On Saturday morning (26 January 2019), around fifty of us attended our first open project meeting. Here’s what happened.

Richard explained how his media career started in radio and how radio is still very much part of his life now.

He set-out the three project themes : Community, Creativity and Connection and how they will benefit local life while making great radio everyone can enjoy making and listening to. Richard also said that “everybody has a story” and encouraged us all to find the stories in our community and share them through the project.

Stephen spoke about the unique qualities of radio. It’s the most trusted medium, the most democratic medium, and still as popular as ever with 90% of the UK population listening to live radio every week. Sir Paul McCartney made us laugh. He loves radio too.

I’ve got skills, they’re multiplying

Dave encouraged us all to share our skills and passions. What an amazing collection of experiences in our team – from historians to voice artists to marketing people to wine producers. Around a dozen volunteers have existing radio experience, either professionally in the UK (or in one case New Zealand) or through hospital or community broadcasting.

We discussed the things we’d like to learn together. Several of us want to learn production skills, others want to present for the first time or get into radio journalism. Some want to develop their interview skills. One volunteer wants to share her passion for music, others want to get up to date with modern ways of making radio using today’s digital technology. A great mix – we can do it all.

Get on your feet

Sarah got everybody active with listening and vocal exercises. The owner of the best mouth stretches was Ian Crossman who won a huge bar of chocolate. It’s so big he’ll need a stretchy mouth to eat it.

Richard gave his tips for getting a great interview in any situation:

  1. Ask open questions: what, where, who, when, how and why?
  2. Listen closely to the answers so you can ask a good next question.
  3. Nod and smile silently while your interviewee gives an answer to encourage them to say more.

One of our youngest volunteers, Julian, learned from this and interviewed one of our oldest, Rita. Listen to their interview.

Julian interviews Rita

Let’s do it, do it, do it…

Stephen shared the work done so far, explained how we’re constituted as a not-for-profit organisation, named our first five community partners and began the conversation about how we plan to develop our service together.

We’ll start with an online audio-led offer which will include a regular podcast. We’ll build a continuous radio stream and then plan to add DAB and/or FM broadcast, subject to Ofcom approval.

Each stage brings extra opportunities to learn but also means additional work and costs.

An aural history project in partnership with The Petersfield Museum will run throughout and, we hope, leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

Smells like team spirit

Dave encouraged all of us to think about the kind of teams we would most like to work in. They’re not set in stone but we’re starting with:

  • Two editorial teams; Stories and Information: Mentored by Richard and Dave.
  • Programming team: presentation, scheduling, music and imaging. Mentored by Stephen.
  • Fundraising team: grants, sponsorship and commercial connections.
  • Impact team: brand, marketing and promotion. Mentored by Stephen.
  • Tech team: engineering, facilities and digital infrastructure. Mentored by Colin.
  • Operations team: team and partner comms, events management, audience feedback.

If you’re experienced in Operations, Tech or Fundraising and would like to mentor one of these teams please email team@petersfieldradio.uk or leave a message on 01730 887399.


To deliver our ambitions we will all need to take some responsibility for fundraising. After the meeting a couple of volunteers offered their help with a prospectus.

Cllr Julie Butler representing East Hampshire District Council and Cllr James Deane of Petersfield Town Council explained how we can apply for grants from their respective organisations.

We will encourage donations and commercial sponsorship too but, unlike some community radio stations we’ve researched, we do not plan to charge a fee to volunteers.

However, any of us can donate directly to the project account:

Name:           Petersfield Community Radio
Sort code: 60-83-71
Account number: 22320207

Please share this with your philanthropist friends!

What’s next?

We’re gathering and sharing everybody’s content ideas, brand name ideas and more via our Ideas Magnet . All ideas are helpful, whether fully-formed or not. Your nebulous thought could trigger someone else’s spark of genius so get stuck in.


Mentors and their teams will start working together. Just like in the X Factor.

We will shortlist and test some possible names for the service, and decide by 2 March.

Please get your ideas in via the Ideas Magnet.

Several volunteers asked for contact details of other people at the event. We can share this information, but only with your agreement so please confirm whether you’re ok for us to pass on your email address.


  1. Make ten minutes to go to The Ideas Magnet and share your ideas.
  2. Decide which team (or teams) you would like to contribute to. We will hook you up.
  3. Put the Creative Day in your diary. Saturday 2 March 10am – 1pm at Churcher’s College.
  4. Confirm by reply to this email whether we may share your email address with other volunteers.


  1. Read the Ofcom Broadcast Code . 155 gripping pages.
  2. Download this free audio editing software onto a computer and have a play with it.
  3. Practice interviewing people. Remember: open questions, listening skills and lots of silent smiley nodding!

p.s.. did you leave behind a small leather bag? We have it.