Portuguese voices over the radio

In the past they have been the silent minority but Norfolk's growing migrant population is finding its voice on the airwaves.

In the past they have been the silent minority but Norfolk's growing migrant population is finding its voice on the airwaves.

Wayland Community Radio, the county's first radio station to broadcast in Portuguese and English, is building on its success last year by returning to the airwaves for the next four weeks.

Its aim is to reach out to Breckland's multicultural population, not only by providing advice to migrant workers in their native language but also by exploring their music and lifestyles through its programming and playlist.

This time round Russian and Portuguese volunteers have joined its 15 presenters -- which include radio professionals Steve Jolly, David Hatherly and Greg Powells, as well as TV's history man Bryan McNerney.

The station broadcasts from a former stables at Ashill, outside Watton, and hopes to follow its latest stint with a three-month broadcast in the autumn before launching full time next year.

Sue Hatherly, administrator at the station, said: "I think it is very reassuring for people to hear their native language on the radio.

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"We had an amazing reaction to the first six-day broadcast - Breckland Council had about 150,000 e-mails."

The station is funded by grants from the East of England Development Agency and Breckland Council, and advertising revenue.

The station is on air 24 hours-a-day, with live programmes between 7am and 10pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to midnight Friday and Saturday, 8am to 10pm on Sundays and recorded music at other times.

Portuguese programmes will be broadcast between 7pm and 10pm on Saturdays, and in Russian from 5pm to 7pm on Sundays.

The station frequency is 87.7FM, covers most of mid-Norfolk and will be on air until April 23.

To volunteer, contact the station on 01760 441161.