Cross Rhythms City radio in Stoke on Trent has received a strong endorsement from the Government for its contribution to the community and its impact on social gain.
A report published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport looked at the role of 13 community radio stations including Cross Rhythms came to the conclusion that community stations had delivered important social gains across a range of issues.
The report entitled The Community Radio Sector: Looking to the Future" contains detailed information on the work of Cross Rhythms and a dozen other community radio stations. The report noted that significant benefits had been delivered by community stations in terms of volunteering, work placement and training opportunities.
Cross Rhythms was singled out for particular mention in the report for its contribution to providing valuable work experience. "Cross Rhythms is probably the largest provider at present with on the job training for 15 people each quarter, " it said. The report describes Cross Rhythms as 'a station which caters for Christians, but also seeks to attract the wider community.'
It continues: "Cross Rhythms City Radio gets involved in a host of community events ranging from 'Time for Healing' a seven week event in Stoke on Trent, to the annual cultural festival which is held in the city's cultural quarter or the Blurton festival, which takes place in a suburb in the city. "The station's target audience is 16 to 40 year olds, but it is increasingly reaching into the 50+ age bracket. In all it touches about 10 per cent of the city."
Cross Rhythms was one of 15 community stations selected by the Government in 2002 to participate in a pilot project to assess the potential impact of community radio. In April 2005 was one of the first stations to be awarded a five year community radio licence by Ofcom, the Government's broadcasting regulator.
Jon Bellamy, CEO of Cross Rhythms said: "We were pleased to be one of the stations which was chosen to take part in this important piece of research. Naturally we are delighted that the report has come to such a positive conclusion about the value and benefits of community radio. We have always placed great importance on social action, particularly in the areas of drug awareness and education and also rehabilitation services."
Cross Rhythms is one of just over 100 organisations to have been awarded a community radio licence and is now playing a key role in helping other community stations to start broadcasting. It is currently providing significant collaborative support to the new Cross Rhythms Plymouth community radio station which is due to start broadcasting in March 2007 and also Cross Rhythms Teesside, which is expected to follow later next year.