British Empire Medal for services to community radio

Posted by & filed under Community News, Radio Industry.

Basildon Deputy Mayor and Gateway 97.8 Director Danny Lawrence has been
awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his commendable service to
community radio.
The British Empire Medal is given to those engaging in voluntary work who
have made a “hands-on” contribution to their local community or have made
an impact in a relatively short time, and is worthy of recognition by the
Deputy mayor Cllr Danny Lawrence, said: “This is a great honour for me and
community radio as a medium.
“I can think of many highlights in my career in community radio but being
an ear for local concerns and giving people a chance to train and improve
their skills are high on that list.
“I’ve seen people gain full time employment following voluntary stints in
community radio and youngsters who have been excluded from school find a
sense of purpose and focus. In one such case a young person who had been
excluded from school got to meet the Prime Minister through his work on
community radio.
“It’s amazing what can be achieved through community radio and I’m
delighted I am to receive this medal for my contribution.”
Councillor Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Council, added: “Cllr Lawrence has
made a valuable contribution to community radio which is now being
recognised in the New Year’s honours list.
“This is a very proud moment and I would like to congratulate Danny on this
The BEM was first awarded in 1917 but was stopped in the 1990’s. The award
was brought back for the Queens Diamond Jubilee Year.
Councillor Lawrence, who is director of the Community Media Association
(CMA) and president of the Rotary Club of Corringham Thameside, has worked
in community radio for 11 years, six of which have been spent at Basildon’s
He first hit the airwaves as a 13-year-old with Harold Wood Hospital Radio
before working for various community radio stations including BR FM on the
Isle of Sheppey, Kent and Garrison Radio in Colchester.
It was at Garrison Radio that he broadcast to troops in Afghanistan and was
able to relay messages from the front line to the families of soldiers in
the UK.
During Danny’s time at Gateway 97.8 the station has won the Big Society
award and Queen’s award for voluntary service.
For further information and to set up a photo opportunity please contact
Deputy Mayor Cllr Danny Lawrence on 07903 265 726.

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