessions included ‘funding your station’ and the presentation by leading social entrepreneur Fay Selvan.

Overall, the day was extremely positive – with lots of ideas for how to fund stations, how and why to work together, and how to sustain and strengthen both individual stations, and the sector more generally. There was a strong shared feeling that the community radio sector needs more opportunities to get together – which Radio Regen is very keen to facilitate.

As Radio Regen Director, Phil Korbel, said: “community radio people are by definition passionate about their work, creative and resilient.  Put a large bunch of them in a room and it’s hard not to have fun and generate good ideas.  This weekend in Manchester was no exception and we look forward to staying in touch with delegates and helping them make their stations thrive in these difficult times.”

To find out more about Connect:Transmit, and view the resources it has generated, see the rest of this site.

A social media ‘story’ of the event can be seen here: and many more pics, taken by Liz Hardwick, can be seen here.

Radio Regen also hosts a portal for community radio resources, The Community Radio Toolkit –

Community Radio and learning

December 12, 2012 in Project News by ct_admin

young person learning audio skillsCommunity radio training projects have been proven to support people in the most deprived communities to overcome social and personal barriers to work.

We enable participants to develop a wide range of skills for work and life including teamwork and time planning as they make radio programmes about their local area.  They learn to research and interview well and develop ICT and digital media skills that are widely sought after in the labour market.

As learners work together on their radio projects they inevitably improve their communication skills especially in presenting their views to others, raise their self esteem and become more confident and ready to engage in the world of work.

Radio for employability

December 12, 2012 in Project News by ct_admin

employability certificatesLast year Radio Regen ran a ‘Radio training for employability’ course for unemployed young people in Tameside.

Radio training for employability attracted people who might not enjoy more traditional learning experiences as the setting was informal and making radio is engaging and hands on.

The course lasted two weeks and participants first learnt the skills needed to make radio and then worked collaboratively to put a programme together to be broadcast on Tameside FM.

Many biscuits were devoured, friendships made and confidence increased.

Staff recognised and exploited the diversity of the groups and tailored the course to individual learners’ needs.  Learners experimented with media making in a live and real broadcast setting – preparing them well for a career in media.

Community radio settings also offer a range of other employment and volunteering opportunities – in administrative roles, sales training and technical support.

Connect:Transmit – key messages

December 8, 2012 in Project News by ct_admin

logo headphonesWe already know that youth community radio training can support young people to become more confident and capable members of their community.  Our recent survey of community radio training organisations, the groundwork for a larger piece of work, suggests that 80% of community radio organisations work with young people and that the majority of these organisations work with those that others might call ‘hard to reach’ or vulnerable.  In addition, our survey data highlights the vital role that community radio organisations play in bringing together people who live and work in diverse communities.

Early findings from our nationwide survey tell us that youth radio training offers young people a chance to:

  • Learn 21st century literacies (such as digital and media literacies) alongside traditional literacies
  • Develop personal capacities vital for their future life and work
  • Represent themselves and be recognised and valued
  • Work in partnership with others in their community to bring about positive change

Despite this our survey data paints a picture of a sector in crisis, where workers fear for their jobs, or are working long hours for little or no pay.  Many told us that, despite a plethora of experience, they could no longer deliver youth training projects because their organisation did not have the capacity to do so.  This was disproportionately affecting work with groups that are known to require more time and resource.

Our project, connect:transmit, aims to increase the capacity of the sector to promote the development of young people, specifically connected to training, speaking and listening skills and enabling the young participants to become better informed, more positive, and more active in their communities.

The project will support the sector through:

  • Documenting existing practice in the sector
  • Conducting evaluated pilot projects and disseminating an evaluation report and good practice guide at regional seminars and through a national conference/event
  • Creating national networks for youth practitioners and young people at community radio stations
  • Lobbying policy makers

For further information about the project, offers of support and ideas for getting our voice heard please contact:

tel: 0161 234 2799