Takeover Radio is Leicester’s biggest community radio station broadcasting from the heart of the city since 2002. The really special thing about the station though, is that it is run by young people for young people.
The station is part of the Takeover Radio Children’s Media Trust, a charity dedicated to working with young people to train and develop their confidence, communication and life skills. Their aim is to advance the education of children and young people aged between 8 and 18 in the UK by the provision of training in: radio, journalism, web design, video production and other new media, with a view to enhance their personal development, and to work toward a career the media industry.
Completely run by volunteers, children are guided through various radio projects from inception through to production and to-air. They’re also given the opportunity to attend a 10-week training course where they learn about presentation skills, broadcast law, how to write for radio, how to conduct interviews, technical production skills among many other things. Once they have graduated, they go on to produce a Sunday show ‘Next Generation’ as a group before being given the opportunity to do their own ‘Kidz Takeover’ shows.
Dan Flanders, an alumnus of the station and now volunteer, applied for kinex Community Support Scheme funding for new equipment that would keep the station up-to-date with the rest of the industry.
‘The microphones we had had seen better days, the springs in the arms of the microphones had completely gone. With the £500 funding from kinex, we have bought a whole new set of arms for one studio and some for the second studio which allows for future upgrades. We have also been able to purchase two Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamics microphones for the main presenters which helps make the studio sound a lot more professional. As a result, our young people are getting familiar with industry standard equipment and we also hope it will help attract further advertising as we sound so much better.’
We heard about the positive impact the funding is already having in an interview with two of the young radio presenters Harry (pictured bottom right using a new microphone) and co-host Erin.
Dan: I’m here with Harry and Erin from the Opinion8 show on Tuesday nights here at Takeover Radio, do you want to tell me about the new microphones and how they are?
Harry: Well they sound much better than the old ones we had, because the old ones, the sound was all over the place. These ones have a nice steady, loud sound, so it’s much more consistent than the other mics where you had to be all over the place just to get a decent sound.
Erin: I think they’re really good and a lot better than the other ones because the other ones you had to be in a certain place and position you had to be in to be heard correctly but now you kind of have a bit more space for when you’re talking and it sounds a lot better as well.
Dan: Brilliant, and why do you both enjoy being at Takeover?
Harry: The opportunity it gives you, this is technically work experience when you think about it, this can get you so many things in life and it’s good practice for the future, if you want to be a TV or radio presenter, this is great practice for speaking with audiences. It’s better because you can’t actually see the people you’re talking to!
Erin: For me, I don’t really like talking in front of people when i can see them, with radio I can talk without having to see them, apart from Harry – but that’s just one person. When you talk to people on TV shows you get millions of people watching you but with radio you can get loads of people listening but they can’t see you.
Dan: Perfect – and finally, how old are you both?
Erin: I’m 11 years old and I’m a young radio presenter!!
Harry: I’m 12 and it’s 31 days until I’m 13!
The kinex Community Support Scheme is dedicated to supporting worthwhile causes in local communities so they can continue the remarkable work they do every day. We are proud to have supported Prevent Breast Cancer’s BooBee Bus, a charity Fun Day and Celebrity football Match and women’s shelter WAITS and more in the last year. Takeover Radio was a cause that we felt was fully deserving of a grant and we are so pleased to have contributed in a small way.
Dan adds ‘I was lucky enough to attend the station, experience the benefits first-hand and have now made a career in media like many other alumni. It has been a tough time after our founder and station manager passed away so we are doing all we can to keep his legacy going. We rely heavily on grants such as the kinex community Support Scheme to ensure that the station continues to run and its only through opportunities such as these that we can continue to grow. We are always looking for volunteers in the local area too, so please do get in touch by visiting www.takeoverradio.com where you can also listen to us live.’
If you know an organisation that could benefit from kinex Community Support Scheme funding then do get in touch using the online form here.