Community radio station, Wirral Radio, is celebrating receiving £60,000 to support its work providing training opportunities to local people who are out of work or struggling in school.
The funding comes from Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of The Big Issue. Applications for loans are now open to other community groups and good causes.
The funding will enable Wirral Radio to carry on its training work. This supports students who require tailored learning outside a mainstream school environment through providing professional personal and group counselling support.
One student, ‘Mark B’ said: ” I have been coming to the radio since I was the age of 16. When I first came I was low in confidence and my mental state was all over the place due to having a rough time with my OCD, depression and being bullied. I started coming a couple of times a week, using the various facilities on offer such as the DJ equipment and recording studio. I gained much needed support from the friendly volunteers and staff who made me feel very welcome. The staff were very good at supporting me, they would sit down and talk with me as well as implementing techniques such as writing down the positives and negatives of what was going on in my life.
“When I was about 17 I tried to do the radio course but even with support from an assistant couldn't, so I continued building my confidence by coming twice a week until I felt ready to do the course, which I did and completed successfully not long after. During all this time I got diagnosed with light Asperger’s, so coming to the radio was an outlet for getting my head around all these things by getting lost in my DJ'ing.
“At the age of 18 I was able to start a Music Technology BTEC Extended Diploma in college and also still came to the station , I have recently completed and passed this course and have now started university doing Audio and Music Production at John Moores. I do feel if it wasn't for the radio station and the staff helping my mental health and wellbeing I might not be here today, so I have a lot to thank them for.”
For further info about Wirral Radio contact wirralradio.co.uk/ .
Big Issue Invest provided the loan to Wirral Radio through Impact Loans England, a £5 million lending scheme aimed at enabling social enterprises to access loan funding of between £20,000 and £150,000 in 2016. The programme is funded by Access - The Foundation for Social Investment, with finance being provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.
The programme is available to organisations across England - whether it’s for buying equipment, hiring new talent, or progressing business development plans.
Kevin Lloyd- Evans, Regional Investment Manager at Big Issue Invest says, “A lot of great organisations struggle to access small and medium-sized loans, so we wanted to provide support for those exciting social enterprises and charities. We are so pleased that we have been able to provide support to Wirral Radio in order for them to continue to keep doing the incredible work they do.”
Applications for Impact Loans England are now open. Visit bigissueinvest.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @BigIssueInvest using the tag #ADealAWeek.