Academy FM Folkestone wins 5 national ‘Community Radio Awards’

Published on September 12th, 2016

At an awards ceremony in Birmingham on Saturday 10 September, Folkestone’s Community Radio Station Academy FM won five Community Radio Awards, including two Golds. The Awards are in their inaugural year, and were open to all Ofcom licensed Community Radio stations. Academy FM Folkestone submitted entries in five categories, winning an award in each: GOLD – Lee Churchyard, Young Person of the Year; GOLD – The Folkestone Status, Innovation Award; SILVER – The Motiv8 Project, Community Development Project of the Year; SILVER – Between the Storms, Arts & Creative Radio of the Year; BRONZE – Kay McLoughlin, Female Presenter of the Year.

Lee Churchyard (pictured below) is a 15-year-old student at Folkestone Academy, and is a very active community volunteer, as well as working in a voluntary capacity at Academy FM. Folkestone Status was recognised for the innovative way in which an educational project and a community information service can be joined together. It is funded by the Colyer Fergusson Charitable Trust and the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust. The Motiv8 project was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and helped many young unemployed people find training or jobs. ‘Between the Storms’ was a project run by the ‘Pavement Pounders’ arts group that recorded people’s memories of Folkestone as a port. Academy FM produced two radio features with them. Kay McLoughlin presents a lively radio interview & discussion show every Wednesday morning.

Academy FM Station Manager Dave Sharp said: “It was a fantastic evening. We’re proud and delighted to win 5 awards in a variety of categories. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the support we get from the Folkestone Academy, the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, the Tudor Trust and our other funders. Our volunteers deserve a special mention: their dedication is remarkable. The community radio sector is doing some fantastic work and it was great to see so many stations getting recognition; the passion and enthusiasm is extraordinary.”

105.9 Academy FM is the Community Radio station for the Folkestone area. Although it is based at Folkestone Academy, it is an independent charity with a strong educational focus, helping teach young people to improve communication skills, learn teamwork, acquire self-confidence and develop skills for the work place. The radio station supports community events and activities, including Outside Broadcasts, and runs the ‘Folkestone Status’ online events information service. The station carries advertising for local businesses, but is largely funded by grants and donations.

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