Community Radio Station Radio Plus 101.5FM in Coventry has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
As far as RadioToday is aware, only two community radio stations in the UK have been awarded a QAVS for 2016 – Radio Plus and Salford City Radio.
Radio Plus 101.5FM targets 16-35 year olds and operates from the former home of commercial station Mercia FM in the centre of Coventry. It’s run by Christians and works in partnership with local churches and organisations across Coventry and the surrounding areas to signpost listeners to local support services and the many positive things happening across the city.
Tim Coleman, Station manager and Trish White, Administrator for Radio Plus attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on the 19th May where they met the Queen and other winners of this year’s award. Tim said, “We’re delighted to have been honoured with a Queen’s Award, which recognises the achievements of our amazing volunteers who give up their time to help run Radio Plus and to broadcast great programmes across Coventry.”
“It’s even more special as it coincides with the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations and it was wonderful to see her and the Duke of Edinburgh, along with other members of the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace.”
“It’s also poignant for us in the wake of the death of Coventry’s Mercia Sound founder Ian Rufus on 23rd May. His legacy lives on as Radio Plus is now flourishing within a community media hub in Mercia’s former home at Hertford Place.”
“We’ve just hosted two music stages at this year’s huge Motofest, with live broadcasts from the event for 5 hours a day and we’re also putting on the Community Stage at this year’s Godiva Festival on the 2/3 July, one of the biggest free festivals in the country, so this award will help us to continue building momentum and profile across the city. As we continue to build our audience numbers from 13,000/week towards 30,000 we would ask everyone to support us as we help to raise the profile of this wonderful city and firmly embed ourselves into community life.
“With Radio Plus running a host of training programmes for young volunteers and unemployed people, within a community media hub, we value the local support we receive as a charity, both financial and with new volunteers. It costs between £75K-£100K/year to run Radio Plus so local support is really important to us. Recently we were set a challenge by our partners in the US, WAY FM, to raise £3,500 for April and May in order for them to release a gift to us of £6,500. We’re delighted that we’ve met this target by raising £7,000, double their target for us.”