Programmed For Success

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The Employment FM course, run in association with Building Futures and Wycombe Sound, ended recently with a flurry of emotions, all of which were resoundingly positive for the participants and the joint organisers.

The Employment FM course ran two days a week for five weeks at the High Wycombe based community radio station. During the course, the participants learned about skills in radio production including how to identify different styles for radio, presentations and audio editing. In addition, Building Futures provided support on all things employability including updating CVs and developing interview techniques.

The last session was the grand finale, with each of the participants given the opportunity to broadcast their own 20 minute slot on the mid-morning show.

The participants came from a wide background of cultures, ages and experiences. These collective experiences provided a rich array of emotional, thought provoking, nostalgic and very informative content produced by the participants for their slots.

Keith Higgins, chief sports presenter for the station, held the position of anchor for the morning show. Keith, one of the main tutors for the Employment FM course, kicked off the show by interviewing Building Futures Key Worker Samantha Dove who delivered the employability sections of the course. Then followed the slots by the course participants as follows:

Montreece Soares – reported on the charity Child Bereavement UK, interviewing one of its directors. She also spoke to Keith about her personal loss of a child and how the charity’s aims were close to her heart.

Wayne Cottoy – gave a one to one interview about the history of High Wycombe detailing his experiences as a young child of the Windrush generation and his love for his home town.

Mason Cunningham – ran a feature promoting the work of Mind Bucks and their continuing work on mental health in the region.

Adrian Britain was interviewed by Keith about the Employment FM course and his love for all things heavy metal.

Linda Fielding spoke bravely about the highs and lows of her own life journey. She told of her resilience after years of drug addiction and how her own children inspired her to get her life back on track.

Finally, the participants went back into the live studio to express their thoughts about the impact of the course.  The consensus was that it was a positive and uplifting experience. They had supported each other using empathy and teamwork to raise their self-esteem and realise their potential and innate skills for employment and training.

The students also expressed, on-air ,their gratitude to Keith Higgins (Wycombe Sound) and Samantha Dove (Building Futures) for their enthusiastic delivery and support.

Allan Potter, Building Futures Manager said: “I am proud of what the students have achieved on the Employment FM course.

Whilst the course was geared to inspire the participants through the powerful medium of radio, their commitment and attitude to the programme and its facilitators has made the programme a success.

It is very moving to see the emotional and inspirational outcomes of those who attended the course. From their evident joy, there is a sense of achievement, of being proud and challenging themselves, a new sense of themselves which somehow cannot be really measured.”

The Building Futures programme focuses on changing the lives of adults and young people across Buckinghamshire and is part of the Building Better Opportunities programme funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Sharon Brown