Team leader Tracy Bryant explains what the Young Person’s Radio Project is all about, what sort of things members do and how they and their parents have found it has helped them to develop listening and communication skills, and become more confident.
A year ago a group of young teenagers came into a room together for the first time. Nervous parents waited elsewhere in the building expecting their usually anxious child to call them back. Anxious children wondered what awaited them; what is a ‘radio group’ anyway?
Well, it’s not all talking into a microphone. There’s a whole range of skills needed to create a radio-style podcast, which is what we do in the group. You need to decide on a topic; think about what you’d like to find out about that topic and how that can be presented in a way that’s interesting to your audience.
You have to share out jobs before you can even start getting down to making anything. That takes team-work, communication, great listening and thinking about things from other people’s perspectives. And then there’s the focus and planning needed to make your own little piece of a podcast.
With support, patience and guidance each member has gradually found their place. For some that is in front of a microphone, for others it’s been in front of a computer researching, writing, making music, finding sound effects or editing the final audio together. Some are wonderful at telling stories and describing what they see; others are intrigued by fact. Each part is vital as each part is needed to make the whole.
It’s the members’ group; we just help give it some direction. Sometimes we talk about tough issues; members have supported each other through episodes of bullying. Sometimes we talk about imaginary fungus monsters and sing tunes from the shows. No matter how silly or serious we’re being, the most important thing is that the members tell us they feel valued and respected. Their parents say they’ve noticed their child’s confidence increase and their listening improve.
Some of our podcasts were recently played on BBC Radio Sheffield, and the team there were very supportive of our work.
“I was very impressed with the quality of the podcasts and the sound effects, music mix and editing.” (Trisha Cooper, Producer, BBC Radio Sheffield)
Take a listen to the group’s work on SoundCloud. Everything you hear is the young people’s own work; from the music and effects, to the audio and the content choices. We’re so proud of them and hope they are proud too.
Radio group runs weekly on Thursdays in term-time from 5-7pm at Norfolk Lodge with occasional Saturday trips out. Spaces currently available. For more information contact Tracy Bryant on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07956 725117