Posted by Bill Best
Filed under Community News, Events, Radio Industry

Wycombe Sound named 2017 Station of the Year
Awards recognise invention on a shoestring from Facebook Live to Her Majesty’s Prison

The successes of the UK’s growing not-for-profit radio sector were celebrated on the evening of Saturday 23rd September at the second annual Community Radio Awards as Wycombe Sound was named 2017 Station of The Year.

The award was announced by Community Radio Awards (CRAs) Chair Martin Steers following the 2017 Community Media Conference. This year’s Conference, which was hosted by 2016 Station of the Year Ujima FM in Bristol, brought together grassroots media organisations who give voice to communities usually overlooked by mainstream and commercial media.

Bill Best, Operations Manager, Community Media Association says:

‘We’ve had a fantastic day today at the Community Media Conference hearing stories as to how community ownership of media from across the world can offer a viable alternative to mainstream and commercial media. A huge diversity of volunteer-supported organisations are empowering the creativity of communities to challenge traditional media formats and tell untold stories. The Community Radio Awards showcase some amazing examples of this community media practice in action.’

Gold awards in the 17 categories included Radio Wanno from HMP Wandsworth was named best podcast (presented by Upload Radio); Rachel Price of Forces Radio BFBS Northern Ireland named Young Person of the Year (under 25) (presented by BBC Local Radio); and Spark FM’s ‘Building an Audience using Facebook Live’ was Innovation of the year (presented by CMA).

Phillipa Sawyer from 2017 Station of the Year Wycombe Sound, says:

‘Winning Station of the Year at the 2017 Community Radio Awards was a fantastic result for all the volunteers and listeners of Wycombe Sound.

Wycombe Sound is a new station that has only been on air for 10 months and achieving this award has been due to the hard work of a dedicated station team supported by our loyal listeners.

Every nominated station has done so well this evening at the second Community Radio Awards which has been a wonderful celebration of what the entire community radio sector can achieve.

Wycombe Sound looks forward to an exciting year ahead as Station of the Year and watch this space – this is just the start!’

Community Radio Awards Chair, Martin Steers, says:

‘We can’t believe how much these new awards have caught the imagination of the movement of volunteers who are producing fantastic and engaging radio for their communities. What we were really excited by is the increasing energy of their output. It can be a long old haul keeping output going over the long term on very minimal funds, so we’re pleased to see that the sector is not only surviving but thriving, and is increasingly the answer to bringing communities together and serving those who are being left behind by the traditional and mainstream media.’

A panel of over 50 judges drawn from the BBC, commercial radio, community radio and media, and academics selected the best programmes and stations from more than 350 entries from 70 community radio stations.

Results in reverse order of presentation:

01. Station of the Year presented by Martin Steers Chair of the Community Radio Awards

  • Wycombe Sound 106.6FM – GOLD
  • Ribble FM – SILVER
  • Somer Valley FM – BRONZE
  • Raidió Fáilte – NOMINATED

 02. Community Development Project of the Year presented by Hannah Parry, Deputy Chair of the Community Media Association

  • Mackem Craic, Spark FM – GOLD
  • A Present from the Past, Phoenix FM Halifax – SILVER
  • Radio Sheung Lok, ALL FM – BRONZE
  • ‘Alright Mate – I’m Listening’ Male Mental Health Project, Ribble FM – NOMINATED
  • Global Sunderland  Spark FM – NOMINATED

03. Community Show of the Year presented by Caroline Mitchell from Sunderland University

  • The Midweek Sportsbar, BCfm Radio – GOLD
  • Farming Friday, Ribble FM – SILVER
  • Mid-Morning, Wycombe Sound 106.6FM – BRONZE
  • Summer Saturday, Cambridge 105 – NOMINATED
  • Kinlochlovin Drivetime, Nevis Radio – NOMINATED

04. Male Presenter of the Year presented by Matt Webb, Cambridge 105 Radio

  • Mark Blackman, Canalside Community Radio – GOLD
  • Rob L’Esperance, Wycombe Sound 106.6FM – SILVER
  • Mark Jarvis, Erewash Sound – BRONZE
  • Rory Auskerry, Pure 107.8fm – NOMINATED
  • Lee Roe, Ribble FM – NOMINATED

05. Female Presenter of the Year presented by Primrose Granville, Ujima Radio

  • Louise Croombs, Tameside Radio – GOLD
  • Philippa Sawyer, Wycombe Sound 106.6FM – SILVER
  • Laura Perry, CSRfm – BRONZE
  • Fiona Jessica Wilson (aka FJ), Ipswich Community Radio – NOMINATED
  • Julie Donaldson, Zetland FM – NOMINATED

06. Live Event or Outside Broadcast of the Year sponsored by IpDTL and presented by Pete Helmore from UKRD Group Technology

  • Tour de Yorkshire, Drystone Radio – GOLD
  • Failsworth Carnival, Oldham Community Radio 99.7FM – SILVER
  • Les James Challenge Cup Final 2017, 107.5 Switch Radio – BRONZE
  • Election night 2017, BCfm Radio – NOMINATED
  • Radio Verulam brings LIVE FA Cup coverage to St Albans, Radio Verulam – NOMINATED

07. Entertainment Show of the Year presented by Roger Griffiths Chair of Ujima Radio

  • The Kieran Poole Sessions, Miskin Radio – GOLD
  • The Week in Geek – The biggest Geek radio show in the UK, Spark FM – SILVER
  • Drivetime with Ryan & Beth, Spark FM – BRONZE
  • Breakfast with Louise, Tameside Radio – NOMINATED
  • Old Gits and Hits, BCFM Bristol    – NOMINATED

08. Speech & Journalism of the Year sponsored by Radio News Hub, and presented by Stephanie Otty and Jamie Fletcher from the Radio News Hub

  • Rough Sleep, Tameside Radio – GOLD
  • The Late Show with Joe Shennan, Wycombe Sound 106.6FM – SILVER
  • Newsburst, Sheppey 92.2 FM – BRONZE
  • Sapana Budha – ‘Nepal: after the Earthquake’, Radio LaB 97.1FM – NOMINATED
  • Spark Reports – The News Team, Spark FM – NOMINATED

09. Arts & Creative Radio of the Year presented by Maggie Ayre from BBC Arts

  • Folkestone Life – a Sound Art Project, Academy FM Folkestone – GOLD
  • Lincoln Voices, Lincoln City Radio – SILVER
  • The Second Coming, Warminster Community Radio- BRONZE
  • Dear Reader, CSRfm – NOMINATED
  • Huntsford, Huntingdon Community Radio  (HCR104fm) – NOMINATED

10. Specialist Music Show of the Year presented by Martin Parry, Swindon Viewpoint

  • The Urban LP, CSRfm – GOLD
  • Dance Revolution, Spark FM – SILVER
  • The Richard Harris Folk and Blues Show, Somer Valley FM- BRONZE
  • Showstoppers, Zetland FM – NOMINATED
  • The Vintage Show, Ribble FM – NOMINATED

11. Sports Show of the Year presented by Terry Lee, Community Media Association

  • Sportsbyte, Spark FM – GOLD
  • FA Cup coverage St Albans v Carlisle United, Radio Verulam – SILVER
  • The Wycombe Sound Saturday Sports Show, Wycombe Sound 106.6FM – BRONZE
  • OB’s Saturday Sport Show, Radio Cardiff – NOMINATED
  • The Saturday Scoreboard, Switch Radio – NOMINATED

12. Volunteer of the Year presented by Danny Lawrence, from The Radio Hub networking events bringing community radio together

  • Jack Bee, Sheppey 92.2 FM – GOLD
  • Ian Robertson, East Coast FM – SILVER
  • Gary Tottingham, Radio LaB – BRONZE
  • Arthur Chorley, Oldham Community Radio 99.7fm – NOMINATED
  • John Weller  Nevis Radio – NOMINATED

13. Young Person of the Year (under 25) sponsored by BBC Local Radio presented by Steph Marshall Head of Regional and Local Programmes for BBC West

  • Rachel Price, Forces Radio BFBS Northern Ireland – GOLD
  • Lewis Baxter, Ribble FM – SILVER
  • Lila Bellamy, 107 Meridian FM – BRONZE
  • Jake Peach, CSRfm – NOMINATED
  • Mark Jarvis, Erewash Sound – NOMINATED

14. Sage Person (Over 60) presented by Richard Hilton from the Community Media Association

  • Harry Haward, Resonance FM – GOLD
  • Keith Green, Warminster Community Radio – SILVER
  • Trish Napier, Canalside Radio – BRONZE
  • Hugh Taylor – Folk n Stuff, Alive Radio – NOMINATED
  • Manjulika Singh, Awaz FM – NOMINATED

15. Newcomer (new to radio in last 12 months) presented by Shirley Ludford, Station Manager of Swindon 105.5

  • Mark Jarvis, Erewash Sound – GOLD
  • Katy Ashman, Abbey 104 – SILVER
  • Lee Roe, Ribble FM – BRONZE
  • Emma Snow, Erewash Sound – NOMINATED
  • Samantha Howard, Academy FM Folkestone – NOMINATED

16. Innovation Award presented by Bill Best, Operations Manager of Community Media Association

  • Building an Audience using Facebook Live, Spark FM – GOLD
  • Raspberry Pi Uplink Solution, Wycombe Sound 106.6FM – SILVER
  • 300 Club Lottery, Oldham Community Radio 99.7fm – BRONZE
  • Mackem Craic, Spark FM – NOMINATED
  • The One Pound SoundHound Round, East Coast 107.6FM – NOMINATED

17. Podcast presented by Will Jackson, Managing Director of the Radio Independents Group

  • Radio Wanno (HMP Wandsworth) – GOLD
  • Insanity Radio – SILVER
  • Talking Men, Cambridge 105 – BRONZE
  • Apex, Cam FM – NOMINATED
  • Fair Frome Food Bank training podcast, Frome FM – NOMINATED

More information about the 2017 Community Radio Awards at

@CommRadioAwards on Twitter, Community Radio Awards on Facebook
@community_media on Twitter, CommunityMediaAssociation on Facebook


Notes to editors

For more information and media, please contact Bill Best, Community Media Association, on or 0114 279 5219.

Sponsors to Community Media Conference and Community Radio Awards:

The CMA and the CRAs are very grateful for the generous support of:
• PRS for Music
• Live Event / Outside Broadcast of the Year sponsored by IpDTL
• Speech and Journalism Radio of the Year sponsored by Radio News Hub
• The Radio Hub
• Young Person of the Year sponsored by BBC Local Radio / English Regions

About The Community Media Association (CMA)
The CMA champions access to community radio and local television for all people and their communities to achieve lasting positive social change. Established in 1983, it is the UK representative and membership body for the community broadcasting sector. The CMA campaigned for the establishment of community radio from 1983 until the formal establishment of the sector in 2004. It advocates for and provides technical support to members, including an Internet radio and video streaming service, Canstream.

About Community Radio Awards
The independent not-for-profit CRAs celebrate community radio and all the hard work and time that the volunteers involved in community radio put into their stations, shows and communities.


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