Skills for life

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


The goal of Radio Cardiff is to serve the multicultural communities in which we live and work. Broadcasting live from Butetown, we are Cardiff’s award-winning local radio station offering our listeners a diversity of music styles, local & national news and community interest programmes, every day.

Radio Cardiff is the only community radio station in the city, and the only terrestrial station of any kind that broadcasts exclusively to Cardiff and its richly multi-cultural population. We are proud to give a voice to the diverse communities living in what is both one of the oldest established multi-cultural areas in the UK, and the youngest capital city in Europe.

Radio Cardiff has over 120 volunteers from across the communities that make the ‘Diff their home. But there is more to Radio Cardiff than just broadcasting. The station has become very much part of the community.

The station launched on 31 October 2007 by John Lenney MBE and has established a unique role in the life of Cardiff. It delivers programming intended to heighten cultural awareness and to spread information that is relevant to its target communities. Our volunteers are regularly involved in creating content for the station, providing distinctive community-oriented programming.

We are an established part of the city’s life and each week we connect our audience to a huge spectrum of events, opportunities and recreational activities in the Welsh Capital.

The station is now run by Voluntary Community Service (Cymru) Ltd, a registered charity which operates the broadcast licence. VCS Cymru is a small volunteering organisation located in the inner-urban ‘southern arc’ of Cardiff. The independent social action charity has been serving the City since 1964. Over those 54 years, VCS has co-ordinated volunteer flood relief in the days when parts of Cardiff were regularly submerged by overflowing rivers; built and ran adventure playgrounds for children in disadvantaged areas; recruited volunteers to help maintain the gardens of people no longer able to; and arranged international exchanges for young volunteers, among many other initiative.

VCS has 3 strands which interlink and complement each other and every project develops the skills and confidence of volunteers. People with a wide range of talents – often unfulfilled, engage with VCS projects and the charity’s goal is to help everyone who joins to gain confidence and reach their potential to learn new skills and pass them on the others. 200+ volunteers are supported across VCS projects:-

The Heritage Strand runs the Attic Project, a reminiscence project engaging with older people and developing oral histories about artefacts in their homes.

The Supported Volunteering strand runs 2 projects -Pave The Way supports people with a ‘lived experience’ of mental ill health and The Release Project is designed to help rehabilitate offenders and reduce re-offending.

The Community Media strand operates Radio Cardiff.

Being part of VCS Cymru allows us greater capacity to encourage and support the involvement of local people from all backgrounds, no matter what barriers there may be. Our volunteer pool consists of a diverse mix of experienced radio presenters & volunteers, and people just starting out in radio. We provide training and support to help people improve their lives by becoming part of a thriving team, learning new skills and getting to put them into practice.

The next step is to develop accredited training for our current and new volunteers to engage in consultancy services; event management and sales and marketing for the radio. This will create jobs as an outcome of volunteering, while helping to fund the ongoing supported volunteering initiatives for people not ready to take that step. The Aviva Community Fund can help us to develop this strand and offer our community further opportunities for engagement.

Project Video

VCS Cymru

Moment of Pride

Each week, over 26,000 people tune in to Radio Cardiff. We offer an alternative to mainstream BBC and commercial radio stations. From soul to funk, our presenters have a genuine passion for the music they play and are ideally placed to serve the local community. It's been tough but we're still here.

Location: Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, UK