As we begin a new year I’m looking back on what made 2012 so memorable for me. There have been far too many things to list in one post, so I’m going to do a Top of the Pops style look back on my top three milestones of last year. (If you want to read my blog’s annual report then Click Here.)
3) Chilled Pure on Pure 107.8 FM
I was listening on the day that Pure 107.8 FM was launched across Stockport in 2005 but would have never imagined (bad choice of word!?) that my voice would be on its airwaves. Now I have my own slot on the radio station that broadcasts to my home town and it’s a dream come true for me. I’ve been involved with the station in many different ways over the past three years – from wearing the panda suit to the end of year parties – it’s been great!
To be given the chance to present the Chilled Pure slot on the station was a great honour for me, not only because I appear on the schedule alongside seasoned broadcasters, but also because I get to play the easy-listening music that I’m passionate about.
I loved broadcasting on Christmas Eve into Christmas day; it was the icing on the cake for me to be on “Santa Watch” across the Stockport sky last year. I look forward to presenting more Chilled Pure weeknights from midnight in 2013!
2) Making Mental Health Positive
It might seem obvious but one of the best things about community radio is that it puts you in touch with some of the wonderful things that happen in your local area. Through my Chill Room show on North Manchester FM a listener, Dawn Perry, got in touch to tell me about her Making Mental Health Positive campaign and during 2012 I’ve enjoyed getting involved with this.
I’m the campaign’s media co-ordinator and part of the admin team that moderate the Facebook page, which acts as an online peer-to-peer support network. To see content featured on my radio shows have an impact in the community as well as a positive affect on people’s lives is wonderful. The campaign’s monthly meet and create events have been a success at The Lowry last year and these are continuing in 2013. With the campaign’s member count growing every day we go into the New Year outreaching to more people than ever.
1) Broadcast Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)
The turning point in my year came in September when I enrolled onto the Broadcast Journalism masters course at UCLan. Journalism had been a career path I’d considered for a long time but taking the plunge and starting the course was the best decision I made in 2012.
My family’s roots are in Lancashire so I’ve enjoyed exploring Red Rose County and getting to know the people in the area, especially in a year as special as the Preston Guild. Being a broadcast journalist means that I’ve had the opportunity to meet people and try out things that I would’ve never had chance to otherwise. I love the spontaneity of it; no two days are ever the same. I’ve met the man who designed a Preston CityScape out of MDF wood, sparred in a Blackpool Boxing Gym as well as eaten a battered mince pie…. and that’s just some of the places where my reports took me last year!
When I write my review of what a year 2013 has been, I will have graduated. It’ll be interesting to see what I’ll be doing then and look back at how I got there. I’m dedicated to my career and determined to achieve my dream of becoming a broadcast journalist. I know this year’s going to be hard work but it will also be exciting. I hope you’ll stay with me and follow my blog throughout 2013.
To be continued…
I find one of the things I enjoy most about radio is the opportunities it gives me to meet many interesting and inspirational people. Dawn Perry would be included way up at the top of this list; we first got in touch after she listened to my shows on North Manchester FM and contacted me about promoting her Facebook page: Making Mental Health Positive.
The campaign is about eliminating discrimination and the societal stigma that surrounds mental health issues, providing a platform to encourage self-help through positive peer-to-peer discussion. It has been uplifting to see the page progress from its formation into a thriving social media community, with well over 1,700 members based all over the world and growing. Health and wellbeing issues have a strong community connection because it is something that is universal and could potentially affect anyone.
My background working in the area of mental health spans back quite a few years to when I worked for the charity Anxiety UK as their media liaison officer. I started at around about the same time that I became involved in student radio. The combination of the two sparked my interest in music therapy, especially to aid relaxation. Over the years ‘Chillout’ is a musical genre that I have become synonymous with, rolling out the format I developed to radio stations across Greater Manchester.
Working for Anxiety UK taught me about meditation, mindfulness and self-hypnosis techniques that I have since incorporated into my lifestyle. My work here let me explore these interests deeper as well as helping others and promoting the many case studies of recovery that were used in the media. Years later, when Dawn approached me with her Making Mental Health Positive campaign we already had common ground as Dawn had been a member of Anxiety UK on their mentor programme.
It’s been a privilege to be involved with the campaign; to watch it progress and see the positive affect that it has on members. I’m glad that I can use my broadcasting experience to give the campaign a voice and spread the word about the good it does for the local community and beyond. Now not only a virtual social media page, the campaign has a strong presence within the North-West, partnered with The Lowry in Salford Quays. Meet and create groups are being set up, using the arts as a stimulus to bring people together and creatively helping end mental health discrimination. The first meeting will be delivered by Stich Art textile artist Joanne Walker on Sunday the 22nd of July. The August workshop will focus on photography and September’s will use the art of drama.
To hear my report from a recent campaign strategy meeting CLICK HERE.