9 Years of Promoting Unity in Southampton’s Communities

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In January 2015, Southampton’s Unity 101 Community Radio – the heart of the city’s cultural media – celebrated its 9th anniversary with a lavish Anniversary & Awards Evening. The community radio station whose motto is “For the community, To the community, By the community” is the South’s leading Asian & ethnic radio station.

An independent voluntary organisation, Unity 101 provides culturally focused programmes and meets the entertainment, training and skills needs of its volunteers and listeners, thus contributing to a more cohesive city. Unity 101 Community Radio was nationally recognised, at the highest level, for its successes in 2012 when the station was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for “promoting community cohesion through a multi language broadcasting service”. In 2014, the station was also shortlisted for the National Diversity Award’s Community Organisation Award for Race, Religion & Faith.

The Anniversary & Awards event was attended by over 300 guests, which included Unity 101’s volunteers and its supporters and sponsors from across the private, public & voluntary sectors. They enjoyed a colourful evening filled with celebration, entertainment, excitement and food and Unity 101’s volunteers were acknowledged and rewarded, receiving awards for their achievements.

Unity 101 Volunteers

Awards on the night:

College Awards, presented by the Principals of the schools and colleges

Through Unity 101’s #StudentTakeover young people from local schools and colleges get the opportunity to broadcast their very own weekly radio programme. Each year at the Anniversary & Awards Event, each school and college acknowledges a student who has shown exceptional talents and achieved goals above their expectations.

Youth 101 team

Youth 101 Award, presented Jason Horton, Head of Regional & Local Programmes, BBC South

Through Youth 101, a culturally diverse team of 6 British born young people aged 13-17, were given training in radio broadcasting to present their own two hour programme twice a month on Sunday’s  from 4pm to 6pm. The range of skills they gained were confidence, time management, multitasking and prioritising, team-building, time-keeping, research, deadlines, Communications, people skills and programme production and radio presenting.

Creative Skills To Employment

Creative Skills to Employment Award

Through Unity 101’s “Creative Skills to Employment” programme, funded by European Social Fund and Skills Funding Agency, local unemployed people were given the opportunity to gain valuable skills and personal development through radio broadcast training. On successful completion of the programme, each participant presented their own live radio programmes. Of the  12 trainees, 4 went on to full time employment, 2 into part time employment, 2 into Higher Education, 1 into Further Education, 1 into voluntary employment, 1 became self employed, and 1 continued with an existing programme of learning.

New volunteer presenters

Organisation Award

Southampton’s two universities—long term supporters of Unity 101 Community Radio— each presented a Special Award to a student for achieving goals over and above expectations. The Awards were presented by a specially invited former student of each university who have gone on to succeed in their chosen career.

Statements from Unity 101 supporters

Jason Horton, Head of Regional & Local Programmes, BBC South: “BBC Radio Solent has had a relationship with Unity 101 for five years now and we are extremely proud of our links with the station. Over the next 12 months I know our relationship will become stronger as my colleagues help to train members of the Unity team. Very early on in 2015 we’ll feature some of the stories generated by Unity 101 on our Breakfast Programme.”

Robin Britton, ITV News Meridian: “Unity 101 is a great community station and ITV News Meridian is proud to work in partnership with the team and in a relationship that works for both of us. ITV News is able to provide opportunities to individuals and groups who want to gain experience in TV and online production and the Unity 101 team help us to be relevant to all communities in our region. We look forward to working even more closely together in 2015.”

Richard Kennett, University of Southampton: “The University of Southampton recognises Unity 101’s key role in supporting the community and we value our relationship with the station.”

Mike Wilkinson, Southampton Solent University: “Southampton Solent University has enjoyed working with Unity 101 for many years, giving great opportunities for students and staff to engage with the diverse communities of the area through participation as presenters, in programming, broadcasting support and at various superb events. Well done to all at Unity 101 for an enduring partnership which we value highly.”

Unity 101 Community Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in and around Southampton on 101.1FM, online www.unity101.org and on Smartphones via the free Unity 101 Radio app. To find out more about this award winning community radio station, visit www.unity101.org or www.facebook.com/unity101


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