Bro Radio launched at midday on the 31st of March 2009 and has come a long way in a very short amount of time. The station aims to offer an alternative to commercial, national and BBC Radio, by educating, entertaining, informing and engaging with the community it serves that other media services cannot. Now in partnership with Barry YMCA and based in their building in Barry, Bro Radio broadcasts locally produced programmes, created by predominantly volunteers from the local area the radio station serves. It’s the only radio station broadcasting from Barry, to Barry and parts of the Vale, keeping listeners updated with the local information that matters to them.
Bro Radio operates from the heart of a very busy building – Barry YMCA. When the station launched in 2009, it broadcasted out of two converted offices in the Hub building, using mainly donated kit from one of Bro Radios directors. In 2011, The Barry Regeneration Board supported the development of a Digital Media Enterprise, a partnership between Barry YMCA and Bro Radio. This enabled the centre to offer digital media services such as video editing, filming studios, training courses and volunteering opportunities for the local area, amongst many other things. Alongside this, Bro Radio had a purpose built, industry standard studio constructed in the main reception area of the YMCA Hub, which enabled us to be amongst the 2,500 people who use the centre on a weekly basis. In the upstairs area of the Hub, Bro had the two existing studios refurbished, also to industry standard. ‘Studio 2’ is a mirror image of the main studio in the reception area and is mainly used for recording or acting as a backup studio. Studio 3 is used as a news studio. Here our news readers and journalists produce the station’s news bulletins and record them ready for broadcast.
Bro Radio is an incredibly busy community radio station which is operated by around 40 active volunteers, two paid members of staff (Station Manager and Fundraising & Development Manager). The Station Manager is also supported by a dedicated team of volunteer directors. We now have a full schedule of programmes right throughout the week, offering anything from dance music, local orientated chat shows, reggae influenced shows, to dedicated Welsh language radio shows. The stations shows and presenters have become very popular within the area they broadcast to and all over the world. Our chat show for example, broadcasts Monday – Friday between 1pm and 3pm and gives the opportunity to local charities and organisations, police etc. to come in and discuss relevant local issues as well as national topics. Each Monday, this show features a representative from the Citizens Advice Bureau, who gives advice on issues about benefits, pensions, rogue traders etc. This enables our listeners to get advice about any concerns they may have.
Bro Radio is voluntary organisation, with all volunteers receiving quality training, from professional, experienced personnel in journalism, presenting, production, or whatever area of radio broadcasting interests them. This training has enabled many of our volunteers to move onto paid employment at other radio stations and media outlets.
We welcome applications from potential volunteers from all walks of life and of any ability. The station is proud to be supporting two members who are registered blind. They both present two key, daytime shows on the station.
Volunteers are the backbone of the radio station and quite simply, without them, we wouldn’t be able to operate.
We have a dedicated team, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, who are willing to entertain, inform, but more importantly engage and educate local residents. There is an increasing demand on our station to expand and improve on our already very successful service, in particular bringing local news, events, appeals and advice on time, every time. In the past, we have proven how needed our community service we offer is. During times of extreme weather and news stories that effect residents’ lives, we have always offered an unrivalled service to the Vale, that no other media outlet can. Bro Radio is fully committed to training, educating and offering life – long skills to our volunteers and to potential volunteers of the station, from the local community.
Clive runs a very successful media company, CSMEDIA Ltd, and has worked with many international stars and big corporations. Clive first started his career with ITV based in Culverhouse Cross studios, moving onto the BBC before relocating to London and starting his own company. Clive brings a fountain of media knowledge to the station and is passionate about helping others follow their dreams.
A career social worker and manager in the sector specialising in children and young people. Phil has 30 years experience of understanding the sometimes complex and challenging needs of those for whom he cares and finding solutions and matching opportunities for these young people is a key skill. Phil also has extensive experience of working in and with the Voluntary and Statutory Sector and brings this vitally important experience and perspective to the board.
Gareth started his radio career at the age of 12 volunteering at a hospital radio station in Abergavenny. Before then he would always be a bedroom radio presenter. Recording the top 40 charts off the radio every Sunday on to a cassette player, trying to get it to stop before the DJ would talk.
After a few years at that hospital station, Gareth was asked to do some work a commercial radio station based in Ebbw Vale called Valleys Radio which is sadly now closed down (nothing to do with Gareth). There he presented a popular Saturday evening show and also worked on the stations outside broadcasts.
Before joining Bro Radio, Gareth also worked for the BBC and various other stations.
Gareth was one of the team behind the launch of Bro Radio back in 2009. He started off as a volunteer, before working his way up to paid positions, including Station Producer, Sales and now a full time Station Manager. It’s his role to oversee the day – to – day running of the radio station and it’s team of volunteers. Alongside this role Gareth, or Sweeney as he’s known on air, also presents the Drive Show which broadcasts Monday – Friday, 3pm – 7pm.
Very recently Gareth was made a company director of Bro Radio.
Anthea started work at the YMCA in 1996 as part time office administrator and has developed a career in parallel to developing Barry YMCA. In 2007 she was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for maintaining the Charity as a sustainable association as well as developing new initiatives and tackling change.
In 2009 Anthea joined the Bro Radio team as Operational Director on a voluntary basis, to continue her work of championing local learning opportunities in creative industries. Anthea has since stepped down as a director of the station, but still continues to support Bro Radio’s directors, staff and volunteers through her role at Barry YMCA.
Nathan started at Bro Radio in 2009 as a volunteer presenter and during his time at the station has presented and covered almost every on air show. After a few years as a volunteer presenter Nathan was offered the opportunity to become a freelance sales person, to increase the stations financial income. This experience helped Nathan’s to grow his skills, confidence and experience, which eventually led to him applying for and securing funding for his position from the OFCOM Community Radio fund in 2014.
Nathan’s role has now become self sufficient, with Nathan being responsible for on air sponsorship, advertising, promotions and events, as well as securing funding to continue the growth of Bro Radio as a volunteer organisation.