Skills for life

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


What would the Aviva Community Fund enable?

The Aviva Community Fund will enable us to improve the skills and confidence of disadvantaged young people from Norwich’s most deprived communities by giving them a unique opportunity to produce their own strand of community radio on Future Radio 107.8fm.

Our plan is to purchase and install new broadcast studios as part of our plans to relocate our station to the high quality and more accessible Open Youth Venue in central Norwich. From the new venue, and with up-to-date studio equipment, we will be able to better engage and train significantly more disadvantaged young people to become volunteer producers, presenters and editors, allowing them to take control of their own youth strand of radio broadcasting and to develop a range of transferable skills. They will learn to use broadcast equipment and broadcast tools, such as social media, to present, produce and promote shows on Future Radio (via FM, Online and D.A.B), giving them an opportunity to have their voices heard on the issues that are most relevant to them.

We will support and mentor young people from deprived communities to develop work-related skills, build their confidence and self-esteem, give them access to new activities, courses and volunteering opportunities, and allow them to contribute to their community with the unique advantages that a community radio station has to offer, with the aim of making a positive difference in their lives. Our new venue will also have numerous youth facilities including a climbing wall, youth-nightclub, café, gym, gig space, and ICT facilities.

We recently surveyed young people in Norwich about a collaboration between Future Radio and the Open Youth Venue and the feedback was very positive. Young people expressed a keen interest in controlling their own radio shows and talking on-air about issues affecting them. They told us that they felt safe accessing services at Open Youth Venue, and were in favour of relocating Future Radio there so they could get involved. The survey also showed that 80% of respondents were not aware of the youth opportunities at Future Radio, 100% thought youth-led shows would be a good idea, and 80% wanted to get involved right away.

Why is our project needed?

Norwich is ranked the second worst Local Authority area in England for Social Mobility (Social Mobility Index, 2016), meaning that if you are born poor in Norwich, you are very likely to remain poor for the rest of your life. Our community is ranked in the 1% most deprived in England for Education and Skills (Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2015), and as such, the outlook for young people in Norwich is bleak, with limited opportunities to build skills or aspirations. Norwich also has a significantly higher rate of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) than both the regional and national averages. This has a significant impact on long term life chances as young people move into adulthood.

Who are we?

Future Radio 109.8fm is an Ofcom licenced, not-for-profit community radio station serving the people of Norwich and Norfolk. We have a unique means of engaging people from a diverse range of backgrounds in training and support, helping to build confidence and transferable skills, using radio broadcasting as a backdrop. Each year, we support more than 160 volunteers and provide our local communities with a medium to have their voices heard.

Community Radio Stations provide a voice for hundreds of communities across the UK. Fuelled by the hard work and enthusiasm of volunteers, they reflect a diverse mix of cultures and interests, providing locally-produced content. They provide training, youth participation, community news and discussion. Rather than ‘talk at' its community, Community Radio Stations are a central part of it; creating direct links with listeners, and making sure that members of the community can take part in how the station is run.

Project Video

The NR5 Project (Trading as Future Projects)

Moment of Pride

Future Radio is one big family. Often people are vulnerable and anxious when they first get involved, but our volunteers help each other out, share their skills, and become lifelong friends. The impact on confidence is amazing and helps many move towards independent lives and/or successful careers.

Location: Norwich