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I received an email a couple of days ago from Yvonne Williams (no relation!) with the happy news that Basildon now has its own radio station! Gateway FM is a community radio station which now has a license to broadcast on the FM frequency. In awarding the five-year license, OFCOM said:

“Gateway FM is a not for profit social enterprise. Its mission is to enhance community cohesion through developing a community radio station to reach, involve and serve the communities of Basildon and East Thurrock. The station proposes to present a mixture of output reflecting the range of interests and backgrounds in the target community.”

For those of you who don’t know much about Gateway FM, this excerpt from its website sums it up well:

“It is a local company dedicated to local people, staffed by local people and seeking to make our locality a better place to be.

It seeks to be accessible to everyone interested in media related activities irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, disadvantage, sexuality or faith…

In other words, really local, local radio, by, about and for everyone in that area that looks to Basildon as its main local centre.”

Until now it has been restricted to two 28-day broadcasting slots a year. That OFCOM has now awarded it a full license is very very exciting news for all involved. This now has the potential to become a tremendous community resource for our towns and villages in the Basildon area.

Just today, Gateway FM put the following press release on their website:

“The recent award of our community radio licence by Ofcom opens immediate opportunities to join this really local radio station and make it something very special within our community.

Volunteers can expect abundant training support and the chance to develop skills in areas such as  journalism, sports reporting, editing, computing, office administration, presenting, sales, writing for radio, researching, interviewing and teaching.

The atmosphere is friendly and exciting. You could be involved in interviewing a celebrity, going out and about with our roadshow or providing a voice-over. Above all, you can bring specialist knowledge, specialist skills and individual talent to the heart of our community and share in a community enterprise pledged to helping us understand and appreciate the diverse experiences, talents and traditions amongst us.

Just call 01268 521299 to arrange a meeting.”

Get involved! And in the meantime, you can look at their schedule and listen online.

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