Fears for community project future cloud birthday celebration
A successful Norwich community project is set to celebrate its fourth birthday, amid fears over future funding.
It has emerged that the activities of Future Projects could be affected after Future Education was not awarded a funding contract by Norfolk County Council.
Despite this, one of the projects, Future Radio, is set to mark its fourth anniversary. Future Radio, grew from a temporary radio station around eight years ago and began full-time broadcasting in August 2007. It was the first of its kind in the UK to be awarded a new expanded broadcast license, allowing it to cover the whole of Norwich since May 2010.
The Evening News has launched a campaign to ensure the long-term existence of Future Education and Future Projects.
Daniel Childerhouse, operations manager at Future Projects said that if they do not get the Future Education funding, the radio station would have to scale back quite quickly. 'The radio in particular is going to have to change because funding for community radio stations is particularly difficult. It was subsidised by other projects.'
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Around 150 volunteers and enthusiasts from the local area help to run the station, ranging from 16-year-olds to over 70-year-olds.
Station manager Tom Buckham, who has been involved in the project from the beginning, said: 'I just think there are a lot of good relationships and good people involved. It has had the support of the partner charity and it has good strong roots in the community through being part of the charity.'
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Breakfast presenter Dickie Harpur, who was also involved early on, said it had improved 200-300pc from the early days.
'It has become more professional. Everybody here has grown up with the station. People who didn't have experience have got a lot better. Everybody knows each other now.'
He said that he was always surprised by how many people listened to them as the community alternative.
Neil Monk, 46, a volunteer producer for the community chest programme, is unemployed. He said that working at the station not only boosted his CV, but was giving him media experience.
An event to celebrate four years of Future Radio will be held at Karma Kafe on August 26. There will be three floors of music from a selection of Future Radio DJs. Entrance to the event is free.
You can donate to the charity Future Projects at http://localgiving.com/charity/ futureprojects
Tell us why you think Future Education should be saved? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, like the Future Education Facebook page or #saveourfuture.